The history of the Omega Speedmaster Professional began when NASA named OMEGA the official watch brand of the space program. But, before the Speedmaster Professional, there was the original Speedmaster. It debuted in 1957 with the Ref. CK2915. This sports and racing chronograph was the first model to feature the brand’s now iconic triple-register dial.
Just five years later in 1962, the Speedmaster gained widespread attention when astronaut Wally Schirra wore the Ref. CK2915 on the Mercury Atlas 8 flight. This prompted NASA to test three watch brands under extreme conditions in order to determine which would be best to use in future space missions—the winner was Omega.
When NASA approved the Speedmaster for space missions, the brand renamed the model, and the Speedmaster Professional was born. In the years that followed, the Speedmaster professional would continue to be NASA’s official watch. It served on the Gemini missions in 1965 and the Apollo missions throughout the remainder of the 1960’s.
In 1969, the Speedmaster Professional made history by being the first watch to land on the moon. An important instrument called the mission timer had failed in the Apollo 11 spacecraft, and Neil Armstrong had to use his Speedmaster Professional in its place. Over six hours later, when he and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took their first steps on the moon, Aldrin wore his Speedmaster Professional but Armstrong did not. They felt it was best to leave one of the watches inside in case any damage occurred upon exiting the vessel. Since then, it’s been given the distinctive nickname, the Moonwatch, and has been on board each subsequent Apollo mission and lunar landing.
What continues to make the Speedmaster Professional so unique and remarkable to this day is that Omega has made very few modifications to the original version that once walked on the surface of the moon. Still, the brand continues to partner with NASA to refine the Speedmaster Professional. Most recently, they’ve worked on designing a variation that will be able to withstand the conditions on Mars for a mission planned for 2030.
In addition to the brand and model’s long sustained relationship with NASA, the Speedmaster Professional has also played an integral role in Olympic Games, auto racing, and polar exploration.
Video: OMEGA History
Brush up on your OMEGA history with the stories behind your favorite brand.
Interested in learning more about Crown & Caliber's luxurious pre-owned watches? View our YouTube channel here.
Selling Your OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Watches
Crown & Caliber makes selling an OMEGA Speedmaster Professional watch easy and rewarding. Let us assist you in the selling process and help you receive the highest possible value for your OMEGA Speedmaster Professional. Get your OMEGA Speedmaster Professional quote