The Omega Speedmaster “Ed White” – A look at the spaciest of all watches
Watch & Bullion14 September 2016 | 3 min read
The Omega Speedmaster is the most loved watch in the world. While sales-wise it cannot quite keep up with the Rolex Submariner or Datejust, the internet proves a great ground to find the true king of watch-lovers hearts.
The wealth of information out there for the Speedmaster, a.k.a „the Speedy“, is unparalleled. The watch holds the title of the longest single watch entry on Wikipedia. It has a dedicated day, speedy Tuesday, on Fratellowatches, one of the biggest watch websites in the world. And I think by this point you can guess which watch keeps making its way to the top on the r/watches Subreddit.
What makes the Speedmaster such a success? Well, for starters it is a pretty cool watch by any standard. The strong legibility has made for one of the most recognisable watch faces in the world.
No Crownguards and no “Professional” inscription on the dial are iconic for this model
The design however evokes so much more than simple appreciation for its beauty. Upon seeing the watch you can’t help but instantly think about the legendary moon landing. After all even Omega refers to it as „the Moonwatch“.
The story of how the Speedmaster acquired that title has long been the product of much speculation. Most myths surrounding how the Speedmaster was chosen by Nasa have been slowly debunked, mainly with the aid of an enthusiast on Watchprosite and Omega Museum Manager, Mr. Petros Protopapas.
While we still do not know all the details of what happened at Nasa, here is the short version of what we know so far: Nasa was looking for watches for their space programmes. Three watches came into testing: a Rolex, a Longines, and an Omega. The Omega, a watch originally designed for car-racing, was the only watch which survived the rigorous testing and furthermore, was the favourite among the astronauts for its ease of operation, particularly with gloves. For all the info, check out the article on Watchprosite here.
The Famous Calibre 321
It is therefore no surprise that all the mystery and history behind this watch, coupled with its affordable price, makes the Speedmaster the perfect watch for the heart of any enthusiast.
Having been in production for half a century, there is a wide range of serial numbers available, and from all these beautiful variations (Google Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project) the spaciest of all Speedmasters is the 105.003: the exact watch used all throughout the Apollo Programme. This is the watch we are showcasing here today.
A friend and long time collector brought this Omega Speedmaster recently into our shop. It is a 103.500.004 with the famous calibre 321. The watch comes with the original box and with all replaced original parts, making it an incredible rarity.
Ed White wearing his Speedmaster during his first walk in space
This exact model was the last of the Speedmasters, which had straight lugs, no crownguard, and no „professional“ inscription. It is named nicknamed „Ed White“, after the astronaut who became the first American to walk in space. This watch reminds us of why we love the Speedmaster so much, and embodies the pure spirit of watch-collecting for enthusiasts.