Five years after its initial release, Omega revisits its popular Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 timepiece.
In 1968, history was made when Apollo 8 became the first human flight to ever orbit the Moon. Aboard that pioneering mission, each astronaut was equipped with an Omega Speedmaster – a tool that was relied upon throughout NASA’s lunar campaign. This year, the watchmaker pays tribute to the story with a new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon – created with state-of-the-art technology, a rich palette of materials, and masterful expertise.
The first Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 timepiece was released in 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the mission. This time, the brand has returned to its watchmaking launchpad, elevating the same design with an even finer level of detailing and refinement.
Creating a unique aesthetic throughout the design, the watch’s manual-winding Calibre 3869 movement features a laser-ablated Moon relief on the blackened main plate and bridges and just like that celestial being, the movement reveals two different sides. The dial side represents our view of the lunar surface, as seen from Earth, while the back of the watch shows the dark side that only astronauts get to see. This new update has enhanced the Moon’s definition, thanks to laser engraving and contrasting surfaces. The features are clearly pronounced and sit beautifully alongside the light grey coated wheels and dark grey gold coated balance wheel.
The Moon-decorated movement can be seen through the watch’s skeletonised dial, which is crafted from black anodized aluminium, while the 44.25 mm case, polished bezel, and caseback feature separate pieces of black ceramic and the tachymeter scale boasts bright white “Grand Feu” enamel.
The central chronograph seconds hand is varnished yellow, a colour theme that continues on the watch’s perforated strap, which is made from black rubber with a yellow interior.
Another new touch is the patent-pending small-seconds hand at 9 o’clock. This has been engineered from Grade 5 Titanium and shaped like NASA’s famous Saturn V rocket. The powerful 3D structure has been obtained by laser turning, while the colours are achieved with white varnish, ablation, and laser blackening. A small yet inspiring detail that celebrates the success of the Apollo program.
On the caseback, a series of engravings has been inscribed, including “WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE” – the final words spoken to ground control by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, just before the Apollo 8 mission disappeared to the far side of the Moon, and out of radio contact, for the very first time.
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