First up, there was choosing the crew
When Buzz Aldrin took those history-making steps onto the moon it was no accident that he was part of the Apollo 11 crew. Astronauts are chosen for their physical fitness, psychological strength and high-level intelligence and Aldrin’s skillset was like no other.
His training included: graduating from the US Military Academy with a BS in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea. He earned a Doctorate of Science in Astronautics and was then selected by NASA, where he devised pioneering underwater training techniques which simulated zero gravity situations and helped astronauts prepare to work in space.
One giant leap
When President John F. Kennedy set the challenge in 1961 to land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade, NASA stepped up with the Apollo program. The training methods and equipment helped astronauts push the limits of human endurance and courage.
The Apollo 11 landing was on the cutting-edge of technology in 1969: NASA engineers sent the astronauts up with essential navigating computers, software, custom-tailored spacesuits for the crew and when Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface in 1969, he was wearing the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional, the chronograph that has been known as the Moonwatch ever since.
OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 50th Anniversary limited editions
NASA required that every piece of equipment on the Apollo spacecraft be certified for use, which meant rigorous testing (watch nerd fact: Ryan Gosling wears the OMEGA Speedmaster in the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man)
The OMEGA Speedmaster was there for the first famous steps and is still the only watch certified by NASA for use on an EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity – any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth's appreciable atmosphere).
Today’s OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch timepiece is driven by virtually the same hand-wound movement trusted by NASA’s astronauts on the Moon. Other features of the four 50th Anniversary Limited edition watches include:
- Each of the four timepieces in this OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch family comes with a special presentation box which includes two additional straps - a “NATO” strap and a strap for astronauts.
- Choose from steel on steel or steel on leather strap
- 5 bar water resistance (50 metres / 167 feet)