NASA and OMEGA’s Close Bond
In May 1973, NASA launched the first American space station, the Skylab. Likewise, over the next twenty-four weeks, three manned missions took place on the space station. The second was just two months later. On July 28th, three astronauts rocketed to the Skylab. For the next 59 days, they carried out the Skylab 3 mission. While there, they performed a number of experiments regarding Earth’s resources and solar observations.
It was only a few years prior that NASA accomplished its monumental first lunar landing. In that moment, the Moonwatch was born and the OMEGA Speedmaster became the official watch of the space program. Fast forward a few decades then to 1997, the year of the iconic Speedmaster’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate another historical occasion, they created a special limited edition set of commemorative models called the Mission Series.
Commemorating the Speedmaster
The Mission Series contained a whopping twenty-three unique variations of the legendary Speedmaster. As the name suggests, twenty-two of these models honor some of NASA’s most significant space missions, like the Skylab 3. In addition, the twenty-third model in the series is a modern reinterpretation of the original 1957 Speedmaster, the Reference CK 2915. OMEGA presented the Mission Series in a striking suitcase constructed of the same fabric used to make space suits. Initially, the brand only produced this set in a limited run of 40 pieces in 1997, making it highly collectable. Over the following year, they released ten more cases, but the collection continued to be quite exclusive. However, the individual watches were also available separately, still in a limited series.
The Exclusive Omega Speedmaster Skylab
The Speedmaster Professional Missions Skylab 3 is one variation within the collection. OMEGA only produced this iteration in a limited run of 200 units. It features a modern, oversized 42mm case with maximum legibility of its subdials at the three, six, and nine-o’clock positions. Additionally, the bezel showcases a tachymeter scale, which allows the wearer to measure average speed over a certain distance. Paired with the model’s chronograph function, this has become a signature characteristic of the Speedmaster. Inside, the Skylab 3 is equipped with OMEGA’s Caliber 1861 hand-wound mechanical movement, which boasts a 48-hour power reserve.
The OMEGA Speedmaster is one of the most historically significant models ever made. Tools like the Speedmaster played a pivotal role in early space exploration. In fact, they helped solidify the longstanding relationship between NASA and the OMEGA brand. The Missions Skylab 3 is just one special example of the model’s important role in the space program. This commemorative edition celebrates one of many notable moments in our country’s heritage.