Watch brand Omega’s history with NASA is legendary. The Omega Speedmaster timepiece was worn by all of NASA’s original astronauts and was the first watch on the moon.
Now the brand is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission—the first-ever journey toward the moon, in 1968—with a retooled, blackened version of the Speedmaster Calibre 1861 watch, dubbed the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8.
The crew of the Apollo 8 all wore Speedmasters, including command module pilot Jim Lovell, who would go on to lead the Apollo 13 crew (portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 1995 movie Apollo 13). The astronauts were the first humans ever to see the far side of the moon, and that “first” inspired the design (and name) of this new Speedmaster.
The dial on the Dark Side of the Moon watch has been skeleton-ized to show the blackened movement inside. And the movement itself has also been laser-ablated “to precisely decorate the bridges and main plate with realistic imagery of the lunar surface,” according to a company statement.
And like the moon, the watch has two sides: a lighter-colored dial side (meant to represent our view of the moon’s surface from Earth) and a dark back side that only a few ever get to see.
The entire timepiece was fabricated in black zirconium oxide ceramic and boasts contrasting yellow chronograph hands. The watch’s tachymeter scale and crown are filled with Super-LumiNova, the brand name for the photoluminescent pigment Omega uses.
The black-and-yellow color combo is also seen on the perforated black leather strap, which features a section of yellow rubber.
Engraved on the caseback are the words “We’ll see you on the other side,” which was what Lovell said to ground control while on board the Apollo 8—before the crew orbited to the far side of the moon.
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