“We’ll See You On The Other Side” 50th Anniversary
OMEGA released the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 chronograph to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission – the first ever journey to the moon.
OMEGA has always promoted their heritage with space exploration as the “official” Moon watch because its Speedmaster watches were worn by astronauts aboard many of history’s greatest missions – including Apollo 8 in 1968. That crew were the first humans to ever see the far side of the moon and that achievement is celebrated in OMEGA’s newest Speedmaster watch.
There have been a number of “Dark Side of the Moon” editions in the series but this unique dial has been skeletonized to reveal the blackened movement inside. The movement has been laser-ablated to depict the patterns of the lunar surface on the bridges and main plate.
Staying with the lunar theme, the movement has two unique sides. The dial-side is a lighter shade to depict our view of the moon’s surface from Earth, while the back of the watch shows the dark side that only astronauts get to see.
The “Dark Side of the Moon” thema is propogated all over this new watch as the case is black zirconium oxide ceramic. The chronograph hands that are varnished yellow to contrast with the black case while the tachymeter scale and crown are filled with Super LumiNova. The black and yellow theme continues onto the perforated leather strap, which also has a layer of yellow rubber sandwiched in the the middle.
The famous quote by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, “WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE“, is engraved on the case back. The reference is to the immense tension and unknown risk to the Apollo 8 mission as they were about to orbit to the far side of the moon. All radio contact would be lost as the crew became more isolated and furthest from Earth than any human explorers before.
Few people will ever get to see the far side of our lunar companion but those who wear the OMEGA Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 can make an authentic connection with the history of Space travel. Its blackened and decorated version of the Calibre 1861 – designated as Cal.1869 as a tribute to the first moon landing – is a reminder of the original Moonwatch movement and OMEGA’s legendary story in space.
Apollo 8, the second manned spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on 21st December 1968, and became the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Earth’s Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth.
The three-astronaut crew — Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders — became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit; see Earth as a whole planet; enter the gravity well of another celestial body; orbit another celestial body; directly see the far side of the Moon with their own eyes; witness an Earthrise; escape the gravity of another celestial body; and re-enter the gravitational well of Earth.
Although we have seen elements of the new Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 (50th Anniversary) in previous Speedmasters, this combination in a single watch is the big deal. Specifically:
- Classic Moonwatch case but with a 44.25mm diameter
- Dark Side of the Moon motif of a full ceramic case
- First Dark Side of the Moon model with manual wind movement based on cal.1861, itself harking to the legendary cal.861
- Partially skeletonised movement
- Laser engravings on the bridges
All that for CHF 9,000 or USD 9100 (plus taxes).
What’s not to like?
[All photos by OMEGA]
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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).