Mar 16, 2022
OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 17 in Gold
The Omega speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches of our times. Due to its association with the moon landing 🌝, as the only chronometer approved by NASA for manned missions in space, omega released a number of limited editions througout the year. Yet solid yellow gold speedmasters remain a bit of rarity.
In 2017, with the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 17 ( XVII for roman numbers afecionados) mission Omega released two references: one in steel with gold accents and a rarer one in Yellow Gold under the Ref. 3126.96.36.199.03.001
Among the special features of this watch there is a blue ceramic dial with the Gold Apollo and the moon in yellow gold. According to the official description Limited to 272 pieces, the 18K yellow gold model has a brown leather strap and blue ceramic for the bezel and dial. Maximising innovation, OMEGA has used an exclusive electroforming process to create the gold representation of the God Apollo and the moon on the 9 o'clock subdial.
As you can see in the photos above we have seen this watch at Basel World in 2017. During that year Omega released the trilogy 1957 so the Apollo 17 was not much in the spotlight. This was 1 year before Omega decided to leave Basel World.
Interestingly, this was supposed to be a limited series of 72 pieces but, due to the high demand, Omega increased this limited edition to 272.
The watch is very elegant and wearable. At 42mm with a height of approx. 15 mm it is not a large watch. The yellow gold with blue ceramic dial is a winning combination, completed with the brown alligator strap that fits very well with the gold case.
the details on the dial are well well rendered. Under the Omega logo we also have the 05:34 GMT marking in red that has an historical meaning The Apollo 17 mission was commanded by Gene Cernan, who passed away in 2017. Cernan left history's last footprints on the lunar surface and "05:34 GMT" is printed in red on the dial of each model, indicating the exact time he took the final step.
Each caseback features a mission patch and is engraved with "45th ANNIVERSARY", "Limited Edition" and "a tribute to Gene Cernan". For the gold model, the central 18K white gold medallion uses an electroforming process to add the 18K yellow gold details.
The caseback is certainly a success. The exclusive process to achieve it also shows the innovation of omega not only in the movements but also in the materials like ceramic and, like in this case, the combination of gold and ceramic.
We can also notice how the blue dial colors will change depending on the light. This is the only Omega Speedmaster Professional Anniversary to have a ceramic dial and the racing style seconds markers (offset markers every 5 seconds), usually only used in other speedmaster models.
In conclusion we feel that both the steel version and the yellow gold one of the Apollo 17 45th Anniversary are superbly executed. Perhaps not for the purists that doesn't like gold in a speedmaster, but certainly appreciated by someone looking for a distinctive edition of an iconic model.