We are delighted to welcome back our friend and collaborator @TheMasterOfSpeed, Matteo Leoni, who is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable vintage Omega Speedmaster experts. Today Matteo lifts the lid on another interesting and rare watch, The Omega Apollo Soyuz Speedmaster.
After World War II, the United States and the former Soviet Union began an ideological warfare known as the cold war, which was mainly fought via propaganda and espionage.
Much of the technological development needed for space travel was employed in military missiles such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, making this technology of the utmost importance.
Space missions became a new theatre in which the cold war was played out. Sputnik 1 was the first significant event that initiated the Space Race as it would later become known, which officially starting on the 4th October 1957 with the first artificial satellite launch.
On the 17th of July 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz mission was launched and would result in an in-orbit coupling of two capsules to allow for a personnel exchange. The mechanism was developed by the two superpowers and built in the USA, and demonstrated that two different space capsules could join in orbit. As underlined by NASA, the human side of the mission went much further; during this space encounter, the crews demonstrated in few minutes the possibility to abolish cultural and language barriers in the pursuit of greater goals.
This mission represented a clean cut-off from the past; a past that was characterised by a real and heartfelt race. The space collaboration was a clear political signal of a desire for peace.
The lucky number 100/500
To commemorate this milestone event in 1976, made exclusively for the italian market, Omega presented a limited edition of 500 pieces with very unique characteristics. The Speedmaster Apollo Soyuz was based on the classic Moonwatch reference 145.022 with calibre 861, fitting in a very specific serial range between 39’180’xxx and 39’181’xxx .
The most striking feature of the watch is the unique dial configuration, stripped of any Speedmaster indication but rather bearing the mission logo at 12 o’clock, a detail that will inspire many future limited editions placing the mission logo in the continuous second counter. Upon closer inspection we notice features from the calibre 321 era Speedmasters, such as the longer tritium indices compared to those of the same period.
Another unique feature of the watch are the larger pushers, which were 0.5mm larger than regular pushers, meaning the pusher slot in the case is also slightly larger. The caseback is also unique to the watch, engraved with the mission medallion and the letter “I” followed by a progressive limited numbering. Our Speedmaster Apollo Soyuz is the lucky number 100. Furthermore, one other curious detail is the steel bracelet reference 1168, commonly known as the “Oyster” style that was seen on other Omega watches but very rarely on the Speedmaster, a confirmation of just how eclectic this limited really was.
All in all, it’s a series of special details that make this timepiece so unique, a mix of history and unique design, a representative symbol of the history of mankind.
Lucky Number 100 is available…
We are happy to be able to offer you the lucky number 100 Omega Apollo Soyuz Speedmaster. Check it out here…