1970 was an important year for NASA and its space exploration program, which sent astronauts to the moon. Pivotal to each and every moon visit since its inception, Omega provided astronauts with arguably the most precious commodity on any given mission: time.
50 years since receiving the coveted ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ from the astronauts at NASA – an award that recognises the brand’s unique contributions to space exploration, as well as the Speedmaster’s vital support during the rescue of Apollo 13 – the Swiss luxury watch brand has crafted a special timepiece to honour the memorable occasion.
Combining animation with watchmaking art, the incredible Speedmaster ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ takes the iconic Speedmaster to new realms of design, and tells an important story in the process.
Your favourite beagle plays a prominent role within the timepiece, first appearing as an embossed silver medallion on the blue subdial at 9 o’clock. Snoopy is seen pictured wearing his famous spacesuit, in the exact style of the silver pin that NASA astronauts give to award recipients.
The silver dial is gorgeous and features two blue subdials, as well as blue PVD angle-shaped hour markers and hands. The caseback is where the fun begins, exemplifying the true craftsmanship and magic of this unique timepiece. What’s incredible is that not only does the earth disc pictured rotate every minute, but when the chronograph seconds hand are in use, Snoopy and his Command and Service Module will take a trip around the mysterious far side of the moon, with the lunar surface being decorated on the sapphire crystal using a unique micro-structured metallisation; ingenious!
The iconic quote, “Eyes on the Stars”, is included within the black universe.
On the wrist, the watch’s blue nylon fabric strap matches the other blue elements of the watch, and even features the trajectory of the Apollo 13 mission, embossed on the lining. This strap is attached to a 42 mm case in stainless steel, which is inspired by the 4th generation Speedmaster style. The iconic tachymeter scale is shown in white enamel on a blue ceramic bezel ring.
Under the hood, this special edition Speedmaster is driven by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861; the ground-breaking movement that took the legendary Moonwatch calibre to new standards of excellence, with anti-magnetic innovation, as well as Master Chronometer certification from the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).
The timepiece presents in its own Apollo 13 presentation box, with a microfiber cleaning cloth, a brochure, and a magnifying glass to help you get up close to the details.
The Snoopy Story
The special connection between Snoopy and NASA first started in 1968, when NASA went in search of a ‘face’ for its safety programme. Snoopy, who was an iconic symbol of hope during this time, was the obvious choice – NASA’s very own safety ‘watchdog’.
Snoopy became so beloved by NASA’s own astronauts, that they created a very prestigious prize in his name. Designed by Snoopy creator Charles M. Schulz, the Silver Snoopy Award is presented by the astronauts themselves, and is given to people or companies who they believe have contributed significantly to “the success of human space flight missions.” An extremely rare honour since 1968, it has been given to no more than 1% of eligible recipients.
“Quite simply, Omega was an essential part to a successful mission.” – Captain James Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13.
It was the Apollo 13 mission, in 1970 which best represents OMEGA’s critical precision and the ‘safety’ that Snoopy was entrusted with. Apollo 13 faced many serious challenges during its voyage to the moon, with Omega’s mechanical excellence serving a great purpose in aiding the team of astronauts safely back to earth.
“I remember presenting the Snoopy award to Dr. Widmer from Omega at a little ceremony in my office,” explains Lieutenant General Thomas Stafford, who flew on four NASA missions and presented Omega with its prestigious prize in 1970.
“I thanked him and Omega watches for the wonderful service they’d given us throughout the space programme, but particularly on Apollo 13, because the Speedmaster was so critical in helping us get safely back to the Earth.”
In recognition of its overall contributions – in particular during the Apollo 13 mission – Omega received its Silver Snoopy Award on Monday, October 5th, 1970.
From that moment, the Snoopy and OMEGA stories were forever entwined, and the two have forever shared a special journey through the years – and the stars.
The Omega Speedmaster ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ 50th Anniversary will be available in a non-limited edition. Estimated first availability will be the end of October 2020 in OMEGA Boutiques around Australia, with an RRP $14,700. For more information, visit Omega.