The connection between timepieces and adventure has become common in the marketing we encounter as watch enthusiasts. It’s important to separate the good from the convoluted. However, the association between watches and space is about as cool as it gets. This goes beyond the typical press release fluff. These are watches that took an immortalized position in history. Whether it’s the tests they were subjected to or the role they played in mission completion, watches that made it to space are some of the most intriguing pieces around. Here are some of the most iconic watches to blast into the heavens and beyond:
This the most fitting place to start. There is no other watch that has this kind of recognition for its role in space exploration. Introduced in 1957, the Speedmaster was originally intended as a driver’s watch. However, its high-contrast dial layout and resilience to NASA’s tests quickly put it at the top of their list. Today, Omega offers several Speedmaster models for purchase. The Professional series is the most faithful iteration when compared to the watches that made it into space.
Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th
While its shining moment was more recent, the Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph still makes the list. Strapped on Felix Baumgartner’s wrist for his jump 24 miles above the Earth, it proved itself as a watch that endured under extreme conditions. After all, it did make an Earth re-entry fully exposed at over 844 mph. As an evolution of the famous El Primero, the 31-jewel El Primero 4057 B column wheel automatic movement exists as one of the most mechanically interesting movements from Zenith today.
Bulova Moon Watch
It’s easy to see why the Omega Speedmaster gets all the attention as a space watch. But when Dave Scott’s Speedy broke on Apollo 15, it was the Bulova Moon Watch chronograph that stole the show. With a layout reminiscent of NASA’s qualified space watch, the Bulova operated perfectly on Scott’s lunar walk. The Bulova is also a watch that was never issued. This makes it just a little more special than the average Speedmaster in many ways.