Introduced in 2004 to mark the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, the Speedmaster Professional 3569.31.00 is a very special version of the Omega “Moowatch.” Let’s delve into the limited edition Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo 11 35th Anniversary.
What is the Moonwatch?
In the 1960s, NASA qualified the Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph for spaceflight. When Apollo 11 became the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon in 1969, the mission’s three astronauts–Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins–were all equipped with Omega Speedmasters. In fact, when Buzz Aldin became the second man to walk on the Moon, he had his Omega Speedmaster strapped around the exterior of his spacesuit. Since then, the Speedmaster Professional became known around the world as the Moonwatch.
However, while Omega has made several Speedmaster models under the Moonwatch banner, the ones considered as “true” Moonwatches by collectors are those that are the direct descendants of the original models qualified by NASA in the 1960s. Which is to say, stainless steel Omega Speedmaster Professional chronographs with 42mm cases, black dials with three subdials, black bezels with a tachymeter scale, Hesalite crystals, and a hand-wound movement powering the watch.
Along with regular production Speedy Moonwatch models, Omega has also produced several commemorative watches including the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo 11 35th Anniversary 3569.31.00.
Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo 11 35th Anniversary
While limited edition Speedmaster 3569.31.00 shares many design traits with the standard Moonwatch, it also boasts several of its own unique features. The watch sports a 42mm stainless steel case fitted with a matching steel bracelet. The black bezel is marked with the familiar white tachymeter scale while the dial is protected by Hesalite crystal.
Yet, unlike the classic black-dial Speedmaster Moonwatches, the Apollo XI Anniversary version houses a “Panda” dial, characterized by a white background and black registers. Plus, also on the dial, right under 12 o’clock, is “July 20, 1969” written in red, which of course is the day when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the lunar surface in the Eagle lunar module.
The back of the watch continues the tribute to the historic lunar landing with the sapphire crystal emblazoned with a depiction of the famous Apollo 11 mission patch–designed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Omega also decorated the black leather box of the ref. 3569.31.00 with the Apollo XI patch.
Limited to only 3,500 examples, the caseback of the watch includes the watch’s production number. At the heart of the watch is the manual-winding Caliber 1861 chronograph movement, supplying the watch with 48 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
A very special chronograph to commemorate one of mankind’s greatest achievements, the limited edition Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo XI 35th Anniversary is one appreciated by space and watch enthusiasts alike.