OMEGA orbits the Apollo 8 story with a new Dark Side of the Moon

Posted on 19 January 2024

In 1968, history was made when Apollo 8 became the first human flight to ever orbit the Moon. Aboard that pioneering mission, each astronaut was equipped with an OMEGA Speedmaster – a tool that was relied upon throughout NASA’s lunar campaign. This year, OMEGA pays tribute to the story with a new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon – created with state-of-the art technology, a rich palette of materials, and masterful expertise.

At OMEGA, the first Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 timepiece was released in 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the mission. This time, the brand has returned to its watchmaking launchpad, elevating the same design with an even finer level of detailing and refinement.


Creating a unique aesthetic throughout the design, the watch’s Calibre 3869 features a laser-ablated Moon relief on the blackened main plate and bridges. Just like the Moon, this movement reveals two different sides. The dial-side represents our view of the lunar surface, as seen from Earth, while the back of the watch shows the dark side that only astronauts get to see. This new update has enhanced the Moon’s definition, thanks to laser engraving and contrasting surfaces. The features are clearly pronounced and sit beautifully alongside the light grey coated wheels and dark grey gold coated balance wheel.


Furthermore, the manual-winding Calibre 3869 has achieved the Co-Axial Master Chronometer standard, providing customers with the Swiss industry’s highest level of precision, chronometric performance, and magnetic resistance.

The Moon-decorated movement can be seen through the watch’s skeletonized dial, which is crafted from black anodized aluminium. Yet the journey doesn’t end there. When creating the 44.25 mm case, the polished bezel, and the caseback, OMEGA used separate pieces of black ceramic – while also filling the tachymeter scale with bright white “Grand Feu” enamel.

The central chronograph seconds hand is varnished yellow, a colour theme that continues on the watch’s perforated strap – which is made from black rubber with a yellow interior.


Another new touch is the patent pending small-seconds hand at 9 o’clock. This has been engineered from Grade 5 Titanium and shaped like NASA’s famous Saturn V rocket. The powerful 3D structure has been obtained by laser turning, while the colours are achieved with white varnish, ablation, and laser blackening. A small yet inspiring detail that celebrates the success of the Apollo program.

On the caseback, a series of engravings has been inscribed, including “WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE” – the final words spoken to ground control by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, just before the Apollo 8 mission disappeared to the far side of the Moon, and out of radio contact, for the very first time.


The Moon’s distant surface has always been a source of mystery and curiosity. To wear this watch is to make an authentic connection with our lunar neighbour, as well as OMEGA’s own connection to space exploration. As the world now looks further ahead to the possibilities of the future, the Apollo 8 mission stands as a reminder of what shared human power can achieve.

 

DISCOVER THE APOLLO 8

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