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The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News One of the coolest, most exclusive clubs in the world of watchmaking just got some new members. Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, mad genius/tech guru/effervescent entrepreneur Elon Musk, musical wizard Brian Eno, and the makers of the Apollo 11 documentary are the latest recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. In addition to that esteemed award, the chosen few will also receive an exclusive Omega Speedmaster Professional “Starmus” watch.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

The Starmus Festival, held in Zürich this year, brings together globally recognized luminaries from the scientific, artistic, and film communities. Since 2016, the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication has been presented to a handful of individuals that have, through their tireless endeavors, enriched the lives and minds of the general population.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

Upon presenting the first medals, Professor Stephen Hawking summed up the winners’ contribution and importance with the following words: “By engaging with everyone from school children to politicians to pensioners, science communicators put science right at the heart of daily life. Bringing science to people brings people into science. This matters to me, to you, to the world as a whole.”

Since 2017, Omega has supported the event and gifted the honorees with a special Speedmaster. In light of the fact that a ceremony was not held in 2018, 2019 marks only the second time a group has received the Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus watch.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

The design of the medal is mirrored on the caseback of the exclusive Speedmaster (although the caseback is not colored as the medal itself is). Featuring the image of a cosmonaut (Alexei Leonov, to be precise) and the “Red Special” guitar owned by and associated with Brian May of Queen, the medal embodies the diversity of wonder and pays homage to very different, however similarly inspirational, fields. Both men were instrumental in bringing the award to life.

Previous recipients of the special Omega watch in 2017 were musician Jean-Michel Jarre, astrophysicist and science author Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the creators and cast of the long-running TV series The Big Bang Theory. As you can see from the photo below, the inaugural timepiece was starkly different from this year’s model.

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The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

This year’s winning crew will receive a very special Speedmaster Moonwatch crafted in 18K Sedna™ gold. The new piece is based on the model known as the “First Omega in Space” — the storied watch strapped to Walter Schirra’s wrist during the Sigma 7 mission of the Mercury program in 1962. It is aesthetically almost identical to the Omega Speedmaster “First Watch in Space” in Sedna™ gold launched back in 2015, bar the exclusive caseback. Somewhat strangely, that “FOIS” model was classed as a Moonwatch by Omega, despite being different from references 105.012 and 145.012 — the two watches to actually make it to the surface of the moon. While a divisive model among the purists, the gold version of the “FOIS” certainly piqued the interest of many Speedy hoarders, and I imagine this model will do the same. This special edition Starmus is also classed as a Moonwatch in the Omega nomenclature, as are many other Speedmasters (such as the Dark Side of the Moon), which bear very little resemblance to the watches purists regard as worthy of the moniker.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

The 2017 Starmus model measured 42mm, but this model is the same size as reference 311.63.40.30.02.001 from 2015 (39.7mm). This iteration of this iconic timepiece features a brown polished ceramic bezel ring and a matte chromium nitride tachymeter scale. Along with the Sedna™ gold case, these warm elements marry nicely with the brown PVD sub-dials. The center of the dial is a contrasting opaline silver.

President and CEO of OMEGA Raynald Aeschlimann presented the award, saying “It’s a great honor to be here amongst so many esteemed names in the science community. I know these winners are truly deserving of the medal, and they have all shown a great commitment to human understanding and progress. OMEGA has its own pioneering history and future in space, so we are thrilled to join the celebrations and share in this common quest for excellence.”

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Starmus Watch Club Just Got Bigger Watch Industry News

Eno was chosen for the honor for his contribution to the popularization of science; Musk, because of the strides made in Space travel through his SpaceX company and other pursuits; Todd Douglas Miller, for being the man behind the stunning Apollo 11 documentary that shined new light on the realities of space exploration; and a Lifetime Achievement Award went to OMEGA ambassador Buzz Aldrin, who continues to inspire people around the world to reach for the stars.

And given the significance of 2019 as the 50th anniversary of Aldrin and Armstrong’s successful moon landing (shout-out to Michael Collins for picking them up when they were done landscaping Alan Shepard’s future golf course), this event is one that will be remembered. As such, the guest list was predictably glittering. Attendees included Omega ambassador Charlie Duke (the youngest person to walk on the moon), veteran astronaut and Omega ambassador Nicole Stott (known for her work on the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle), and a whole host of Apollo astronauts who are to thank for those remarkable memories made way back in 1969.

Although it is unlikely any of these pieces will hit the open market for quite some time, Omega’s partnership with Starmus will surely foster a fervent interest among collectors in the future, especially given the amazing lives, stories, and careers behind the creation of each timepiece. To learn more about Omega’s history and involvement with space exploration, please visit omegawatches.com.

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Comments

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  • Raymond Wilkie

    My hats off to professor Brian May who I think is a top bloke and appeared regularly on a show here called The sky at night with the legendary ( now diseased ) Sir Patrick Moore. Love his wife to ( Everyone here knows here as Angie Watts, husband to dirty Den ) but that guitar just looks so out of place it’s not even funny.
    So the cast of TBBT, a bunch of overpaid numpties ( another colloquialism ) got a watch for pretending to be brainy.

  • SuperStrapper

    I wouldn’t disagree that the front/dial is pretty damn nice.
    Don’t really care about the rest of it, and have little nice to say about the cobranding aside from the execution of the caseback is done tastefully. Would still prefer a clear caseback and leave the inscriptions around the rear bezel.

  • Osama Abughanim

    When you see genuine sixties love again and again never ending love

  • What fresh hell is this?

    These were photographed in sepia, right?

  • Katnip Everlean

    Looks like they had some extra Sedna FOIS Speedies in the back, might as well repurpose them with a new caseback

    • Totally plausible, although that piece has supposedly been sold out for some time (unless Omega planned ahead for this release, which is certainly a possibility).

    • You wouldn’t , by chance, be a cynic now, would you?

  • Hi SPQR. Although this watch is, as you and the article correctly pointed out, inspired by the FOIS, Omega does class this model as a Moonwatch, as they did with the 2015 release on which this special edition is based. The Moonwatch title is applied to several models that bear little resemblance to the original(s).

    We now have confirmation of the size (which is 39.7mm – please see the update in the article). Our initial communications suggested the watch would follow the previous Starmus piece, which was a 42mm diameter. As soon as we got the official word that it was smaller, we made the change.

    Thanks for engaging with the post and picking up on the diameter conflict. While the FOIS/Moonwatch clash is confusing, it is beneficial to discuss this occasionally incongruous designation, so thank you as well for sharing your thoughts. I hope you have some clarification (or at least as much as any of us does) on that front now.

    Rob

  • Not limited, no, but “numbered”, which feeds into your theory that it was a slow mover they needed to repurpose (as with numbered editions the idea is often to pull them from production suddenly to increase the desirability of the random amount left in circulation). Kind of like what Tudor are doing with the Pelagos LHD, but thank goodness that one’s still available.

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