The year is 1957. The Soviet Union has just launched Sputnik 2, the world’s first artificial satellite, and the space age is beckoning. Against this backdrop of possibility and modernity, luxury Swiss watch brand Omega debuts its very first Speedmaster, the Broad Arrow. The Speedmaster has always embodied ingenuity and considered craftsmanship. The Broad Arrow is designed for racing car drivers, with a tachymeter on the bezel as opposed to the dial, a novel invention way ahead of its time that’s perfect for logging average speeds on the racetrack.
Only five years later, Walter Schirra straps a Speedmaster to his wrist as he embarks on the Sigma 7 mission of the Mercury programme, and from that moment on, the Speedmaster’s destiny is written in the stars. It is the only watch to pass NASA’s intense test and to qualify to accompany astronauts on the Gemini and Apollo missions in the 1960s. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin both wear a Speedmaster as they take “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” in 1969.
The Omega Speedmaster has always been a part of history. The newly updated Speedmaster ’57 Calibre 9906 collection offers devotees of this timepiece, as well as new fans, a slimmed down version of a classic, with a master chronometer upgrade and a sleeker profile. At just 12,99mm, this is Omega’s thinnest Speedmaster yet. All eight stainless steel models are powered by Omega’s co-axial master chronometer Calibre 9906, and new features include a manual winding movement that allows for a finer bezel and a thinner, more streamlined case.
The collection also profiles a “sandwich” black dial edition with retro “Vintage” Super- LumiNova (green emission) and a steel bracelet that pays subtle homage to the Apollo 11 tribute launched in 2019.
This article first appeared in the 2022 annual special edition of YourLuxury Africa.