Fifty years ago today Jim McDivitt and Ed White made US manned spaceflight history during their Gemini 4 mission when White made the United States’ first spacewalk. The 23 minute spacewalk started at 19:45 UT during the third orbit. As White pushed himself out of the capsule, Command Pilot Jim McDivitt took the first photograph of White wearing his gold-plated visor reflecting the Gemini 4 capsule over a brilliant blue, cloud-covered Pacific Ocean.

This collection is dedicated the crew of Gemini 4 and the men that flew the subsequent Gemini and Apollo missions. In chronological order, it tells the story of the significant events that paved the way to landing a man on the Moon.

Between 1965 and 1972, American astronauts flew the Gemini and Apollo missions. During those historic missions, spaceflight milestones were achieved for the US manned spaceflight program. As each first-time events occurred, the astronauts and mission controllers meticulously recorded the exact time and date. The times and dates are forever part of US manned spaceflight history marking the significant steps taking the astronauts from the first American spacewalk on June 3, 1965, to the last step off the surface of the Moon on December 14, 1972.

Beginning with project Gemini, each mission was assigned specific tasks for the first time. Each new task was attempted, practiced, and mastered to enable the astronauts to travel to the Moon on future Apollo missions. The new tasks assigned to a mission built upon the previous missions’ accomplishments and became increasingly more difficult and dangerous. From walking in space, to rendezvous in Earth orbit and circling the Moon, each successfully completed maneuver moved the space program one step closer to landing a man on the Moon.

The pieces in the collection document many of the first-time events that occurred during the Gemini and Apollo missions. The mission accomplishments are recorded by the astronauts themselves on 1960’s style Speedmaster case backs that are similar to the case backs present on the NASA-issued Speedmasters they used to mark the time of these historic events. The collection today consists of fourteen missions documented by twelve American astronauts recording the events that are forever part of US manned spaceflight history.

In the next coming weeks, over 33 images will be shown of this project. All are part of this amazing Speedmaster Signature Collection from OmegaForums member TLIGuy.

You will find the first (also below) and all other images in this thread over at Omega Forums. During this period of showcasing this project, we will keep this article alive on the Fratello Watches homepage.

Caseback Project