A few weeks ago we reported about the amazing collection and historical collection of signed Moonwatch casebacks by a Speedmaster and space mission enthusiast. 14 Signed Moonwatch casebacks are part of a total of 28 images that tell an amazing story about space exploration (Gemini and Apollo missions) in the 1960s and 1970s.
This project by OmegaForums member TLIGuy has been very intense but worthwhile as the result is a stunning view on the Gemini and Apollo missions between 1965 (Gemini IV) and 1972 (last Man on the Moon). The Moonwatch casebacks have been signed by the NASA astronauts who were happy to cooperate with this project. Below, the story by TLIGuy in his own words and images.
All images can be clicked for higher resolutions.
14 Signed Moonwatch Casebacks
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.
I would like to thank the astronauts for their valuable time and openness to participating in my project. I would also like to thank those who helped me obtain these pieces. Their time and effort is greatly appreciated.
Gemini 4 – June 3 to June 7, 1965 – First American Spacewalk
Gemini 7 – December 4 to December 18, 1965 – Station-keeping and rendezvous
Gemini 10 – July 18 to July 21, 1966 – The Collins EVA
The Apollo Missions 1968 – 1969
Apollo 7 – October 11 to October 22, 1968 – Lift Off!
Apollo 8 – December 21 to December 27, 1968 – The Far Side of the Moon
Apollo 9 – March 3 to March 13, 1969 – Testing the Lunar Module
Apollo 10 – May 18 to May 26, 1969 – Closest Approach to the Moon
The Apollo Lunar Landing Missions 1969 – 1972
Apollo 11 – July 16 to July 24, 1969 – We Came In Peace
Apollo 12 – November 14 to November 24, 1969 – Yankee Clipper Sailed With Intrepid To The Ocean Of Storms
Apollo 13 – April 11 to April 17, 1970 – The First Order of Business
Apollo 14 – January 31 to February 9, 1971 – Play It As It Lies
Apollo 15 – July 26 to August 7, 1971 – Stand-Up EVA
Apollo 16 – April 16 to April 27, 1972 – Photograph and Memories
Apollo 17 – December 7 to December 19, 1972 – The Last Step
A big THANK YOU to TLI Guy to allow us to publish his valuable work here on Fratello Watches. The original publication was done here.