tranquility base

Speedy Tuesday – Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed

Robert-Jan Broer
July 22, 2014
Speedy Tuesday – Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed

Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle Has Landed

It’s Speedy Tuesday! Just a few days ago, it was the 45th anniversary of the Moon landing on July 20th of 1969. Although Omega already surprised us in BaselWorld with their new Speedmaster Professional 45th Anniversary edition in titanium, Sedna gold and a beautiful NATO strap, we selected this Speedmaster Pro 20th Anniversary edition from 1989 to show to you today. We already published our Omega Speedmaster Pro Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Edition review a while ago.

One of our loyal readers and Speedmaster fans, Darren, sent us photos of his Speedy Pro 20th Anniversary Apollo 11 from 1989. Only 2000 pieces have been made according to the side of the case (and accompanied certificate). We count a lot more, but more about that later on.

The Speedmaster Pro in general commemorates one of the greatest achievements in history, but every 5 years Omega puts a limited edition of the ‘Moonwatch’ on the market. In 1969 Omega of course produced the gold Speedmaster Professional with burgundy bezel that could be considered the first real Apollo 11 edition. In the 1980s Omega did another run of yellow and white gold Speedmaster Pro watches with a black bezel (yellow gold = 300 pieces, white gold = 20 pieces).

However, it wasn’t until 1989 before Omega put an Apollo XI anniversary model on the market in stainless steel. It is this model that is on display here today at Fratello Watches.

tranquility base There are three batches of the Speedmaster Pro Apollo XI from 1989. The one we feature today was made for the US market, with 2000 pieces only. The certificate indicates that there are 2000 pieces world wide, but that is clearly not the case. There has been a another run of 4000 pieces for the global market and another 250 for the German market only. There is one thing that makes these three batches different though, the description in the side of the case.

As you can see below, the US version has a XXXX / 2000 Apollo XI 1969 inscription, where the German edition has the XXX / 250 Apollo XI 1969 – 1989 inscription. Then there are some differences in the inscription for the US version, where some only use XXXX / 2000, others use XXXX / 2000 Apollo XI and finally a number of them have the year of the Moon landing engraved as well.

The rest of the watch is equal to the standard Moonwatch, reference 145.0022. The packaging was different though. Where Omega normally used the grey or red boxes at the time, this watch came in a wooden box with a neat certificate ‘signed’ by Thomas P. Stafford and an Apollo 11 patch (see above).

Inside, this watch has the famous Lemania based Omega caliber 861. It is still the yellow gilded version. Although the watch is pictured here with a ref. 1479 bracelet, the watch either came on a leather strap or a ref. 1450 or 1479 bracelet. Originally, a black velcro strap was added to the package as well.

Is this watch rare? Well, with 6250 watches you could hardly say they are. However, if you drill them down to the three different markets and even drilling the US version down to 3 different versions of the inscription, it is quite rare. Currently, there are four Speedmaster Pro Apollo 11 Editions for sale on Chrono24. One of them is a German market version, one of 250. They range between $4000 USD – $5500 USD depending on condition and whether they consist of the full set. We expect that the price of these limited editions to go up in any case, as the demand is still growing.

Thanks to Darren for sending us photos of his wonderful Speedmaster Pro Apollo 11 20th Anniversary Edition. Some info we used from the Moonwatch Only book. The best reference on Speedmaster watches there is available today. You can order a copy here or WIN one in our giveaway here.

All photos can be clicked for larger versions.

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Robert-Jan Broer
About the author

Robert-Jan Broer

Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more

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