In 1970, Omega developed a Speedmaster that was a bit different from the then current Moonwatch models. They called it the Alaska project (it had to withstand extreme temperatures, especially those on the dark side of the Moon) and therefore Omega came up with the solution of an external casing made of red-anodised aluminium. The project title Alaska was from then on used for every assignment they did for NASA, like this 1978 Alaska III project watch that was re-certified for the Space Shuttle missions.
Did you know: The white-dialed Speedmaster Project Alaska watch I am showing you here today was Omega’s Alaska II Project watch for NASA. The first Alaska project watch was a titanium model that Omega produced and can still be found in their museum in Bienne.
The Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project 318.104.22.168.04.001 was introduced in 2008 and only 1970 pieces were produced. Like the original model, the Alaska Project limited edition came with a red outer casing and an additional long white strap. This model is now long sold out and you really have to search for one that has all the goodies and that is in mint condition. Prices asked are well over € 4000 Euro.
The good news is that Watches of Knightsbridge in London is having an auction this coming Saturday and one of the lots is this beautiful and complete Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project. It comes with the stainless steel bracelet as well as with the white long velcro strap and the red outer case. Its estimate is between 2800 and 3200 GBP, but I assume it will fetch a bit more than that actually if I compare it to the prices asked on Chrono24 and other sales channels.
Omega’s Speedmaster Alaska Project is a watch you don’t see that often but once someone has laid hands on one, it is difficult to let it go. Hence, the very low numbers you find for sale in the pre-owned market. To find an original piece is almost out of the question, the last one known to be ‘available’ was in 2008 at an Antiquorum auction (click here).
During our Speedy Tuesday event at the Space Expo of the European Space Agency, we had the opportunity to play with the original white dialed Speedmaster Alaska II Project watch, which of course has a slightly different appearance. The dial color faded a bit to off-white/yellow-ish and the hour markers are also a bit more yellow-ish due to the use of tritium. Although the bezel is a tad bit different, the re-edition has a dial and hands that are very close to the original. A re-edition well-made I would like to say.
It is the white radial dial that attracts most Speedmaster fans and collectors. The red outer case and long velcro strap are nice-to-have but most of the time are being kept with the other stuff that came with the watch including the box-set and papers.
More information can be found on watchesofknightsbridge.com and click the March 21st auction to have a look at their catalogue. Another interesting Omega Speedmaster to follow is the CK2915-3 reference.
Photos of the Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project were taken by our friends from Bexsonn, all about watches & whiskey. More photos can be found below, in the gallery.