July is always a special month for Speedmaster enthusiasts, as it commemorates the watch being used on the surface of the Moon on July 21 (UTC 3:15). First by Buzz Aldrin; as legend has it that Armstrong left his in the lunar module to function as a back-up timekeeper as the onboard Bulova-made clock malfunctioned. We paired up with REM Straps for our 7th collaborative strap release to commemorate this remarkable moment in both human and Speedmaster history.

Aldrin climbing down the ladder 19 minutes after Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 21, 2:56 UTC (Image courtesy of NASA)

Fratello × REM Straps — “The Eagle Has Landed”

Just 19 minutes after Armstrong spoke his famous words “One Small Step For Man…” (later corrected), Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. It took him about a minute to close the hatch, climb the ladder, and reach the soil. Over his suit, he wore his Omega Speedmaster Professional 105.012 chronograph. A watch that would later be lost. Even today, nobody knows where Buzz Aldrin’s “moonwalk” watch is.

Buzz Aldrin inside the module with his Speedmaster Professional 105.012 on a Velcro strap (we also have those in our shop)

As we explained here, the Speedmaster watches on the wrists of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were the same reference. Michael Collins, the third Apollo 11 astronaut, who remained in the Service Module during the moon landing, wore the later reference 145.012-68.

A black and gold strap combination

In 2019, for the 50th anniversary, Omega introduced two exceptional Speedmaster Professional watches—one in Moonshine gold, the other in steel with a few gold elements. The dial of that model featured a gold-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down the ladder. It was based on a photograph that Neil Armstrong took with his Hasselblad camera during their moonwalk on July 21st (UTC), 1969.

Buzz Aldrin climbing down the ladder

We also decided to go with this famous image for this month’s Fratello × REM Speedmaster strap. If you put the two strap parts side by side, you will see that it combines into the photo that Neil Armstrong took. Last month’s Fratello × REM Speedmaster strap was brown, and for this month, we turned to black again, with black stitching.

The engraving on this strap is filled with a golden “gilt” color. Which is appropriate for a 50th anniversary. Additionally, it perfectly matches the creamy yellow patina some (vintage) Speedmaster’s tritium lume develops. For the images in this article, I’ve put the strap on my Speedmaster Professional 145.022-76 which has slightly discolored hour markers and hands.

Made in Sweden

Did you know the first Omega Speedmasters (CK2915) were mainly sold in Sweden? Perhaps an interesting topic for another day. But interesting to note as REM Straps is indeed a Swedish brand. The strap manufacturer sources everything locally, including organic leather. The entire production of its products takes place in its atelier in Sweden. On the inside of the strap, you will find “July 2023” to mark this month’s edition, as well as the Fratello × REM collaboration embossing. The long end of the strap is 127mm, and the short part is 74mm.

Furthermore, all these monthly Fratello × REM straps come with a Fratello engraved buckle. It’s made of stainless steel and is the only part made in Italy. My 1977 Speedmaster Professional 145.022-76 is pictured above, but the strap will fit any 42mm Speedmaster with a 20mm lug width.

Available now in our shop

This 7th Fratello × REM Speedmaster collab strap is now available in the Fratello Shop for €107 (excluding VAT). We have limited stock in this latest edition. But we’ve also restocked some of the former Fratello × REM Speedmaster straps. So if you missed a drop, you may be in luck. You can find the new strap, as well a the restocked editions through the link below.

Fratello × REM Speedmaster Strap July Edition