The Sixth Fratello × REM Strap For The Speedmaster: The First Watch Worn On The Moon
This month’s Fratello × REM Speedmaster strap collab is one that I particularly like! The dark brown leather and off-white for the wording and lunar surface work very well. When we discussed the design for this June 2023 Fratello × REM strap, we actually had the Speedmaster Professional reference 145.022 in mind. It was the first reference to have the famous “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” engraved in the case back.
The First Watch Worn On The Moon
As you probably know, the Omega Speedmaster 105.003 was flight-qualified by NASA to become the watch worn during all manned space missions. Omega sent several Speedmaster 105.003 watches to NASA for use during training and on missions. Not much later, Omega also sent the improved version — the Speedmaster Professional references 105.012 and 145.012 — to NASA. These 42mm models had crown guards to protect the pushers and crown during use. All three of these references were worn on the Moon by NASA astronauts, the Speedmaster Professional 105.012 being the first on July 21st, 1969, on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin.
An important reason for many
But this sixth Fratello × REM Speedmaster strap is not only about those watches (you will find out more next month). It’s also about the Speedmaster Professional that came after, reference 145.022. In 1971, Omega decided to put the text “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” on the case back. First, it came in the form of horizontally engraved text and later, engraved in an arch below the hippocampus medallion. This engraving is still on the case back of today’s Speedmaster Professional watches. It’s a great testimonial and the reason that many people buy the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch.
It was not on the Moon, but it came close!
Contrary to what some people think, the Speedmaster Professional reference 145.022 never made it to the Moon’s surface. It was used by astronauts that went to the Moon, such as Ron Evans during Apollo 17. But he wasn’t one of the astronauts exploring the Moon’s surface. While his fellow Apollo 17 astronauts Schmitt and Cernan did, Evans orbited the Moon no fewer than 75 times. The Speedmaster Professional 145.022 he had with him was mounted to the control panel inside the module to time scientific tests. It wasn’t until 1978 that NASA qualified the 145.022 for manned space missions, specifically, for the then-upcoming Space Shuttle program in the 1980s.
A coffee-brown strap makes the dial pop
Nearly 25 years ago, I purchased my first Speedmaster Professional, a reference 145.012-67. And one of the first things I did was to put it on a brown strap. The brown made the beautiful (black) chronograph dial stand out even more. Aside from that, it gives any Speedmaster Professional a bit of a vintage look and feel. And that’s what we had in mind when we discussed the color of our sixth collaboration strap with REM. When I put this new strap on the Speedmaster Professional to test drive it, it felt like that day in 1999 when I wore my (then-lone) Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch on a dark brown strap. The laser-engraved text is on the long part of the strap and, therefore, it’s always visible to you, the wearer. It serves as a reminder of outstanding achievement, not only by the watch, of course, but also by the brave astronauts of the Apollo program.
It will look as good on a Speedmaster Professional reference 145.022 with the horizontally engraved “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” text on the case back as it will on the latest Speedmaster Professional with caliber 3861. With a 20mm width, it will also fit all Speedmaster Professional models anyway. For the stitching, we decided to use a cream-colored thread to have a soft contrast with the brown tone of the leather.
On the long end of the strap (127mm), you will have the “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” engraving filled with off-white paint. The short end of the strap (74mm) shows the Moon’s surface, and the “X” marks the landing spot of Apollo 11. As always, REM Straps carries out the entire production of the strap in Sweden, including tanning, cutting, laser engraving, etc. Each strap has the “Fratello × REM Straps” collaboration text and the month of the specific strap, in this case, June 2023. The strap is made of organic leather, which is also sourced in Sweden.
The price of the strap is €107 excluding VAT. We have a limited stock, but we also will try to restock in the coming months. You will also find some of the previous Fratello × REM straps restocked as of today.