Every month in 2023, we will release a new strap for the Omega Speedmaster, and this month, it’s time for the “Speedy Tuesday — Tribute to Alaska III” strap. Alaska III was Omega’s project for a Speedmaster that would be used during the Space Shuttle missions. In 1978, NASA re-qualified the Omega Speedmaster Professional, this time with caliber 861, for the Space Shuttle program that would start in 1981.

Speedy Tuesday — Tribute To Alaska III

Omega sent 56 of these watches with “radial” dials to NASA. In 2012, one of those 56 watches landed on our desk via a Space Shuttle astronaut who got in touch with me about it. This very watch inspired us to come up with the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday back in 2017.

As mentioned, every month, we will have a Speedmaster strap designed together with the Swedish brand REM Straps. This month, I am very proud to introduce you to this “Speedy Tuesday — Tribute to Alaska III” strap. On this month’s strap, we decided to have a Space Shuttle laser engraved to underline the Alaska III project.

Space Shuttle Missions

The Space Shuttle program lasted from 1981 till 2011. Mission STS-61A from 1985 is the one that I remember following very actively as a kid. The Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels was part of this mission, and he quickly became a national hero for my friends and me in primary school. It was a hot topic in class for weeks, but all the newspapers and many TV shows covered it too. Later on, while still part of the European Space Agency but also a professor at the Technical University in Delft, Ockels gave impressive talks.

Space Shuttle “Challenger”, getting ready for the STS-61A mission in 1985. Image courtesy of NASA.

I was in touch with him about the watches he wore in space (Swatch and Seiko), and later on, he got back to me with a question regarding his watch collection.

One of the watches was the Omega Speedmaster Professional with a special dial, which later turned out to be a “radial” dial. It appeared to be one of those 56 watches that were used for the Space Shuttle program between 1981 and 2011. For the fifth anniversary of Speedy Tuesday in 2017, we used this exact watch as inspiration for the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Tribute to Alaska III” watch. This watch originally came with a brown strap, so we decided to make this March 2023 Fratello × REM strap brown as well.

Laser-engraved Space Shuttle

On the short end (74mm) of the strap, you will find the wording “Speedy Tuesday” and “Tribute to Alaska III”. The long end (127mm) has a laser engraving of the Space Shuttle on its external tank with two solid rocket boosters. This engraving is a representation of a technical drawing of the Space Shuttle and shows quite a bit of detail. As always, REM Straps carries out the entire production of the strap in Sweden, including the tanning, cutting, laser engraving, and so on. The Speedy Tuesday — Tribute To Alaska III straps will ship from the Fratello office in the Netherlands, though, starting today. We only have a limited quantity, which is due to REM’s production capacity. But even if the strap sells out before you can get one, make sure to subscribe to the list as we might get some cancelations or extra stock when capacity allows.

Every strap has “Fratello × REM Straps” and “March 2023” engraved in the lining. The strap tapers from 20mm to 18mm and comes on a Fratello-signed pin buckle. Aside from being the perfect companion for your Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Tribute to Alaska III” ref. 311., it will also fit the regular Speedmaster Professional with a 20mm lug spacing. In my opinion, a brown strap makes the black Speedmaster dial pop!

Available now

This third Fratello × REM Strap for the Speedmaster is now available in our shop for €107 excluding VAT. As previously mentioned, we will have a new design with new colors every month this year. Though we’ll design these with specific Speedmasters in mind, the straps might also work on other models as well. We hope you enjoy this month’s strap, and we look forward to sharing the next one with you in April!