Today’s Venezianico Bucintoro 1969 is an example of a watch that has already come and gone. However, as space fans, we wanted to share it with you because it may have rocketed past your orbit. This was a surprising one when it hit my mailbox for many reasons that we will soon see. Let’s take a closer look.

When it comes to celebrating historic space feats through watches, one brand has a near-monopoly on the act. Naturally, I am referring to Omega and the legendary Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch.” However, several years ago, Omega decided to stop making limited-edition odes to the many space flights that have taken place. I suppose that has left room for others to consider entering the arena. Venezianico, a reinvented Italian brand, has seized the opportunity with its Bucintoro 1969 Limited Edition.

Venezianico Bucintoro 1969

The Venezianico Bucintoro 1969

On July 20th, 1969, the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle landed on the Moon’s surface. For those who aren’t great with numbers, 2024 marks the 55th anniversary of the historic moment. We have no idea if Omega is planning anything to mark the occasion, but Venezianico has thrown its hat into the ring. The Bucintoro 1969 is a 42mm × 49mm stainless steel chronograph with several details that pay tribute to Apollo 11. However, aside from lunar-inspired cosmetic details, the movement makes this watch special.

What’s inside? The Lemania 1873

Venezianico chose to track down a number — 69, to be exact — of vintage ’70s Lemania 1873 calibers for use in the Bucintoro 1969. This movement was chosen because of its direct lineage to its precursor, the Omega 321. Watch fans recognize that the 321 was the movement on the wrists of the Apollo 11 astronauts. Venezianico serviced all the movements and added the brand logo on the bridge. In a move I support, the movement is displayed via the case back. Using older movements isn’t necessarily novel, but it’s certainly not common. Here, it results in a reliable hand-wound chronograph with 40 hours of power reserve and plenty of parts available for future servicing. Plus, the watch is relatively slim at 13.6mm thick including the domed sapphire crystal.

Venezianico Bucintoro 1969

Additional specs for the Bucintoro 1969

Aside from the movement upgrade, the Bucintoro 1969 uses the same case design as other watches in the model line. This translates to a rugged chronograph with a 100m water resistance rating. The case styling is sporty but blends both polished and brushed surfaces for versatility. Also, note the non-pump pushers that integrate nicely into the crown guards. It’s a smooth look that, thankfully, isn’t trying to mimic other chronographs.

The black sunburst dial contains gold indices and hands as a nod to the gold film on the lunar module. Super-LumiNova is used to aid visibility in low-light situations. A 3D-printed lunar surface can be found within the sub-dials and between the dial and outer tachymeter ring. This intermediate ring contains a “T-minus 60” scale that marks ignition and launch. It’s a good-looking design overall.

Other details include an affixed plaque on the left case flank that displays the individual number for the watch. This is probably the one detail I dislike because it reminds me of watches from roughly 10 years ago. Perhaps I am in the minority with this opinion, though, as companies such as Norqain continue to tack them onto their cases.

Venezianico Bucintoro 1969

On the wrist with three different straps

As part of the package, Venezianico has included three different straps with the Bucintoro 1969. A stainless steel bracelet with matte and polished surfaces looks classy, while the black leather strap with Velcro closure adds a more casual touch. In the middle, a black rubber strap should work well when owners wish for a sportier look. This comes together in a handmade walnut-wood case with a strap-changing tool and extra spring bars.

Final thoughts

When the Bucintoro 1969 became available on the Venezianico website, all 69 pieces sold out within eight minutes! At €4,500, I’d call that a bona fide success. With Omega releasing no more space-related limited editions, perhaps we’ll see additional interesting watches from this brand.

Watch specifications

Bucintoro 1969
Black multi-level with sunburst finish, 3D-printed with lunar surface sub-dials
Case Material
316L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
42mm (diameter) × 49mm (lug-to-lug) × 13.6mm (thickness with crystal)
Domed sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with display, held by eight screws
Lemania 1873: hand-wound chronograph caliber, 21,600vph frequency, 40-hour power reserve, 17 jewels
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100 meters)
Leather with Velcro closure, black rubber, stainless steel bracelet - all included
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), chronograph (12-hour and 30-minute registers, central seconds), 60-second countdown scale, and tachymeter
Two years
Special Note(s)
Limited edition of 69 individually numbered watches