1968 Omega Speedmaster pre-Moon ref. 145022-68 ST. The first Moonwatch equipped with the caliber 861.
They introduced the first Speedmaster as a sports and racing chronograph in 1957 and pretty much the same Speedmaster as we know it today. The CK2915 also known as the “Broad Arrow, is a holy grail watch.
They used the calibre 321 as the movement , introduced in 1942 as a joint project between Omega and Lemania. Also many Patek Philippe, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin chronographs used it as a base movement.
In 1959, they released a second Speedmaster version with alpha hands and a black aluminum bezel to improve readability.The case increased from 39mm to 40mm. They also added an O-ring gasket into the push buttons to improve water resistance.
The reference CK 2998 is the first Speedy that went to Space with Wally Schirra during the Mercury 8 flight in October 1962.
In 1962 Omega introduced the Speedmaster’s typical straight baton hands and next year the first 42mm asymmetrical case, adding protection to the chronograph pushers and crown, which is basically the same case in production today.
The Professional marking appeared below the Speedmaster logo in 1966 after NASA approved it.In 1968, Omega decided to replace the movement cal. 321 with a movement more accurate and cheaper to produce, the cal. 861, also produced by Lemania.
To celebrate the moon landing, the case back of the Speedmaster Professional changed in 1969. They removed the engraved Hippocampus and engraved the phrases; “The first watch worn on the Moon” and “Flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”. They changed it for the last time in 1971 to incorporate the Hippocampus on the back as well. They still use this case back design today on the Speedmaster Professional.
Louis Brandt founded Omega in 1848 at the age of 23. The brand’s reputation grew fast and in 1895 the watches achieved a precision of 30 seconds a day. By the turn of the 19th century, one of Switzerland’s largest watch companies with 240,000 watches,Omega produced annually and employing 800 people. Omega made its debut in sports during the Gordon Bennett international ballooning Cup in 1917; since then Omega has gone on to be the official timekeeper at 21 Olympic Games.
In 1936 Omega set the remarkable World precision record of 97.8 points at the Kew-Teddington observatory in England.
They created the Omega Speedmaster in 1957 with Motorsport in mind. The first wrist chrono the Speedy featured its Tachymeter scale on the bezel instead of the dial for increased legibility and in 65 NASA chose it as its official chronometer in Space, 4 years later, astronauts wore the Moonwatch as the first watch on the Moon, when, on 21 July 1969, Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind.
Currently Omega belongs to the Swatch Group.