It’s tough to maintain a secret when Speedmaster fans have known for a long time that 2020 would mark the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster receiving NASA’s renowned “Snoopy Award” for its important role in saving the Apollo 13 crew from disaster in 1970. After a year of speculation, the 50th Anniversary Silver Snoopy Award Speedmaster is here, and not only is it not a limited edition, but it’s also a total stunner with a few very whimsical details — including an animated caseback — that create a very thoughtful connection between the Speedmaster, NASA’s prestigious Silver Snoopy award, and the universe of the beagle.
Despite the fact that there have been two earlier “Snoopy” Speedmasters (released in 2003 and 2015, respectively), you can’t talk about these very collectible references without first explaining how a cartoon dog landed up on one of the most iconic chronographs ever manufactured. The Silver Snoopy Award is a NASA SFA (Spaceflight Awareness) award that honours NASA workers and contractors for “excellent contributions relating to human flight safety or mission accomplishment.” The award is a sterling silver lapel pin with a Snoopy picture flown into orbit and handed to the honoree with a letter of commendation by a NASA astronaut. The Snoopy award was given to the Speedmaster after it saved the lives of the astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 mission, and the rest is watch history. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
Omega is a well-known brand.
Model: 50th Anniversary Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” (ref. 310.32.42.50.02.001)
42mm in diameter
50 metres of water resistance
Stainless steel case with a ceramic tachymeter bezel insert and an Ag925 silver dial
Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 movement
21,000 VpH is the frequency.
50 hours of power reserve
Coated nylon fabric with contrast stitching on the strap/bracelet
$9,600 USD (October 2020) Price & Availability
With an AG 925 silver dial (a nod to the sterling silver lapel pin that characterises the physical Snoopy award) and high contrast PVD-coated blue elements, this new iteration echoes previous Omega limited editions like the Speedmaster CK 2998 LE, which used a similar blue-on-white colour storey, deploying a cheerful blue panda dial that pretty dramatically contrasts the stark black-on-white colour storey. Unlike that reference, which was limited to only 1970 pieces (making it an extremely rare edition), the new 50th Anniversary model isn’t officially a limited edition, so we won’t see the same wild secondary market prices as it becomes more widely available to eager Speedmaster collectors.
Since 2015, Omega has made some significant technological advancements, and this new Silver Snoopy Award watch takes full advantage of them all, from the new Master Chronometer-certified Calibre 3861 chronograph movement to the laser-ablated 9 o’clock register, which renders the Snoopy medallion in extremely crisp relief. Then there’s the Naiad-locking caseback, which precisely keeps the orientation of the sapphire crystal, on which micro-structured metallization depicts a scene of Snoopy orbiting the foreground moon in a command module. The actual parlour trick here, however, is twofold: first, the whisper-thin earth disc in the background is connected to the running seconds hand, and so rotates once per minute. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
Snoopy truly orbits the caseback when the chronograph is operating – his spacecraft is visible for exactly 14 seconds above the moon’s edge before disappearing under the grey surface, owing to a mechanical hand neatly hidden beneath the moon pattern. It’s a particularly nice touch that ties in the animated side of the legendary Charles Schulz comic Peanuts while also maintaining a strong connection to the Speedmaster’s role in the ill-fated Apollo 13 moon mission without all the expository dialogue we saw on the dial of the 45th Anniversary edition. In the first 14 seconds of the chronograph sweep, it read: “What could you accomplish in 14 seconds?” as a homage to the 14 seconds that the Apollo 13 crew used their Speedmaster watches to course-correct after an oxygen tank on the service module exploded en route to the moon.
Once again, this Omega Speedmaster honouring the Silver Snoopy Award’s 50th Anniversary is neither numbered nor a limited edition (though its production is quite likely to be limited to a specific amount of time). It will be available for $9,600 USD and is slated to arrive in stores later this month. Omegawatches.com has further information.