2. 1969 Speedmaster Professional BA145.022 With Burgundy Bezel
In 1969, just after the Apollo 11 mission that successfully put Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the Moon, Omega introduced a gold Speedmaster Professional with a burgundy-colored bezel to commemorate the mission. Omega produced 1,014 pieces of this model. The first 28 went to the White House and the next 26 were given to the NASA astronauts at that time. Number 1 was offered to President Richard Nixon, but he declined it (probably because of some policy regarding gifts). This particular one is on display in the Omega museum in Bienne, Switzerland; I had the honor to put it on my wrist when I visited there at the end of 2011. A number of readers and contributors to the Speedy Tuesday series have reported that they own one of these 1,014 gold Speedmaster Professional watches. One of them can be found here and another one can be found in an article that dates back to 2008, long before Speedy Tuesday was initiated. Just recently, Fratellowatches co-organized a small Speedmaster collectors’ lunch in The Netherlands and one of the attendees brought his gold Speedmaster Professional BA145.022 watch. (see photo) So, although it is not the rarest of the Speedmaster watches, I would definitely put this gold Speedmaster Professional BA145.022 model in my top 3. The gold dial with onyx markers and black hands are simply stunning. The caseback has a horizontal “First Watch Worn on The Moon” inscription, and each watch is numbered.
3. Speedmaster Professional ‘Automovil Club Peruano’
Here’s a Speedmaster Professional that has a bit of mystery around it. Although Omega keeps good track of historical pieces in its archives and museum, this particular Speedmaster caused a bit of confusion. This Speedmaster Professional has ‘A.C.P.’ on the dial, which stands for “Automovil Club Peruano.” Nothing strange here, as providing special dials to jewelers or certain clubs were not unusual at the time this watch came out. The part that is somewhat of a puzzle is the fact that this watch has “Professional” written on the dial. As mentioned previously, the Speedmaster became the choice of NASA in 1965. Because of that, as the official story goes, Omega decided to have the word “Professional” added in 1966.This particular watch, however, was delivered to the Automovil Club Peruano in 1964, three years before the Speedmaster Professional was officially introduced. It’s possible Omega used an old stock of movements in these particular watches, which were shipped to the A.C.P. in 1964, as I’ve found similar models with official Omega documentation that indicates that. The truth is probably less exciting that we think, but are these details that can keep collectors busy for years. More information can be found here.
If you have a special Speedmaster or a Speedmaster with a nice anecdote or personal story, feel free to contribute to ‘Speedy Tuesday.’