Happy Speedy Tuesday! Today we’re bringing you somewhat of an unexpected release from Omega. The Swiss brand has partnered up with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for a limited-edition take on the Speedmaster “First Omega in Space” that is based on the actual first Omega wristwatch to leave Earth’s atmosphere. The original watch, known as CK2998 to Speedmaster lovers, was worn by astronaut Wally Schirra during the Mercury Sigma 7 mission in 1962. The original CK2998 was faithfully resurrected in 2012 as the Speedmaster “FOIS” and has been a staple of the contemporary Speedmaster collection ever since. It is that 2012 watch that serves as the base of today’s new model.
What does all this have to do with The Met? Well, starting tomorrow, July 3, The Met is opening a new exhibition called “Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography” that commemorates 50 years since the moon landing. Omega, with what I assume is an endless marketing budget for anything moon related, has come in as the lead sponsor for the exhibit. As part of this relationship, the new watch will be available for sale online and at the physical location of The Met Store as well as at the Omega boutique on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
According to The Met, the exhibition will “survey visual representations of the moon from the dawn of photography through the present. In addition to photographs, the show will feature a selection of related drawings, prints, paintings, films, astronomical instruments, and cameras used by Apollo astronauts.” While we can’t confirm, it would be hard to imagine Omega not loaning a few of its historical Speedmasters from the Omega museum in Biel/Bienne for a temporary display in one of the world’s most visited museums.
While the new, numbered Speedmaster is largely similar to the unlimited version (meaning case dimensions at 39.7 mm in stainless steel, black dial/bezel, and manually winding Caliber 1861), it does feature a number of unique attributes and details that pay homage to The Met as well as the special anniversary. Most important to Speedmaster fans will be the presence of the caseback with its typical Seahorse medallion engraving that is now accompanied by “The Met” and the specific number (out of 100). Additionally, rather than the leather strap or bracelet that the watch is usually accompanied with, the Speedmaster FOIS Met Edition comes on a red-and-white striped NATO strap that refers to the Met’s signature colors. Each of the 100 watches will be delivered inside a special presentation box that features The Met logo and contains an extra leather strap. It’s priced at $5,200.
To learn more about the new exhibition at The Met, which will run from 7/3/19 to 9/22/19, click here.