No watch brand is more closely associated with space exploration and space "firsts' than Omega.
NASA purchases several commercially available watches for evaluation as potential candidates for space travel. Among the brands tested are Hamilton, Longines, Rolex, Breitling, Bulova, and Omega. The watches are subjected to a series of tests, including exposure to extreme temperatures, vacuums, intense humidity, corrosion, shock, acceleration, pressure, vibrartions, and noise.
Omega's Speedmaster chronograph becomes the only watch to have withstood the torturous tests and is officially NASA-certified for space travel.
On July 21, 1969, the Omega Speedmaster becomes the first and only watch worn on the moon.
In April 1970, the Omega Speedmaster plays a key role in the near ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. With the spaceship's on-board clocks malfunctioning, the astronauts rely on their Speedmaster watches to successfully time the firing sequence of the retro rockets for re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. This earns the company the "Snoopy Award", the highest distinction awarded by NASA astronauts.
The astronauts aboard the first shuttle mission wear Omega Speedmaster watches.
The Soviet Union selects Omega as the watch supplier to all cosmonauts.
Other interesting facts:
- Today, in addition to the Omega Speedmaster Professional and Omega Speedmaster X-33, NASA's official permissable watches are the Casio G-Shock and Timex Ironman watches.
- The Omega Speedmaster is still the only NASA-certified watch for space walks outside of lunar crafts.