What does an astronaut has on his wrist? You are not going to believe it, but it is something completely earthly: a watch. Because time is, next to the coordinates which show his position in space, the most important information for his mission and his life. And although, astronauts are surrounded by all kind of instruments, it has already been thought of in the beginnings of space travel to equip the crew with wrist watches. Of course with special models only.
Which watch could this be that functions in weightlessness and promises the highest possible security? NASA had already raised these questions in 1962 and various tests were conducted. The winner was the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional. Interestingly enough, a watch that was not specifically built for space travel, but was for sale like any other article. Consequently, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins wore these watches in their Apollo 11 mission and hence, turned it into the first wrist watch on the Moon. Incidentally, it was Aldrin’s watch that was first to catch sight of the Moon’s surface, because Armstrong had left his watch on board of the space shuttle, due to a failure of one of the instruments.
When Buzz Aldrin sent his personal belongings of the Apollo 11 mission to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington in 1970, the delivery disappeared mysteriously. Probably, one knowledgeable souvenir hunter or an unknowledgeable crook used the opportunity, which is famously known to make a thief. Where the watch is today and whether it still exists at all shall probably remain a secret.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional is still being sold today and you can claim, rightly so, that it is THE moonwatch.