This week, we had the favorable luck to visit Omega in Biel for a #speedytuesday get together. For certain, the event will consistently be recognized as the world presentation of the revived type 321 . However, there was something different that was uncovered during part of the program that genuinely provoked my curiosity – the unadulterated truth on two of different references that were tried by NASA while choosing what might at last become “the Moonwatch”. Indeed, people, you will peruse the highly contrasting truth around two of the watches that didn’t become Moonwatches.  These are the other NASA-Tested watches.

The Other NASA-Tested Watches

Petros Protopapas, the Brand Heritage Manager of Omega, held an hour and a half long discussion and shed new light on various space-related Omega watch themes. What the #SpeedyTuesday visitors didn’t know at the time-it was prior in the day – was that this conversation would prepare the table for the later renewed introduction of the 321. To prepare us, Petros strolled us through large numbers of the temperances of the amazing type and in pieces of the conversation; he compared the development to the likewise notorious Valjoux 72. For what reason was this comparison made and what did this have to do with the other NASA-Tested Watches?

Caliber 321 versus Valjoux 72

Valjoux 72 (Photo by means of Davidoff Brothers)

A Robust Movement

First of all, the Valjoux 72 is a dazzling development, and Petros repeated this, however he invested a great deal of energy in showing us specialized contrasts between two developments that both contained section haggles registers. Yet, what we saw during the introduction is that the Lemania 321 contained some profoundly powerful highlights. I will not get into the profound technicals, yet the development of the development genuinely permitted the watch to endure rather savage shaking while the chronograph was in use.  The outcome is that the hands basically would not skip. Actual obstructions inside the stuff train made the 321 undeniably more averse to report inaccurate planning versus the 72. Credit consistent updates to the 321 that eventually made it adequately powerful to withstand NASA’s testing. Thus once more, for what reason was the one next to the other conversation of the two developments so significant? Acknowledge there were no demonizing comments made about the two brand’s watches that didn’t pass the testing as other NASA-Tested Watches, however both of those watches contained the Valjoux 72.

Gene Cernan’s 105.003

Speedmaster 105.003

So numerous gossipy tidbits, conjectures, and hypotheses have been distributed about the other NASA-Tested Watches.  First off, the US Government didn’t buy the watches at a neighborhood Houston jeweler ( which we previously contacted here ). Indeed, a determination was made and shipped off the US-based wholesalers of a few watch brands. Among these were brands like Omega, Rolex, Longines, Lucien Piccard, and others. As these solicitations from NASA were shipped off wholesalers, it appears to be the message regularly didn’t return to the “mother ships” back in Switzerland as numerous brands either neglected to reply, didn’t reply as expected, or overlooked the solicitation. Be that as it may, there were a few answers. We know the Omega reaction – the 105.003, which turned into the “Ed White” (yet additionally worn by Gene Cernan), was tried and eventually measured up. However, there were two others. Presently, remember that it was a couple of brief years prior that Petros gave a discussion in Japan about the Moonwatch tests. The reactions from the wholesalers were appeared, yet a significant part of the delicious data was passed out. Not today!

The Wittnauer 235T

Longines-Wittnauer 235T

First, Longines reacted as Longines-Wittnauer, which was the US-based wholesaler. Their reaction to NASA, and I saw the letter with my own eyes, obviously expressed that they were sending the reference 235T as seen above (potentially sans “Professional” on the dial). We looked into this watch in a prior #TBT article and raised the likelihood that this was the bombed Moonwatch.

The Wittnauer 242T – never tried by NASA

Lore since quite a while ago held that it was the dark dialed and rather unintelligible, yet fascinating 242T (as seen over) that bombed testing, however it essentially isn’t so. The 235T was the watch that was tried by NASA from Longines and can be considered plainly as one of the other NASA-Tested Watches.

Rolex 6238

Rolex 6238 – photograph kindness of Phillips

Second, Rolex USA out of New York City reacted and they – clearly – expressed that they would send a reference 6238 , otherwise known as the “Pre-Daytona” or “George Lazenby”. In the event that I listened effectively, the dial shading that was picked isn’t known. Yet, here once more, I’ve perused the gossipy tidbits about Datejusts and others from Rolex, however it was the 6238 that was one of the other NASA-Tested Watches.

James Ragan and RJ during the Speedy Tuesday Event in 2013

I could’ve taken photographs of the records showing the references of the other NASA-Tested watches and I am certain that somebody will quite promptly, however I chose not to. Maybe it was my Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade second after finding the chalice and afterward giving up it (I know, that is not by and large what occurred in the film), yet I essentially didn’t have any desire to ruin the experience of the revelation. What was tried and what fizzled has been the wellspring of such countless gossipy tidbits throughout the long term that it was truly energizing to discover the truth.

What if..

What’s likewise intriguing is to consider some imaginary world where an alternate watch might have become the Moonwatch. I figure most would have reduced the race down to Omega and Rolex – the two major ponies. In any case, would you be able to envision if Wittnauer had some way or another won the day? The brand is scarcely around today – gracious how things may have different.

In the end, however, on top of the relative multitude of things that made the Speedmaster effective in the NASA testing, it appears to be that the 321 was really significant. A major gratitude to Omega for putting some well established contentions to rest!  Case closed!

More data on Omega’s legacy can be found by means of the website.