You’re most likely acquainted with space traveler Ed White, who performed NASA’s first spacewalk in 1965 as a feature of the Gemini IV mission. On the photos of that spacewalk, you can see him wearing two watches.

Unfortunately Ed White kicked the bucket in the lethal mishap with Apollo 1. His name will live perpetually however, as the one who performed NASA’s first spacewalk in 1965. He was likewise important for the Apollo 1 team, that ought to have dispatched on February 21st. Be that as it may, during a test on January 27th, the team (White, Grissom, and Chaffee) all passed on in an unpleasant fire in the command module.

Amongst Speedmaster gatherers, Ed White is regularly alluded to with regards to the Speedmaster 105.003 reference. This is the Speedmaster reference that Ed White wore during his Gemini IV flight and spacewalk, and furthermore what was on his wrist during that deadly mishap. A couple of inquiries emerge when seeing Ed White wearing two Speedmasters over his spacesuit. Why did he wear two watches? Which explicit watches did he wear and where are they now?

Ed White wearing two Speedmaster 105.003 watches

Speedmaster “Ed White” 105.003

With the assistance of Omega and the brand’s admittance to the NASA documents, we’ll attempt to respond to those inquiries. Albeit numerous presumptions have been made on this subject, it is a great idea to have our examination reality checked by Omega (and, by means of Omega, by NASA).

The 105.003 reference was the watch that was tried and qualified by NASA for all monitored space missions in 1965. NASA at first got three of these watches to be tried. After the capability, Omega sent another cluster of 24 Speedmaster 105.003 watches. Later on, NASA likewise requested the Omega Speedmaster Professional 105.012 and 145.012 references for use during Apollo missions. The 105.003 was utilized simultaneously as the 105.012 and 145.012. Thusly, every one of the three references were given until the finish of the Apollo missions.

Speedmaster 105.003-63

Omega affirmed that the two watches on the wrist of space explorer Ed White during the Gemini IV mission are Speedmaster 105.003-63 references. One of them was Ed White’s preparing watch, and, as indicated by NASA’s previous designer James H. Ragan, “It was one of the primary Speedmasters to be conveyed after the tests performed by NASA”. The preparing watch was subsequently sold by Ed White’s child to a gatherer in Japan. The late Chuck Maddox expounded on this on .

What we know, is that the other 105.003-63 watch was annihilated in the fire of Apollo 1. This watch had NASA’s interior chronic number S/N 5 and reference code CF5503 engraved on the left half of the case. Working on this issue back, it was engraved with SEB1210039-001.

NASA engravings

With the 105.012 and 145.012 references, the NASA number changed from – 001 to – 002 and the CF5503 coding was retired. Strangely, the CF5503 etching was initially implied for Gemini missions. The SEB1210039-001/002 etching was for Apollo missions. The watches that were utilized for Gemini, and hence just had CF5503 to begin with, were “redone” with the extra SEB1210039-001 etching. These codes were inward reference or item numbers for ID. Each piece of hardware NASA utilized was marked and arranged in a comparable way.

Omega sequential numbers

That addresses the topic of what befell these two Speedmaster 105.003-63 watches. Sadly, that implies it is hard to discover the specific Omega chronic quantities of these watches. We do, in any case, know generally where those chronic numbers would have fallen. From the files, we can tell that the chronic numbers would have begun with 20’252’6xx. The last two digits appear prone to remain unknown.

The other space explorer on Gemini IV was the command pilot James A. McDivitt. McDivitt was additionally the commander on Apollo 9. He likewise wore a Speedmaster during the Gemini IV mission. This was likewise a reference 105.003-63 with NASA’s S/N 4 CF5503 and SEB1210039-001. This watch is rationed at the Smithsonian in the USA. The Omega chronic number of this watch is likewise in the 20’252’6xx’ territory. Interestingly,  this specific watch was later on utilized by space traveler Borman during Gemini VII.

Why Ed White wore two watches

According to NASA’s previous specialist James H. Ragan, space travelers monitored the mission time, yet in addition of their home (Houston) time. Similar applied to Ed White during his 23-minute-long spacewalk in 1965. One Speedmaster 105.003-63 demonstrated the mission season of Gemini IV, the other one was set to Houston time.

We trust that this article will carry some clearness to the specific sort of watches that Ed White wore in space, where these watches are today, and why he wore two.

Also, I might want to thank the Omega Museum and previous NASA engineer James H. Ragan for their cooperation.