Swiss watchmaker Omega has announced a commemorative Speedmaster to celebrate the 50th anniversary of receiving NASA’s prestigious Silver Snoopy Award.
Snoopy has been the face of NASA’s safety program since 1968. A silver pendant of the cartoon dog created by Charles M. Schulz is awarded to individuals or companies that contribute significantly to keeping NASA astronauts safe.
This honour was awarded to Omega following the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.
Just two days after the launch of Apollo 13, an oxygen tank exploded aboard the spacecraft. The crew were forced to evacuate into the Lunar Module, an element of the Apollo spacecraft that was not designed to support so many people for such a long time.
In order to preserve power, the three astronauts shut down all of the spacecraft’s systems effectively rendering all the digitals timers aboard useless.
As the astronauts prepared for re-entry on the fifth day, it was discovered that the spacecraft was off course and in danger of bouncing off Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, the crew would need to make a burn of exactly 14 seconds to reorient the spacecraft.
Without any digital timers, the crew was forced to use their OMEGA Speedmaster chronographs to time the burn. The crew performed the burn flawlessly enabling them to return to Earth 5 days and 22 hours after liftoff.
In recognition of Omega’s contribution to the safe return of the crew of Apollo 13, NASA awarded the swiss watchmaker with the Silver Snoopy Award. The award was presented to Omega on October 5, 1970, by Apollo 10 Commander Thomas P. Stafford.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of receiving the Silver Snoopy Award, Omega is set to release a commemorative OMEGA Speedmaster.
The 42 mm stainless steel watch features three small Easter Eggs. The first is a laser-etched image of space Snoopy on one of the three blue subdials. The second is on the back of the watch with Snoopy in an Apollo command module orbiting the Moon when the chronograph is in use. The final Easter Egg is the flight path of the Apollo 13 mission stamped on the inside of the strap.
According to Omega, the commemorative Silver Snoopy Award Speedmaster is inspired by the 4th generation Speedmaster style, the same model worn by the crew of Apollo 11 when they touched down on the surface of the Moon. The watch is powered by the Swiss watchmaker’s legendary Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 movement.
The Omega Silver Snoopy Award Speedmaster will go on sale later this month and will cost $9,600.
In 2019, Omega released three commemorative Speedmaster watches in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The most notable of the three was a gold and burgundy Speedmaster that was inspired by a version presented to the Apollo 11 astronauts and key NASA personnel following the crew’s safe return.