In Review

The beagle has landed: Omega unveil Snoopy anniversary watch

Speedmaster marks 50 years since Omega was handed Nasa’s Silver Snoopy Award

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Anniversary watches are often geared towards serious fans with a forensic understanding of the legacy of the original model, but Omega is bucking that trend with a cool jubilee edition that has mass appeal. 

The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary features everyone’s favourite beagle in a space suit. And that’s not all: Snoopy becomes a canine astronaut within the magical universe of this chronograph. All will be revealed, but first a little history. 

Back in 1960, as the space race hotted up, Snoopy became America’s official space dog, with Nasa nominating the cartoon pooch as its official mascot to act as a watchdog during space missions. In fact, so serious was Snoopy’s role that the Apollo 10 lunar module was codenamed “Snoopy and the Command Module Charlie Brown”. The Apollo 10 mission in May 1969 was a dress rehearsal for the moon landing two months later – so you could say that Nasa paid “Peanuts” to shoot a rocket into space. 

Snoopy’s role didn’t end there. The pup also became a symbol of heroism for the US space agency. The Silver Snoopy Award, established in 1968, is a prize given by Nasa to people and companies who have significantly contributed to space exploration by ensuring flight safety and mission success. It comes in the form of a silver pin lapel - each of which has been flown in space and has a certificate to prove it - decorated with the motif of a skipping Snoopy in a spacesuit.

In 1970, Omega was honoured with this award in recognition of the brand’s contributions to space exploration, including the Apollo 13 mission. The Omega Speedmaster became known as the Moonwatch when Buzz Aldrin wore his during the legendary 1969 moon landing, but the Speedmaster also played a vital role in saving lives during this mission.

Now, Omega has unveiled a new anniversary Speedmaster featuring an embossed silver rendition of the same skipping Snoopy surrounded by stars on the 9 o’clock subdial.

However, the real magic is reserved for the caseback, which serves as a mini screen for a cool animation featuring three cosmic elements: a texturised moon (applied to the sapphire via a process called micro-structured metallisation), a small Earth disk that spins in sync with the small seconds hand, and Snoopy sitting inside a tiny command module ready for take-off.

Fourteen seconds after the chronograph function is actuated, Snoopy flies to the far side of the Moon in a smooth arch thanks to what Omega calls a “magic hand”. The count of 14 is a nod to the role that the original Omega Speedmaster played during the Apollo 13 mission.

During a critical moment, the astronauts had to shift the angle of the command module in order to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and return safely home; in order to do this, they were told by Mission Control to complete a 14-second engine burn, which they timed with astronaut Jack Swigert’s Speedmaster. 

It’s a lovely detail that shows a real dedication to storytelling in the making of this new timepiece.

The 42mm watch comes with a blue fabric strap and is presented in a special Apollo 13 box along with a magnifying glass so you can get geeky over the details. Fans should be sure to look for the iconic “Dot over Ninety” on the tachymeter scale and the classic quote, “Eyes on the Stars”, which is hidden within the black universe of the caseback.

The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary costs £8,250 and is available from the end of October; omegawatches.com

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