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New reveals about the NASA Space program watch choice

  1. omegaman

    omegaman Jul 13, 2016

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    Not sure if mentioned in an earlier post.

    There is a very interesting article on watchprosite http://www.watchprosite.com/?page=wf.forumpost&fi=677&ti=1054643&pi=7607273 about the process of choosing a suitable watch for the space program by NASA. Some unknown reveals and documents have been found recently by the new OMEGA Museum Manager, Mr. Petros Protopapas. In summary:

    -In 1964 NASA sent an official Request For Proposal to 10 watch companies to supply a chronograph wrist watch suitable for the space program.

    -4 companies replied, ROLEX, OMEGA, LONGINES-WITTNAUER and HAMILTON.

    -Each OMEGA, ROLEX and LONGINES officially supplied 3 watches. One for testing, one for backup and one for the astronauts to give their personal opinion which one they'd prefer. So the story that NASA bought them "incognito" at a watch dealer in Houston is wrong.

    -The Speedmaster was not just the only watch that survived the ridiculous tests, but was also preferred by the astronauts.

    -The first official order of 17 Speedmaster took place April 1965. So the story that OMEGA was "surprised" that Ed White was wearing a Speedmaster on his space walk in June 1965 is simply bullshit.

    -Only the 105.003 had been tested by the NASA for the GEMINI and APOLLO program. The reason why OMEGA delivered also the 105.012 and 145.012 at the last orders in 1967/68 is simple, the 105.003 was out of stock.

    Thanks to Ken of watchprosite for that interesting post.
     
  2. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Jul 13, 2016

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    The article is pretty good at debunking some of the myths about the history of the NASA Speedmasters but I don't see in the article where this particular story is called out as being incorrect. Just because NASA orders the additional 17 Speedmasters on April 23, 1965, with an expected due date of April 30, does not imply that Omega was aware of when the watches would begin to be used in the future.

    If Ragan continues to tell the story of how Omega was surprised at seeing the watch on White's wrist during Gemini 4 then there is good reason to believe that is how it really went down.
     
    Edited Jul 13, 2016
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  3. efauser

    efauser I ♥ karma!!! Jul 13, 2016

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    I'm not sure that Omega knowing that NASA had the watches means they couldn't have been surprised. If NASA didn't tell Omega which mission the astronauts were going to start wearing them, it's entirely plausible that they were surprised to see it on Ed White's wrist.
     
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  4. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Mar 18, 2017

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    [​IMG]
    :whistling:
     
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  5. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Mar 20, 2017

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    Preview of " 55 years Omega Speedmaster in space "
    ::book::
    .
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Mar 22, 2017

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    Another preview of the upcoming article... [​IMG]
     
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  7. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 8, 2017

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    In fact, there isn't much to reveal, especially if You have access to official NASA photos from April 1959 onwards, when the Mercury 7 were selected. Some of these photos show great details e.g. the wristwatches worn by astronauts.
    Between 1972 and 1992, I wrote to NASA HQ and NASA JSC on a regular 3-monthly basis in order to get 8X10 inch photos (both individual portraits and official crew photos) and amassed a great collection, which have been scanned and used in about 200 articles.
    For the first "Speedmaster-related" publication of #Speedy anniversary year 2017, we have used images showing Walter "Wally" Schirra, Leroy "Gordo" Cooper and Donald "Deke" Slayton wearing an Omega Speedmaster. See: https://omegaforums.net/threads/omega-speedmaster-apollo-soyuz-the-first-guide.35718/
    After 55 years of Omega Speedmaster chronos used during spaceflight missions, I think it's about time the complete story is told, ideally with rarely seen photographs (e.g. Edward White clearly wearing 2 Speedmasters on Gemini IV in 1965), and our article is a first step in this direction...
     
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  8. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Apr 8, 2017

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    There is still a bit more out there that will be interesting to hear about.

    Here is one that will hopefully be revealed in the near future.

    Who was the third recently identified Mercury astronaut that purchased his own CK2998 Speedmaster along with Schirra and Cooper? Omega has identified the third astronaut but has not shared it publicly. While looking through some photos I spotted what I believe is the third Mercury astronaut wearing his CK2998 during a publicity event.

    Mystery.jpg

    I believe this is the CK2998 because of the lugs, pusher and crown location, and the smooth edge of the bezel. The smooth bezel would also indicate it is not the Breitling Cosmonaut like the one worn by Scott Carpenter.
     
    Edited Apr 8, 2017
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  9. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 8, 2017

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    Some photos clearly show Deke Slayton wearing a Bulova Accutron Astronaut, a Wittnauer and what looks like an Omega Speedmaster :whistling:
    Most interesting still to be revealed = exact number of watches delivered to NASA in 1965, 1968, 1978 and 1990... and we don't care about the ongoing facts in the 21st century
     
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  10. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 10, 2017

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    Here's a preview of the May 2017 issue of BIS Spaceflight magazine... the first of more articles to come :whistling:
    .
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 13, 2017

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    As friends and family are aware of my spaceflight history obsession, they all gave me the same Easter gift...
    Got several copies of the new " MoonWatch Only - 60 years of Omega Speedmaster " book... but disappointed on the space history information.
    The 10 pages "Speedmaster and NASA" chapter has 7 pages text but space aficionados won't get any wiser as it remains a general overview focusing on the fact that the Speedmaster chronographs were basically off the shelf 321 movements. A single photo was new to me, showing Ron Evans' personal Speedmaster, auctioned in December 2015. :(
    Of course a superb ( & the best ) updated book on Speedmaster chronograph hardware & details but a missed chance to bring the Speedmaster spaceflight saga as it really unfolded, perhaps the authors will grab a second chance to do so in a 2019 edition... celebrating 50 years Apollo 11 ?
    :(
    .
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Eddie

    Eddie Apr 13, 2017

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    I knew the 105.003 was more special that just an Ed White.
     
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  13. mokofoko

    mokofoko One sad panda Apr 13, 2017

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    Uhhhhhh, is she wearing a federation uniform in space?
     
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  14. TLIGuy

    TLIGuy Apr 13, 2017

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  15. KstateSkier

    KstateSkier Apr 13, 2017

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    17 Speedys for $1402!!!! INCREDIBLE.

    [​IMG]

    WTB, 1 time machine. PM @KstateSkier with details :D
     
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  16. M'Bob

    M'Bob Apr 13, 2017

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    If you were able to go back, are you prepared for the haircut, no calling anyone "dude", and the goofy, short-sleeve dress shirts?
     
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  17. KstateSkier

    KstateSkier Apr 13, 2017

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    I can make the sacrifice for a chest full of Speedies paid for with change from my couch. :cool:::psy::
     
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  18. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 15, 2017

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    As we could already read at several websites, the Omega Speedmaster CK2998 that Walter Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton were wearing, all were bought privately... moreover Schirra (Sigma 7) and Cooper (Faith 7) went on to wear their private wristwatches during their Mercury spaceflight mission.
    However, in 1962, Donald "Deke" Slayton was grounded on medical reasons, due to an irregular heart rhythm and became the first chief of the astronaut office. In that capacity he wrote the request for a durable "off the shelf" chronograph for the astronauts of the Gemini and Apollo missions.
    Between 1962 and 1965, Slayton was photographed wearing six different wristwatches (Bulova Accutron, Breitling, Longines,...) but is there a clear photo of Deke Slayton wearing an Omega Speedmaster in that period?
    :thumbsdown:
    .
    [​IMG]
    It looks like a Breitling Super Ocean chronograph...
    .
    [​IMG]
    It looks like a Wittnauer with clear white dial and black hands...
    .
    And might this be an Omega Speedmaster CK-2998 ?
    :thumbsdown:
    .
    [​IMG]
    May 1962, Mercury-astronaut Deke Slayton, chief of the astronaut office, at the Press briefing for the "Aurora 7" mission of Scott Carpenter... it looks like he is wearing an Omega Speedmaster CK-2998 chronograph :thumbsdown:
    What do You think ?

    In 1975, Deke Slayton flew as DMP - Docking Module Pilot on the Apollo-Soyuz mission...
     
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  19. M'Bob

    M'Bob Apr 15, 2017

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    Nice job, Detective SpeedyPhilip Marlowe.
     
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  20. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill Apr 15, 2017

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    Thanks but I already did this 20 years ago... only now bringing it online for a series of articles that will finally tell the complete true story of the Omega Speedmaster chronograph usage in spaceflight. An interesting saga which is way overdue to be told...
    What do forum-members think of the last B&W photo showing Deke Slayton ?
    Hesalite glass, lugs, 7912 bracelet, small pushers, bezel, ...
    Could it be a CK-2998 Speedmaster ?
     
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