Omega - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1970
    Reference No: 145.022
    Movement No: 0001692
    Model Name: Speedmaster "Alaska Project"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 861, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Nato strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with white dial, luminous indexes and black Apollo subdial hands, and its subsequent delivery to NASA's Apollo Program Office (Houston) in 1970 as part of the first batch of prototypes for the "Alaska II" project.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The “Alaska Project” was a series of secret projects (four in total) undertaken by Omega in order to supply NASA with space-qualified timepieces. The results of the projects are a highly restricted number of watches which have been extensively used in space and which are now true collector’s grails, considered absolute endgame for Omega collectors - at least the few ones which are not in possessions of Omega, museums, or NASA.

    Even before NASA’s most famous Apollo 11 moon landing mission, and under the cover of the codename “ALASKA Project”, OMEGA was working on a secret project to create the perfect space watch. The code-name “Alaska” was chosen to ensure that this secret project would remain as elusive as possible in case of any industrial espionage.

    Following the cancellation of the Apollo missions after Apollo 17 (missions 18 through 22), there was no immediate use for the ALASKA Project’s test-watches, so the project was temporarily terminated, though remarkable progress had been made. This first phase of the development can be called “ALASKA I”.
    In the early 1970s, Omega began work on a continuation of its secret project, now internally titled “ALASKA II”, which involved several studies and prototypes. The present lot belongs to the first batch of “ALASKA II” prototypes - delivered in 1970 - and is closely related to the production Speedmaster Professional, with less changes than those of the earlier project of 1969. It paired most of the tested technologies of “ALASKA I” with the trusted and legendary Speedmaster “Moonwatch” case of the (then) current reference ST 145.022. The special characteristics of the watch are aimed at improving legibility and usage in space. For example the white dial was considered more readable and the same holds true for the oversized subsidiary dials hands (aptly dubbed “Apollo” hands by Omega). Additionally, some examples are known to have a red anodized aluminum outer protective case.

    The “ALASKA II” test-watches were delivered to Houston at the beginning of 1970s. While once again considerable progress had been made, since the Apollo Program had come to an end by the end of 1972, the “ALASKA II” test-watches were not retained by the program office and the series of OMEGA’s Alaska Projects came to a halt once more.

    With a virtually flawless dial and and extremely sharp and most likely unpolished case, the present piece represents an enormously scarce occasion for the Omega collector to own what is undoubtedly considered one of the Holiest Grails of Omega production.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1848

    Omega's rich history begins with its founder, Louis Brandt, who established the firm in 1848 in La Chaux de Fonds. In 1903, the company changed its name to Omega, becoming the only watch brand in history to have been named after one its own movements. A full-fledged manufacturer of highly accurate, affordable and reliable watches, its sterling reputation enabled them to be chosen as the first watch company to time the Olympic Games beginning in 1932. Its continued focus on precision and reliability ultimately led their Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch to be chosen by NASA in 1965 — the first watch worn on the moon.

    Key models sought-after by collectors include their first, oversized water-resistant chronograph — the reference 2077, early Speedmaster models such as the CK 2915 and 2998, military-issued versions of the Seamaster and oversized chronometer models such as those fitted with their prestigious caliber 30T2Rg.

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Ref. 145.022
An extremely scarce, historically relevant and enormously collectible stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with white dial and "Apollo" subdial hands, made for the Apollo Project and delivered to NASA

40mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF529,200

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022