Omega - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVI Hong Kong Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1969
    Reference No: BA 145.022-69
    Movement No: 28’080’611
    Case No: 12
    Model Name: Speedmaster Apollo XI 1969
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 861, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Omega bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Omega deployant clasp stamped “1116/575”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch the present timepiece production on 25th August 1969, and its subsequent delivery to Switzerland.

  • Catalogue Essay

    After millennia of admiring the Moon from afar, NASA finally achieved one of man’s greatest feats on 20th July 1969 with the moon landing of the Apollo XI lunar module. Since President John F. Kennedy declared the US’s commitment “to achieving the goal, before 'the’ decade is out”, there had been a space race between the two Cold War rivals. Through dedication, resilience and perseverance, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the moon. With them, the Omega Speedmaster Professional became “the first watch worn on the moon”.

    The ref.145.022 yellow gold chronograph was released that year to commemorate this momentous historical event. Produced as a limited edition of 1014 pieces, the first two examples were initially offered to the President and Vice-President of the United States, who sadly had to decline this gift due to compliance reasons. Luckily for collectors, No. 1 and No. 2 of the Speedmaster Apollo XI 1969 are now exhibited at the Omega Museum and can be admired by the public. Numbers 3 to 28 were offered to mission astronauts and were engraved “To mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time” and with the recipient's name, as per the present example. The following three examples, numbers 29 to 32, were given to Swiss personalities. They bear the same case back inscriptions as the astronaut’s timepieces and exclude their sequential number, making these watches the only 3 out of 1014 pieces with this attribute. Subsequently, numbers 33 to 1000 were commercialised, featuring an engraved case back reading “Omega Speedmaster-Apollo XI 1969 - The First Watch Worn on the Moon”, as shown in the next lot.

    The present ref. 145.022 not only has a strong appeal with a gold dial, onyx numerals and burgundy bezel, but also has a prominent provenance. Bearing a No. 12 on the caseback, this example is further engraved with the name of its original owner, Mr Charles Conrad. A man of many hats, Conrad was an American NASA astronaut, aeronautical engineer, naval officer, aviator, and test pilot. As the commander of the Apollo XII space mission, he became the third person to walk on the Moon between the 14th and the 24th of November in 1969. A time capsule piece, the present example is exceptionally well-preserved and seemingly untouched, boasting razor-sharp edges. Most likely worn a handful of times, the caseback engravings of this ref. 145.022 are crisp, deep and unrubbed.

    The sublime combination of the present lot’s rarity, provenance, condition and vibrant aesthetic makes it one of the most exciting examples of a Speedmaster to appear in auction. Mr Charles Conrad’s very own Speedmaster Apollo XI 1969 is, without a doubt, a trophy watch deserving of a prominent place in any collection of important and rare sports models. In addition, Omega reissued a 50th Anniversary moonshine gold limited edition in 2019, paying tribute to the Moonwatch legacy and showing how important the brand itself deems this model to be for its heritage.

  • 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. BA 145.022-69
A very fine, rare and historically important limited edition yellow gold chronograph wristwatch with solid yellow gold dial, engraved caseback, burgundy bezel and bracelet, numbered 12 of a limited edition 1014 pieces. Presented to Captain Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr.

40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$550,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for HK$1,397,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XVI

Hong Kong Auction 24 - 25 May 2023