OMEGA Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award : 2003, 45thAnniversary 2015 and 50th Anniversary 2020, photo credit
If you ask someone to describe Omega watches using only three words, craftsmanship, precision, and tradition will surely be among the most frequently listed. Additional virtues, such as value, innovation, and trustworthiness, would be the next group that perfectly summarizes what Omega stands for in the watchmaking industry.
Well, how does Snoopy fits the picture? A beagle that we all love for his wit, unique philosophy, and phlegmatic personality doesn't seem to have much in common with such a high profile business context
Well, just like it's the case with any other good story, you have to scratch the surface (although it's pretty hard when it comes to the material used for the Omega Snoopy watches) to see that there's more than meets the eye.
Silver Snoopy Award by NASA, Photo Credit
That must be the number one question people ask when they come across one of Omega Snoopy editions. The answer is quite simple once you know the background of the story.
NASA chose Snoopy as its icon and a sort of a watchdog of their missions. Also, they decided to use the silver Snoopy pin as a sign of gratitude for their employees and contractors' exceptional contributions and remarkable efforts. So, how does that relate to Omega?
NASA and Snoopy Celebrate Apollo 10's 50th Anniversary, Photo Credit
Remember the Apollo 13 mission? In short, in a suspenseful and breath-taking manner, Apollo 13 crew managed to successfully resolve the technical difficulties caused by the explosion that almost cost them their lives during their mission, and they safely landed back on Earth. Even the slightest mistake in timing could have turned the outcome in a different direction, which didn’t happen thanks to the skillful crew and Omega’s timekeeping perfection.
On October 5th, 1970, NASA gave the Omega Speedmaster a Snoopy award, the first of its kind, to highlight Omega’s fundamental contribution to the positive outcome of the Apollo 13 mission. Apollo 13 crew-members wore Omega Speedmasters on the mission. Using them to perfectly synchronize all crucial activities before and during re-entering of the Earth's atmosphere, they managed to land safe and sound.
Although the Apollo 13 mission is often seen as paramount of NASA and Omega's cooperation, these two giants go way back in their mutual appreciation. To name just a few, the Omega Chronograph was the official watch for the March 1st, 1965 space mission and Buzz Aldrin had the Omega Speedmaster on his wrist during the most famous NASA mission – the legendary 1969 Moon landing.
Omega Speedmaster Snoopy from 2003, Photo Credit
The Speedmaster Professional Snoopy Award watch made its debut at Basel World in 2003. This Omega Snoopy limited edition came out in 5 441 pieces, a number Omega didn't choose randomly. It mirrors the length of the Apollo 13 mission, 142 hours, 54 minutes, and 41 seconds.
Limited edition of 5441 pieces, made to commemorate the “Silver Snoopy Award” presented to Omega, Photo Credit
This premier Omega Snoopy edition was nicknamed Snoopy Eyes on the Stars due to this NASA slogan being featured on the sapphire crystal case back accompanying the color version of the Silver Snoopy Award badge. The same badge, but with four reflection lines present on Snoopy’s helmet, also appears on the small seconds sub dial.
This Snoopy Speedmaster is a 42mm x 14mm steel case, featuring twisted lugs and a black dial with white hands, characteristic of most Speedmasters. It's an updated version of the caliber 861 and, expectedly, hand-wound. This caliber model was used on all Omega Moonwatch models between 1968 and 1997, giving this Omega Snoopy an additional vintage feel.
In 2015, Omega launched (a perfect verb for introducing a space exploration inspired watch, don't you think?) the second watch inspired by the Apollo 13 mission and the Snoopy Award they received. The 2015 Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award was released to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission.
A silver powder is sprinkled on each individual caseback by hand, giving the impression that Snoopy is floating in space. Photo Credit
This Omega Snoopy 2015 edition was produced as a limited edition of 1,970 pieces, saluting 1970, the Apollo 13 year, and the year Omega received the Snoopy award.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo 13 "Silver Snoopy Award" the price is over US$50,000 Photo Credit
This Speedmaster features a 42 mm x 14.80 mm steel case with twisted lugs and a ceramic bezel. It also features the same caliber as its predecessor and a luminescent dial in black and white color combination to mirror the one Charles Schulz originally used for Snoopy.
“Failure is not an option” and “What could you do in 14 seconds?” reference the quotes from the Apollo 13 movie and the time the astronauts had to burn the Apollo 13 engines to correct the course.
Naturally, Snoopy is again the centerpiece of a case back, only this time in the lights of a Silver Snoopy Award pin. The silver powder sprinkled on each case back makes every Speedmaster from this edition a unique piece.
Snoopy is also featured on the small seconds sub dial at the nine o'clock position doing one of his favorite activities - resting on his belly, knowing that he's done his part in the Omega history and well deserved his Omega Snoopy dial.
The Speedmaster `Silver Snoopy Award` 50th Anniversary, Photo Credit
Like the name says, Omega launched the 2020 Omega Snoopy edition to mark the 50th anniversary of the two historical moments that reinforced the already strong bind between Omega and NASA. Omega Snoopy 2020 is housed in a 42 mm x 14.47 mm. stainless-steel case, featuring the proven sapphire crystal dial and case back protection.
This time, the ceramic bezel ring is blue while the scale is white enamel, portraying the color of the patches worn by the Apollo 13 crew. The caliber used for the Omega Snoopy 2020 is the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 3861, naturally, also a hand-winding one. As in the 2003 edition, Snoopy occupies the sub dial at 9 o’clock, proudly wearing his, this time original, silver-colored space suit.
Snoopy in Orbit - An Earth disc on the caseback, which rotates once per minute in sync with the watch’s small seconds hand, Photo Credit
The superstar of this Omega Snoopy edition is, by all means, the case back, incorporating Omega’s NAIAD LOCK system that makes sure all the engravings stay firmly in place. Both visually lush and mechanically superb, the case back contains the Moon and the Earth discs. The latter makes a full rotation every minute in a pace dictated by the small seconds' hand. And, that's not all.
Once the chronograph function is used, Snoopy comes out in an Apollo 13 Command and Service Module. Snoopy pays tribute to the 1970 Apollo 13 crew by taking a course down the dark side of the Moon, all underneath the well-known "Eyes on the Stars" motto.
3 Omega Snoopy Award watches from left : Year 2015 , 2003 and the latest 2020, Photo Credit
There's not a shred of doubt about it - every single edition of these unique watches is a great investment. And this goes on several levels.
To begin with, all three Omega Speedmaster special editions are genuine examples of Omega's watchmaking craftsmanship, each having original features, and their value continually increasing.
The heart of Snoopy is powered by OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, Photo Credit
The first two editions are limited, almost impossible to find nowadays. They do pop up from time to time, but usually at an astronomical price (once again, an adjective that perfectly depicts the situation). If eventually one occurs at an acceptable price, make sure you jump the opportunity.
Finally, despite the 50th-anniversary edition Omega Snoopy not being a limited edition, learning from an interest that the older editions have been raising since they appeared, there’s no doubt it will also be highly sought after and a good investment, as well.
Continue to read the Omega Watches Series
Written by S.K., images by others as noted
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