A watch specially designed for outer space, and worn by German astronaut Reinhard Furrer, is to be sold as part of Bonhams Fine Watch auction, taking place on December 10th. This Omega Speedmaster Professional, one of the very few to come with a radial dial is estimated at £20,000-30,000 ($32,000-48,000). Made to withstand the extremities of outer space, the stainless steel chronograph wristwatch was produced in 1978, but re-tested by NASA for the German funded 1985 Space Shuttle Challenger mission. Astronauts including Furrer were provided with the watches, and they were worn over their suit or Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU).
NASA equipment, including watches, had to be rigorously re-tested. Omega submitted watches for certification and every NASA project Omega handled was given the code name ‘Alaska’ this Speedmaster was from the ‘Alaska III’ project.
Paul Maudsley, Director of the Bonhams Watch Department, said: “The Omega Speedmaster has long been associated with Space and it’s a privilege to have in for sale such a rare watch with official NASA numbers and Omega verification. Over thirty years later the watch is in excellent working condition, and will provide a fascinating trophy for its next owner.”
Other sale highlights include a very rare 18ct gold Patek Philippe Minute Repeating perpetual calendar wristwatch (Reference:3974, estimate: £180,000-220,000); an 18ct gold Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch (Reference: 3970, estimate: £30,000-40,000); an 18ct gold Patek Reference chronograph wristwatch (Reference: 130, estimate: £25,000-35,000) and a limited edition rose gold calendar retrograde automatic wristwatch F.P. Journe, Octa Calendrier (£14,000-18,000).