A few years ago Omega released a special edition “racing” Speedmaster. It was initially met with hesitant approval by much of the Omega community, and it certainly did not rocket off the shelves. Recently Omega’s Head of Product Development, Jean Claude Monachon released a statement saying that the red and white striped minute track of the “racing” Speedmaster was appropriated from the colours of Tintin’s rocket. That left a few people quite confused, but the story behind the striped minute track developed as more information was released.
‘Destination Moon’ and ‘Explorers on the Moon’ were two Tintin comics that were issued in 1950 and 1954 respectively. They featured Tintin, Haddock and Professor Calculus travelling to the moon, and ultimately saving the world. The most notable feature of each of these comics was the rocket- it was the daydream of every teenage boy during the 50s. Its red and white colour palate was striking, yet the soft curves were sleek and slender. The rocket embodied the mad rush during the cold war/space-race era. Keep in mind that this was nearly 20 years before the moon landings and 8 years before a manned space mission.
Omega approached the publisher of Tintin with a prototype of their Speedmaster, as an homage to those Tintin comics. This prototype featured Tintin’s rocket as the salient feature on the dial, as well as the red and white minute track. Unfortunately, the publishers did not agree with Omega’s design and collaborative effort, so the prototype was dismissed. In its wake, a “racing” Omega evolved, no rocket, but the red and white stripes remained. This piece is a great addition for any collector. The story behind the watch adds enormous value; it is physical proof that Omega cannot stamp every ‘moon’ related event as its own. Adding to its value for a collector is the fact that that the case back insciprion is red, the only Speedmaster Moon watch to have this detail. Snatch this one up while you can! Price on inquiry.
Happy collecting, Nick