Estimate: CHF100,000 - CHF200,000
ca. US$100,382 - US$200,765
Price realised: CHF156,250
Omega Ref. 145.022-69
Manufacturer: Omega Year: 1970 Reference No: 145.022-69 Movement No: 29'116'435 Model Name: Speedmaster Professional, "Alaska II" Project Watch Material: Stainless steel Calibre: Manual, cal. 861, 18 jewels Bracelet/Strap: Perforated Rubber Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter Signed: Case, dial and movement signed Accessories: Accompanied by an Omega Certificate and Extract from the Archives confirming that this prototype was made during "The Alaska Projects" in 1970, a large red anodized aluminium protective heat shield case and a black NATO strap. Provenance: Omega Museum, sold at Antiquorum, Omegamania, Geneva, April 14 & 15, 2007 - Lot 211 Literature: Another example of this watch is prominently illustrated in Moonwatch Only - The Ultimate Omega Speedmaster Guide, Grégoire Rossier & Anthony Marquié, pg. 462-463. This watch is also featured in The Ultimate Speedmaster Exhibition in Collaboration with Moonwatch Only, Roy & Sacha Davidoff, pg. 100-101. Catalogue Essay We are thrilled to offer in the present lot, a watch that is widely considered throughout the collector community as a “holy grail” Omega Speedmaster. The Speedmaster is today one of the most iconic watches of the 20th century. Originally targeted for an “active clientele”, it achieved worldwide fame when chosen by NASA to be the official timekeeper for their space flight missions. The following information was graciously provided by the Omega Museum: 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” had nothing to do with the cold temperatures of the American State, but was chosen to ensure that this secret project would remain as elusive as possible in case of any industrial espionage. OMEGA would go on to produce a series of test-watches, all of which were proposed to NASA in a project that would span many years. 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”. Beginning in 1971, Omega began work on a continuation of its secret project, now internally titled “ALASKA II”, which involved several studies and prototypes. The present lot is one of the “ALASKA II” prototypes, and is closely related to the production Speedmaster Professional, with less changes than those of the earlier project of 1969. At the time, it paired most of the tested technologies of “ALASKA I” (the white dial and a new, red anodized aluminum outer protective case just to name a few) with the trusted and legendary Speedmaster “Moonwatch” case of the (then) current reference ST 145.022. The “ALASKA II” test-watches were delivered to Houston in the beginning of 1972. 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. Formerly part of the Omega Museum, where it resided from 1970 until 2007 when it was sold during the Omegamania Auction. This prototype Speedmaster is housed in a reference 145.022-69 case, featuring “lyra” style twisted lugs with an asymmetric case incorporating crown guards and a tachymeter scale on the bezel. Housed inside is Omega’s caliber 861, a robust, highly regarded manually-wound chronograph movement protected by an anti-magnetic protective inner case. Moreover, the watch comes accompanied with an additional very large, red anodized aluminium case which serves as a protective heat shield further enhancing its importance and distinguished Provenance, the original Omega Museum inventory number can still be found on its outer caseback side.
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