First, a little history. The Apollo 11 astronauts who planted the American flag on Earth's only natural satellite in 1969 were wearing the Omega Speedmaster Professional—Omega became the NASA's official supplier of watches after the model emerged as the sole ticking survivor of several punishing tests.
Upon the return of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the crew, Omega commissioned commemorative Speedmaster Professionals crafted from 18-karat gold. The watch, model number BA145.022, was presented to Apollo 11 operatives and President Nixon.
The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition stays true to the 1969 timepiece. The new watch's burgundy bezel, vertically brushed dial, black onyx indexes, and black varnished hands are all inspired by BA145.022.
But the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition boasts a few improvements over its 50-year-old predecessor. The Swiss watchmaker used 18-karat "Moonshine" gold—a new alloy that resists color fading—in the case, bracelet, main plate, dial, hour-makers and hour-minute hands.
For all its bling, the watch's most striking feature is a transparent caseback that reveals a manual-winding Master Chronometer calibre-3861 movement, which is based on the original's calibre-861 movement.
The caseback's inner ring is inscribed with the words "Apollo 11 - 50th Anniversary" and "The First Watch Worn on the Moon," and includes a partial image of the American continents opposite an actual piece of lunar meteorite.
Limited to a 1,014-watch production run, Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is available for $31,772 beginning in July.