Omega Speedmaster - Apollo 13
In the movie Apollo 13 the crew of the spacecraft is wearing the Omega Speedmaster (later known as the Speedmaster Professional), the watch famous for being the choice of NASA for it's space expeditions. Some of the watches in the film have the regular bracelet, but others have a large velcro band to fit the watch on the outside of the space suit, see images on the left.
The Omega Speedmaster is still worn by many present day astronauts on space missions.
Omega Speedmaster History
The Speedmaster was not designed and built especially for NASA. It had been on sale since 1957, and was, after many tests of many different watches, approved by NASA to be used in space, because of it's ability to resist extreme temperatures, vacuum and zero gravity. The first ever Omega Speedmaster to flight into space was the one worn on the wrist of astronaut Walter Schirra who flew on board the Sigma 7 in 1962. In 1965 the Omega Speedmaster Chronograph received an official NASA flight-qualification for all manned space missions.
The Omega Speedmaster made history when it was worn on the wrists of the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, during the landing on the moon in July 1969. For this reason the watch is still widely known as the Moonwatch.
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch gained even more fame when it played the crucial role during the dramatic Apollo 13 mission in 1970. After a reserve oxygen tank explosion on board the spacecraft, all the timekeeping mechanisms were not working, except the astronauts wristwatches. Commander James Lovell used his Speedmaster to time the extremely important firing of the secondary rockets to bring the Apollo 13 spacecraft back to Earth. Watch the video on YouTube about how the Omega Speedmaster saves the day.
A list of space flown Speedmasters on public display, plus more information about the space watches can be found on this article on the NASA website.
If you're looking for a velcro band for your Speedmaster, check out gasgasbones.com.
The Omega Speedmaster is the only part of the NASA astronauts equipment available for purchase by the general public.