Iconic watch celebrating the golden age of American space travel will go under the hammer in Harborough

The limited-edition watch will go for between £5,000 and £7,000 - 16 years after it was snapped up for £1,400 from a high street jeweller

By Red Williams
Friday, 11th March 2022, 10:34 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 10:36 am
The Omega gentleman's Speedmaster Professional ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award wristwatch was created to mark the legendary Apollo 13 mission and the role of Snoopy as a watchdog for NASA.
The Omega gentleman's Speedmaster Professional ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award wristwatch was created to mark the legendary Apollo 13 mission and the role of Snoopy as a watchdog for NASA.

The sky’s the limit when an iconic Swiss watch celebrating the golden age of American space travel goes under the hammer in Market Harborough later this month.

The Omega gentleman's Speedmaster Professional ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award wristwatch was created to mark the legendary Apollo 13 mission and the role of Snoopy as a watchdog for NASA.

The highly-prized timepiece will be up for grabs at Market Harborough-based Gildings Auctioneers’ Jewellery and Watches auction on Wednesday March 23.

The Omega gentleman's Speedmaster Professional ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award wristwatch was created to mark the legendary Apollo 13 mission and the role of Snoopy as a watchdog for NASA.

It’s estimated that the limited-edition watch will go for between £5,000 and £7,000 when it is sold 16 years and one day after it was snapped up for £1,400 from a high street jeweller on March 22, 2006.

The Omega Speedmaster famously became the first watch worn on the moon by Buzz Aldrin in July 1969.

The watch played a pivotal role in saving the lives of the Apollo 13 crew in April 1970 when an oxygen tank exploded on board and Mission Control received the now-iconic message “Okay Houston, we’ve had a problem here”.

Immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Hanks, the under-pressure crew had to time a fuel burn for precisely 14 seconds to adjust the trajectory to hit the Earth’s atmosphere at the correct angle.

That was only possible because astronaut Jack Swigert could rely on the pinpoint timing of his Speedmaster as the astronauts stared death in the face.

The battered spacecraft splashed into the South Pacific at 1.07pm on April 17th - and incredibly the crew’s watches were still keeping perfect time despite the staggering heat and pressure.

Snoopy’s role as NASA mascot began in 1968.

Backed by Peanuts creator and NASA enthusiast Charles M Schulz, NASA created the Silver Snoopy Award for those who showed “professionalism, dedication and outstanding support that greatly enhanced space flight safety and mission success”.

Following the safe return of the Apollo 13 heroes, Omega was awarded the Silver Snoopy Award.

The company created the Speedmaster Professional ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award Wristwatch in 2003 to commemorate the totemic mission.

“We are delighted to offer this very special watch at our next Jewellery and Watches auction,” said Gildings’ jewellery and watches specialist Denise Cowling.

“Thanks to its high standard of craftsmanship and fascinating history, the ‘Eyes on the Stars’ Snoopy Award wristwatch is highly coveted by collectors, so we expect to see a great deal of interest from bidders on the day.

“Also, the fact that this watch is expected to more than triple its retail price in just over 15 years is testament to the current strength of the watch market as a whole.”

The watch features a 30mm black dial with a centre seconds hand and three subsidiary dials with the Snoopy Award on the hour sub-dial.

It has an outer black tachymeter bezel and a stainless steel 42mm case showing the Snoopy Award and the limited-edition number 0617/5441 on the back.

It has the original Omega Professional bracelet with deployment clasp and extra links.

The timepiece is offered complete with box, outer card box, booklets and warranty and pictogram cards.

“This ‘Eyes on the Stars’ watch was the first of three Snoopy watches produced by Omega,” added Denise.

“It was produced in a limited edition of 5441 as a reference to the length of the Apollo 13 mission - 142 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds.

“The display card reads, ‘In appreciation for dedication, professionalism and outstanding contributions in support of the First United States Manned Lunar Landing Project Apollo, the NASA astronaut team recognizes the achievements of Omega Watch Company Switzerland.’”

To view the watch and other jewellery and watches in the auction, please click here.

if you wish to view the watch in person you can do so between 9am and 4.30pm on Monday March 21 and Tuesday March 22.