In the 1960s, comic strip character Snoopy and space agency NASA forged a special connection. It began when “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz depicted the beloved beagle on the moon, establishing Snoopy as an enduring symbol of exploration. The bond only gained momentum from there, culminating with the creation of an illustrious Silver Snoopy Award. Designed by Schulz himself, it’s given to people or companies who have contributed significantly to “the success of human space flight missions.” In 1970, the prestigious prize was awarded to Swiss watchmaker Omega.
Just as Snoopy and NASA shared a special bond, so too did NASA and Omega. At the heart of their connection was the mighty Speedmaster, which was first declared as “flight-qualified for all manned space missions” in 1965. The signature chronograph would partake in a number of subsequent missions, the most important of which was the fateful Apollo 13 mission in 1970. When an oxygen tank exploded on board, the crew was forced to conserve power and shut down their digital timers. Having veered off-course, they used their Omega Speedmasters to time the burn when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Anything short of absolute precision would’ve cost the astronauts their lives, but they landed safely on the water in mid-April.
Months later, Omega received the Silver Snoopy Award and yet another vital connection was thus born. Unified by their historic experiences with NASA, the comic strip icon and premium watchmaker remain gloriously entwined. That collective journey comes full circle with a new 50th Anniversary timepiece from Omega, which commemorates the original point of intersection. As one might hope or expect, the Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary delivers impeccable detail and masterful precision.
Savvy viewers will first spot Snoopy on the signature dial face, where he appears inside a blue subdial at 9 o’clock. Wearing his famous spacesuit, the beagle is rendered as an embossed silver medallion. The dial face is likewise crafted out of silver and laser-engraved with Ag925. Employed with purpose, the premium material pays direct tribute to the silver pin that NASA astronauts gave to award recipients. Elsewhere on the dial are two more blue subdials along with blue PVD angle-shaped hour markers and hands. Flanking that is a tachymeter scale with the “Dot over Ninety” in white enamel on a blue ceramic bezel ring.
Striking as the dial face may be, the watch truly distinguishes itself on the mind-blowing caseback. It’s here that you’ll find an expertly rendered visual graphic of epic proportions. At the forefront is the moon’s lunar surface, which was decorated on the crystal sapphire using a unique micro-structured metallisation. Planet Earth hovers in the distance, rotating once per minute in accordance with the small seconds hand. Then we have Snoopy himself in the midst of it all, occupying an animated black and white Command and Service Module (CSM). Perched upon a magical hand, the module orbits the far side of the moon whenever the chronograph seconds hand is in use. It’s all set against a space-like backdrop, with the quote “Eyes on the Stars” at the top.
Omega’s Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary is powered by in-house Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. Bolstered by anti-magnetic innovation, the movement takes the brand’s Moonwatch calibre to even greater heights. The watch’s stainless steel case measures 42mm in diameter and comes affixed to a blue nylon fabric strap, which matches the other blue details. For an extra special touch, the strap has the Apollo 13 mission trajectory embossed into the lining. True to its origins, this chronograph offers purpose and precision at every turn. Look for it online or at select retailers starting late October.