The history of Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow

Watches Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow

The very first Speedmaster chronograph appeared in 1957, with the reference CK2915. Omega’s aim with the Speedmaster was to create a new kind of chronograph, designed for research, industry and sport. But destiny decided otherwise…

Back in 1962, NASA began approaching watch makers who could meet the needs of astronauts for precise, tough, readable and reliable wristwatches. Chronographs from all brands were submitted to a battery of tests: only Omega’s Speedmaster passed with flying colours.

In 1965 the Speedmaster was officially approved by NASA as “Flight Qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”, having been subjected to weightlessness, magnetic fields, violent shocks, vibration and the most extreme of temperatures.

On the 21st of July 1969, Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon with a Speedmaster on his wrist. The Speedmaster then became known as the Moon Watch.

It was used on successive space missions. The Speedmaster was specially selected by NASA in 1978 for a new series of tough tests for the American Space Shuttle programme. It was also worn on the Russian space station, MIR, which also subjected it to new and exacting tests. It is without doubt the most tried and tested watch in the world!

In 1998 the Speedmaster X-33 chronograph appeared and was approved by NASA and the Russian space agency. Since then it has become standard equipment for all astronauts.

Omega’s Speedmaster is at the very pinnacle of the watch maker’s art. It has a well deserved place in history for its innovation and record-breaking plus its effect on the aesthetics of its time.

The Speedmaster Broad Arrow watch is distinguished from classic Speedmaster by its needles, which are called "Broad Arrow" as they are wider and luminescent.

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The special features of the Omega Speedmaster

Accurate and reliable, even in space, the Speedmaster has several assets: a mechanical movement, allowing it to avoid any problem with gravity (the automatic Speedmaster as we know it would emerge later, in 1971), a non-rotating tachometer bezel, to indicate average speed, indices and luminous hands that can be seen even in the lunar twilight.

Speedmaster models

There is approximately 10 Speedmaster models on the market: the Speedmaster Professional, the Broad Arrow, the Apollo, the Decimal, the Sky Lab or the Day Date for instance.


On Speedmaster since 1957, the Omega 321 caliber is still mechanical by hands or by wheels. It is known for being robust, precise and solid. This calibre is also used on other Speedmaster.

The Omega 861 caliber was born in 1969 to replace the 321 caliber. It is a better version, integrating the latest technological advances. It is also the caliber that travelled to the moon!

The Omega 866 caliber was produced in1985, in 2000 copies only. It has the particularities of the 861, but is equiped with date and moon phase.


There is more than 100 references of Speedmaster.

The reference 145022 is the Speedmaster which is the most sold at auction, thanks to its popularity and its bigger production. It is also the first reference of Speedmaster having the 861 caliber.

The most expensive reference is the CK2915, which has an average price of 32 488 €: it was the first Speedmaster, born in 1957, this is why it is hightly prized by collectors.

All the figures of this study emanate from the databases of LuxPrice-index© , who survey the results of more than 200 000 auctions from the main auction houses around the world across a 12 year span.

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