In 1969 man landed on the moon; before that though, Neil Armstrong was beaten to the punch by a cartoon dog. Illustrator M. Schulz took Snoopy into the stratosphere just as the American space program got into full swing so, when NASA was looking for a face for their undertaking who better than one of the USA’s most endearing comic mascots?
Apparently he was the perfect beagle for the job as the astronauts themselves created an award in his honour: the Silver Snoopy Award. It’s an award presented by the astronauts to individuals or companies that have been integral to their survival and is also an award presented in 1970 to Omega for their mission-critical role in the Apollo 13 mission.
Omega not being the kind of watchmaker to pass up on a good anniversary timepiece, half a century on we now have the Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th anniversary.
Snoopy is of course a lead feature of the new watch, taking position on the 9 o’clock chronograph subdial in the shape of the silver pin that astronauts gave to award recipients. The main dial is silver too and has been laser engraved for precise lines, with PVD (rather than thermally-blued) hands.
Otherwise the dial’s white and blue is charming, slightly cartoony and a lot less serious than the high-contrast black and white of the standard moonwatch. Otherwise the 42mm stainless steel case is pretty authentic to the original award-winner, complete with a blue ceramic take on the ‘dot over ninety’ tachymeter bezel.
The rear of the watch though is a lot more fun, with Snoopy in orbit. This isn’t enamel; it’s micro-structured metallisation directly on sapphire crystal. It’s not static either. While the chronograph is running, Snoopy’s command module will begin to move in its orbit. Then there’s the Earth, which rotates once every 60 seconds. The extra-terrestrial view is more than decoration, it’s a complication.
Powered by Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, a mainstay of their collection nowadays, complete with its Master Chronometer status, the new watch comes on a colour-matched blue nylon strap.
One thing I’ve not said so far is ‘limited edition’ because, unexpectedly, this new piece will not be limited. For a bright, fun take on the ultimate space-faring watch, that’s a miracle; someone should give Omega an award or something.
Price & Specs:
Model: Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter, stainless steel
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, manual winding, 26 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, small seconds, chronograph
Strap: Blue nylon fabric
More details Omega.