Whenever Omega replica releases a new limited/special edition Speedmaster, you can be sure it will create noise in the collecting community. And if this watch is related to Space exploration or one of the Apollo missions, this will only increase the interest of the aficionados – and rightfully so, since Omega still owns true legitimacy in this context and the Speedy is, without a doubt, one of the most emblematic watches ever. And if this new model bears a Snoopy, well, expect great enthusiasm from the crowd. A couple of weeks ago, Omega did just that, by presenting the Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary. And today, we have it on the wrist and we tell you all about it.
Today, we’ll focus on the watch only. If you’re still wondering what Snoopy is doing on the dial of a chronograph watch, we have you covered with an in-depth article explaining all about the Apollo 13 mission, the incident (“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here“), how the Swiss movement replica Omega Speedmaster worn by the astronauts helped them to come back safe and sound to Earth, what the Silver Snoopy Award is, why Omega received it and why Snoopy ended up on the dial of the watch.
THE FIRST TWO SNOOPY-RELATED SPEEDMASTERS
There have been quite a few high quality Omega Speedmaster replica watches related to Apollo missions and space exploration in general in the past. More than we could count here, actually. However, watches to celebrate the Silver Snoopy Award received by Omega in 1970 to acknowledge the crucial role played by the Speedmaster are rare items. In fact, only two models existed until this year and Omega waited until 2003 to release its first Snoopy-related watch… Why 33 years? This will remain a question without an answer.
Early commemorative Omega Speedmasters were often relatively simple in their execution, only differentiated from the classic Professional model – the Moonwatch – by a patch in the small seconds counter and a specific decoration on the caseback. Dial, hands, case and functions almost always remain identical. However, as the brand launched multiple models to celebrate successive anniversaries of the same event, they had to innovate and create watches with more personality and more differences from the classic model. This is perfectly shown with the first two “Snoopy Award” Speedmasters.
The first Snoopy-related Speedmaster was released in 2003. Why this date? The reason why the brand waited 33 years to launch this model, on a year that had nothing to do with an anniversary, is still a mystery. This first model was a slight evolution of the regular Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The main difference was the Snoopy award’s logo printed in the small seconds counter and a specific caseback, once again decorated with NASA’s Snoopy emblem on a blue background. This 2003 Speedy-Snoopy, with the reference 3578.51, was made in an impressively large batch of 5,441 pieces. There’s a reason behind this odd number, as Robert-Jan Broer explains: “The number has to do with the 142 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds that the mission lasted. A bit of a stretch, in my opinion, but a nice idea.” Knowing the interest of collectors for Snoopy and space-related watches, prices are on the rise and a nice example will easily fetch 10k euros or more.
In 2015, Omega launched a second watch inspired by Apollo 13 and the Snoopy Award, this time for the 45th anniversary of the Mission. This Omega copy watch with steel case, limited to 1,970 pieces, a reference to the year Omega was presented with its award by the crew members, was a more drastic departure from the regular Moonwatch. While the case and movement are identical, the white dial is unique to this watch and features several nice details: there is Snoopy in a prone position; a thought bubble with the words spoken by Ed Harris as NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13 movie “Failure is not an option”; as well as a luminous 14-second track with the words “What could you do in 14 seconds?” as a reference to the 14-second course correction engine burn the Speedmaster timed during the mission. It also features a ceramic tachymeter bezel and a caseback with a silver Snoopy emblem. The demand for this watch, a rare model considering Omega’s production level, is extremely high.