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Orbiting the Moon: Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8

Orbiting the Moon: Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8


Not many can claim that they have seen the other side of the Moon. The crew of the Apollo 8 mission can count themselves lucky. In 1968, they were the first to orbit the Moon in a spacecraft. On the astronauts’ wrists: the Speedmaster. Omega is now honouring this special moment with a new edition of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, which was first released in 2018 for the 50th anniversary of the mission. With its laser-engraved movement, the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is even more interesting than ever.

Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8: the case

Just as the dark night sky surrounds the Earth’s orbit, a case made of black ceramic protects the movement of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8. Its diameter is 44.25 mm, while the case height is 12.97 mm. The polished black bezel features a tachymeter scale with white Grand Feu enamel markings. Both the bezel and caseback were produced in-house, and are made of separate pieces of ceramic. 

Before radio contact was lost and the Saturn V rocket vanished behind the far side of the Moon, the pilot of the command module, Jim Lovell, said the famous words, ‘We’ll see you on the other side.’ These words now adorn the lower right side of the caseback’s frame. Furthermore, the caseback bears the engraved words ‘DARK SIDE OF THE MOON APOLLO 8, DEC 1968’ and ‘CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER’. The dial as well as the open caseback are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The timepiece is water-resistant up to a depth of 50 m.

Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8: the dial

The skeletonised dial made of black anodised aluminium reveals the depiction of the moon on the movement. Hour and minute hands signal the time on the indexless markings. The central chronograph-seconds hand, the hand on the 30-minute-counter at 3 o’clock, and the 12-hour-counter at 6 o’clock are all yellow, thus complementing the yellow hour markings and accentuating the dial. 

The small seconds subdial is located at 9 o’clock and has a unique hand, for which a patent is currently pending. The hand is a 3D miniature representation of NASA’s famed Saturn V rocket, made of titanium grade 5 and obtained by laser turning. White varnish, ablation, and laser blackening were all used to create this detailed replica.

Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8: the movement

At the heart of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is the calibre 3869, integrating an antimagnetic silicon hairspring and offering a power reserve of 50 hours. The hand-wound calibre is equipped with a co-axial escapement and was certified by the METAS Institute as a Master Chronometer. To depict the Moon down to the smallest detail and recreate its surface more precisely than the preceding calibre 1869, the blackened mainplate and bridges are laser-ablated. Thus, the movement offers two views of the Moon. The dial showcases the near side of the Earth’s satellite. When tilting the watch, the wearer can observe the far side of the Moon that the Apollo 8 crew saw through the open caseback.

Moreover, the balance spring and wheels offer additional colour gradations. While the black gold-coated balance spring sports a dark grey colour, the nickel-coated wheels are light grey.

Strap, price, and availability 

The timepiece is accompanied by a black, perforated strap with a folding clasp. Yellow seams and a yellow rubber inner lining create a connection between the strap and the yellow details on the dial. The Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is available for 15,500 euros.


MODEL Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
CASE MATERIAL Black ceramic, polished bezel in black with tachymeter scale and white Grand Feu enamel markings
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 44.25 mm
Height: 12.97 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 50 Meter (∼ 5 bar)
DIAL Skeletonised
STRAP/BRACELET Black, perforated rubber strap with yellow inlet
MOVEMENT Caliber 3869
FREQUENCY 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
PRICE EUR 15,500