The Omega Speedmaster "Silver Snoopy Award" 50th Anniversary And Its Historic Connection To Apollo 13
In 1970, Omega received the Silver Snoopy Award from NASA, and the Omega Speedmaster was made an essential tool for astronauts on the Apollo programme. To understand how the award started, we have to go back to 1960 when American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz created a comic strip about a beagle named Snoopy who dreamt of going to the moon. It sparked a conversation in the US about all the possible adventures in space.
When NASA was looking for a mascot for their safety programme, Snoopy was the obvious watchdog. The Silver Snoopy Award was birthed in 1968 to recognise people and organisations who have contributed to the success of space flight missions. Omega was honoured for Speedmaster's important role in ensuring the safety of the Apollo 13 crew.
Now meet the new Omega Speedmaster Snoopy watch that pays tribute to the Apollo 13 mission, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the beloved comic strip beagle, Snoopy. Let's examine this beautiful novelty a little closer.
The Silver Dial
Let’s blast off with the Omega Speedmaster Snoopy's silver dial. The laser-engraved AG925 silver surface is embellished with blue PVD hour markers and hands as well as a blue sub-dial at 9 o'clock with Snoopy in its spacesuit, the exact same style as the Silver Snoopy Award pin.
TATLER TALE: The three astronauts of Apollo 13 moved to the Lunar Module (nicknamed Aquarius) after the oxygen tank exploded on the Apollo 13 shuttle. Aquarius wasn’t built to support more than two for an extended amount of time, and they had to shut down most of the power to conserve energy which rendered digital timers obsolete. An exact 14-second burn of the engine was required to manually readjust the course of the craft. Commander Jim Lovell and his team relied on the Omega Speedmaster chronographs to time the burn, which contributed to the safe return of Apollo 13 on Earth.
Dot Over Ninety
Moving on to the famous Dot Over Ninety, a small but important historical detail. On the blue ceramic bezel ring is the white enamel tachymeter scale—a white dot appears above the number '90', a design detail characteristic of bezels produced from 1957 to 1970.
The Celestial Caseback
The watch boasts one of the most delightful casebacks ever—an intricate engraving of Snoopy piloting a spacecraft that moves in tandem with the chronograph seconds hand on the dial side! Snoopy will disappear behind the sapphire crystal Moon, only to reappear on the other side after 30 seconds. The blue Earth moves too, but in the same beat as the small seconds hand. The Naiad lock keeps these mesmerising features on the caseback in the correct upright position.
The Trajectory Strap
The blue fabric nylon strap is embossed with the trajectory of the Apollo 13 mission, including the famous slingshot around the far side of the Moon.
TATLER TALE: Aquarius was used as a lifeboat in space. The crew planned to travel around the far side of the Moon and use its orbit as a “slingshot” to return to Earth. Aquarius was the one and only spacecraft on an Apollo mission to successfully go around the moon in a free-return trajectory.