Pictured left to right with the Lunar Rover: Omega Travel Retail Manager and Swatch Group Travel Retail Manager Worldwide Christophe Savioz; Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin; Owner of Seddiqi & Sons – Omega’s official retail in Dubai Abdul Hamid Ahmed Seddiqi; andOmega Regional Manager Middle East and North Afric Milvin George
UAE. Leading luxury watch manufacturer Omega has selected Dubai Duty Free for the launch of its special edition Omega Speedmaster Professional to mark the 40th anniversary of the first space walk, and make history as the first major Swiss watch to be launched in duty free.
Omega has set up a Lunar exhibition presenting Dubai Duty Free passengers with a display of the Lunar Rover and space equipment. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is the exact replica of the original model.
Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin commented: “We are delighted that, with the launch of the special edition Omega Speedmaster, Dubai Duty Free is the only airport retail operation to host this Lunar exhibition. Apart from the historical relevance, the presence of such an interesting display adds to the sense of theatre on the shopfloor.”
The special Speedmaster model created for Baselworld 2005 is distinctive with its blue dial and matching blue aluminum ring on the steel bezel. The limited edition chronograph also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Speedmaster’s qualification for manned spaceflight missions. Only 2005 of these models will be produced and will be offered in a special gift box.
It bears a striking resemblance to the models used in the Gemini programme. The hand-wound chronograph movement used in the Speedmaster has undergone relatively few modifications to bring it in line with today’s mechanical watchmaking standards. In its current appellation, Caliber 1861, it offers a power reserve of 45 hours and has rhodium-plated surfaces with polished beveled edges, special wave decoration and circular-graining with gold-plated engravings.
The Gemini 4 limited-edition Speedmaster is characterised by its blue dial and silver counters for the 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters and continuous seconds. The blue theme is also continued on the bezel, with the familiar tachymeter scale reproduced on a blue aluminum ring. The commemorative nature of the timepiece is indicated by a subtle red engraving 1965-2005 below the Speedmaster name at 12 o’clock on the dial. The Omega symbol sits above the name, as well as 12 rhodium-plated hour markers. The watch remains a classic Speedmaster, with the same case, bracelet and hesalite crystal found on the ‘Moon Watch’ – the standard Speedmaster Professional model.
One of its most striking features will “remain hidden most of the time”, according to the company. This is the distinctive Gemini 4 mission patch, bearing the names of the crew, McDivitt and White, and an illustration of the first space walk etched in colour on the sapphire crystal case back with the engraving ‘First Space Walk 40th Anniversary’ and the limited-edition number (0001/2005).
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