Omega’s Dark Side of the Moon Watch

It’s quite known that the Omega Speedmaster is the first watch on the Moon and is the official watch of NASA.

Thanks to its heritage of space exploration, the Speedy has become the perfect way to field tributes to space missions, such as the Apollo and Gemini. One of the most popular tribute collections is 2013’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ – a tribute to the Apollo 8 mission, which turns 50 this year.

Here’s the backstory of the collection and the mission that inspired it.

Apollo 8 Mission

Before the historic landing of the moon, the Apollo 8 made history as the first mission to take humans to the moon and back.Launched on December 21, 1968, the crew entered the lunar orbit three days later on Christmas Eve. During a live broadcast, they showed pictures of the Earth and the Moon as seen from their spacecraft.

While it’s not as widely known as the moon landing, this mission was an important prelude – it was through Apollo 8 that they tested the flight trajectory to the moon and operations for coming back to Earth.


The Apollo 8 Crew:  Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to travel to the moon and back, paving the way for the historic moon landing in 1969.



The ‘Dark Side of the Moon’

During their 7-day flight, not only did the crew become the first people to orbit another world, they were also the first to see the ‘dark side of the moon’. This figurative phrase actually refers to the far, unseen side of the moon that faces away from the Earth, rather than the absence of light on it.

The Apollo 8 mission crew were the first humans to view this part of the moon directly, and to date, no human being has ever stood on its surface.

The Omega Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Collection

Inspired by the mission and the mysteriousness and allure of space, Omega came up with the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ collection.

Still based on the iconic design of the MoonWatch, the collection is unique in that it doesn’t make use of steel or gold; but is crafted from a single block of black zirconium oxide ceramic. The first watch of the series was launched in 2013, followed by an extension of the line in 2015, and this year’s 50th year tribute to the Apollo 8 mission. Here’s a look at some of the watches:



Dark Side of the Moon

OMEGA Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Watch

The first of the collection is this sleek and sporty take on the original MoonWatch. Aside from the ceramic case and dial characteristic of the collection, it comes Moonwatch-style hands crafted in striking 18k white gold, and two ceramic subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock.


Vintage Dark Side of the Moon

OMEGA Speedmaster Vintage Black Dark Side of the Moon Watch

This model features hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands, indices, markers and text that have been given a vintage, yellow Super-LumiNova treatment. The timepiece comes with a distressed, brown leather strap that reinforces the vintage feel.


Pitch Dark Side of the Moon

OMEGA Speedmaster Pitch Dark Side of the Moon Watch

This model features an all-black construction – from the case, dial, lugs and strap – and the traditional neon-white Super-LumiNova that adorns the hands, hour markers, and tachymeter scale.


Grey Side of the Moon

OMEGA Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Watch

This model quite naturally followed the Dark Side of the Moon. The lighter shade was the product of more advanced research into colored ceramics. Inspired by lunar dust, the construction is made from white ceramic that has been transformed to grey, through exposure to temperatures of 20,000 degrees Celsius.


The rest of the collection also features the entirely black “Black Black” Side of the Moon; the “Sedna Black” which features rose gold accents; and even a “White Side of the Moon” – a white watch that is inspired by the radiance of the moon as seen on Earth.

The latest release is the 2018 Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon, which was launched in Baselworld in March. It’s the first of this collection to have a skeletoned dial, to reveal a blackened dial inside.




PHOTO CREDITS:  Apollo 8 Crew and NASA Apollo 8 Earthrise, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 
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