Watches in Space: Bezos, Strahan & More

Watches have long been a part of space exploration history. The space programs of both the US and the Soviet Union have seen many horological firsts, including the iconic lunar landing, which made the Omega Speedmaster the first watch to reach the moon.

The new space age has seen private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin bring humans to space, and with what we’ve seen, they want to do so in style. Here are the watches worn during modern space flights:

 

 

Omega Speedmaster Chronograph on Jeff Bezos

There’s no getting around it – the Omega Speedmaster is the watch most associated with space travel. In keeping with tradition, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and two-time world’s richest man, also wore a Speedy on board his New Shepard rocket.

Marking the anniversary of Apollo 11, Bezos and his crew took off on July 20 last year wearing Speedmaster MoonWatches. Specifically, they wore the Ref. 310.30.42.50.01.001, equipped with a hesalite crystal and the new METAS-certified 3861 movement with incredible magnetic field resistance.

 

 

Omega donated the timepieces for the project and added a few tweaks for the momentous occasion: casebacks engraved with the wearer’s name, the flight number, and the feather emblem of Blue Origin, Bezos’ space flight company. A gray velcro strap with a Blue Origin and Speedmaster logos ties the look together.

 


 

 

Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi on Michael Strahan

Billionaire CEOs aren’t the only ones who have caught the space bug. Former NFL player and Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan also flew to space in December 2021 aboard Blue Origin. He reportedly took three pounds of personal items with him including his grandfather’s pocket watch and a lucky $2 bill.

For his timepiece, he wore the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi with a meteorite dial. He could not have chosen a better watch for this personal milestone as the piece has a white gold construction, striking red and blue Cerachrom bezel inserts, and an Oyster bracelet.

 

 

Launched at Baselworld 2019, the 126719BLRO is also the first GMT-Master to include a meteorite dial. Ensuring quality, Rolex uses only the best cuts of meteorite for the watch, just like what they do with the Datejust and the Daytona.

 


 

 

Omega X-33 on the SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew Dragon

2020 marked the first time that NASA had launched a commercially built spacecraft to travel to the International Space Station (“ISS”). Aboard the said rocket called the SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew Dragon are Douglas Hurley and Bob Behnken, who reinforced activity on the ISS.

Both of them wore the Omega X-33 Skywalker, made specifically for astronauts and pilots. This watch runs on the Caliber 5619 – a quartz chronograph movement that can compute elapsed time and countdown time, which are vital for spacemen on a mission.

 

 

A member of the Speedmaster Instruments family, the X-33 Skywalker highly resembles the MoonWatch but is made of lightweight grade 2 titanium and features analog-style hands and a digital display.


PHOTO CREDITS: GQ for Jeff Bezos photos / Mario Tama for Getty Images for Michael Strahan’s photos / NASA for Space-X photos

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