BOSTON — Alan Bean’s 18K gold Omega Speedmaster Professional 1969 Apollo 11 commemorative watch sold for $302,500 at RR Auction on April 20.
The remarkable watch was intended for presentation to him at a special gala dinner on November 25, 1969, at the Hotel Warwick in Houston; Bean was still in Apollo 12 quarantine and received the watch later.
The first gold Speedmaster that Omega created, the watch features an 18K gold case with the same design cues and dimensions as the regular steel Speedmaster Professional. The gold bezel has a burgundy red aluminum inlay, with the famous detail described as the ‘dot over ninety’ and a special solid gold dial. Bean, one of 12 astronauts to set foot on the surface of the Moon, died in 2018 at the age of 86.
Omega initially created 26 of these gold commemorative watches — known as the Tribute to Astronauts watch — to present to NASA astronauts alive and deceased, with the case back of each watch specially engraved with a quote, the name and missions of the astronaut, and a unique number relative to when the astronaut flew into space.
After the moon-flown Omega Speedmaster Pros — property of the United States government — these Apollo XI commemorative 18K gold chronographs stand at the forefront of space watch lore.
“This 18K Gold Omega Speedmaster Professional is not just a watch, it’s a symbol of humanity’s greatest achievement — landing on the Moon and the Apollo program,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston. “This watch is not just a timepiece; it’s a symbol of human ingenuity and perseverance. It represents the tireless work of thousands of people who made the impossible possible,” added Livingston.