Omega Speedmaster Professional Alaska Project Prototype, Formerly Property Of NASA And The Omega Museum.As I’ve said recently, you kinda have to love the Speedmaster Professional.But if you want to go H.A.M. on the Speedy, there are again several different ways to do so.These six figure pieces are, naturally, the first series reference 2915 pieces. Finding a first first series watch – a 2915-1 – in all original condition is next to impossible, but it happens. The watch Phillips is selling is in fact far rarer than even a 2915-1 in mint condition though, and the cool factor is off the charts.This watch is an actual prototype. Even though NASA had already selected the Cheap Omega Speedmaster Replica Professional as the official watch of the space program (and indeed it performed admirably) Omega’s engineers were set on building a watch specifically designed for the stars. According to Phillips, Omega began working on a space-specific watch before before the successful landing on the lunar surface in 1969, and developed some truly remarkable watches. I was lucky enough to see the very first “Alaska Project” watch back in 2013, and you can see it here below. The Alaska Project was a code name for the special space program Omega Replica, named as such simply to protect what it was they were working on.
The watch here is in titanium, and it was made back in 1969. Yes, a titanium block with white dial and special sub hands to make it more legible. This watch is what you would call an “Alaska Project I” watch, which is easily the rarest Speedmaster around, though it’s a watch almost entirely unknown to the general public. The original Alaska Project was cancelled in 1971 after two years of research. Alaska Project II would be launched in 1972 with models more in line with the production Cheap Omega Replica Speedmaster, like you see below.The watch you see above is perhaps my favorite of the Alaska Project prototypes – again seen back in 2013 – as it features a case of matte steel, and has a special raised bezel to protect the watch’s crystal.The watches from Alaska Project II did in fact make it to NASA for testing in 1972, and that includes the watch that Phillips will be selling in a few weeks. This specific watch is a more normal 145.022-69 with caliber 861 – no matte steel or titanium case, no raised bezel – but it features the matte zinc-coated white dial, special hands, and of course the amazing red aluminum heat- shield as created by the project for space travel. This very watch was indeed property of NASA for some time, before being sent back to Omega once the project was retired for good. It is also this watch on which Omega Replica Watches built its line of re-edition Alaska Project watches.This special watch is one of just three known complete Alaska II watches, and its provenance is indisputable. From Omega it went to NASA, then directly to the Omega museum for three decades before being sold in Antiquorum’s Omegamania sale in 2007.
The other simply superb Omega in this sale is quite different from the Alaska Project Speedy. The Speedy is very late mid-century, full of scientific firsts and optimism of the space age. The Replica Watches pushes boundaries, and is a product made possible by the practicality and work ethic of the Greatest Generation and the ambition of their children. The other watch comes from 1939, a vastly different time for Europe. Here we see an Omega reference CK2039, which has a simple Calatrava-style case in steel. But what makes this one special is that it features an original sector dial is an enormous 44mm across.What’s more, this watch features an early and rare gilt finished caliber, not often seen in Cheap Omega Replica of the time. Finally, the watch was originally delivered to Poland in 1939, where it spent years on the wrist of a mining engineer before being sold to a watchmaker, whose grandson is the current consignor.What makes this watch so appealing to me is indeed the size and rarity. A 44mm watch produced in the 1930s is crazy, but what elevates it to something I actually want is the originality and honesty of the entire package. It is clear from looking at the dial that it has not been restored or cleaned, and the same goes for the case. Finally, the fact that this Omega Replica Watches has essentially had three owners in the course of its 75-year life, two of whom are related, and all within Poland, the country of original delivery, paints a very compelling picture. Also, consider what was going on in Poland in 1939, versus what was going on in the United States in 1971 when the Alaska Project was delivered to NASA.