On July 20, 1969, at 20 hours, 56 minutes and 15 seconds UTC, the world watched in awe via television the landing of U.S. spaceflight Apollo 11 on the Moon, and with it, the first two people to set foot on the lunar landscape, commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, both wearing two Omega Speedmaster ST105.012 watches.
During the landing, Armstrong’s heart rate apparently ranged from 100 to 150 beats per minute. He announced the landing to Mission Control, and to the world, with the words,
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed. ”
Even though commander Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon, he left his 105.012 Speedmaster inside the lunar module as a backup, because the LM’s electronic timer had malfunctioned. On the other hand, Buzz Aldrin, who joined Armstrong about 20 minutes later, wore his timepiece, and so his Speedmaster became the first watch to be worn on the Moon.
“It was optional to wear while we were walking on the surface of the Moon…few things are less necessary when walking around on the Moon than knowing what time it is in Houston,
Texas.” Aldrin later said. “Nonetheless, being a watch guy, I decided to strap the Speedmaster onto my right wrist around the outside of my bulky spacesuit.”
The mission was planned to the minute, with the majority of photos taken by Armstrong with a single Hasselblad camera. The astronauts’ moonwalk lasted only two and a half hours, but the Apollo 11 mission remains to this day the most treasured and celebrated event in Omega’s remarkable space legacy.