George Clooney, Omega take one giant leap for Speedmaster’s 60th anniversary

George Clooney has starred in a couple of films about space, including Gravity and Solaris, but few know that his affinity for the cosmos goes beyond the big screen. The American actor and Omega brand ambassador has appeared in a series of new videos to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster – the first watch to go to the moon.

“The astronauts when I was growing up were of course heroes. We knew all the astronauts’ names. We even ate the food that the astronauts ate,” Clooney says in the video, describing what it was like as a child growing up in the age of space exploration. When Apollo 11 landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969, Clooney remembers walking outside and looking up into the sky “to see if we could see the lunar landing from outside.”

Clooney says that in addition to consuming ‘astronaut food’ like the powdered drink Tang and Space Food Sticks, the kids in his neighbourhood also knew that the astronauts wore Omega watches.

“Omega was absolutely part of the space programme when I was growing up,” he says. “Omega was about precision time… and it seemed like the space programme was a natural progression.”

Perhaps it comes as a surprise, then, that the Speedmaster was not originally intended for space travel. It was built for speed, as the name suggests, and intended to be worn by race car drivers. However, many of the features that made it popular on the race track – the ability to withstand intense vibrations and shocks – also proved suitable for astronauts. The Speedmaster was the only watch to pass every test ordered by NASA when it started looking for a chronograph to use on its manned space missions in 1964.

Today, it is still qualified for space and is also a permanent fixture on the International Space Station. Omega’s more modern iteration, the Moonwatch, is essentially the same as the one Omega released prior to the lunar landing – a testament to the model’s timeless design and durability.

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