All of us probably know exactly which watch Buzz Aldrin was wearing on July 20, 1969, when he touched down on the surface of the Moon. Neil Armstrong left his NASA-issued Omega Speedmaster replica watches on board that day, but Buzz’s was still strapped to the outside of his suit. Many consider it to be the most important wristwatch ever made.
So what does Buzz wear in its place today? A lot of people want to know. Thanks to Omega, which today celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Speedmaster in London, we have the answer. And it’s not one watch actually, but rather three that adorn his wrists. All at once. On his right arm, he wore the new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch (bear in mind his role as a brand ambassador), and, on his left, an unusual contraption that combines an 18k yellow gold De Ville Chronoscope with an X-33 and its titanium bracelet, modified to connect both watch heads. Calling this “unique” would be an understatement.
The Omega fake watches weren’t the only things on his wrists though. Buzz wears quite a few bracelets, including one that spells out his name, and he’s also a bit of a ring man. Aldrin had a ring on nearly every finger, two of them being so-called “Moon Rings,” his mission rings from the Apollo days, and his West Point class ring. Aldrin spoke to a small group of journalists about a few iconic photographs taken during Apollo 11, his expeditions to the North and South Poles, and his desire to see people go to Mars. And he’s not ruling himself out of that mission either!
James H. Ragan is the only non-Smithsonian employee authorized to carry historic sale top replica watches out of the Museum – and that’s because he’s the reason the watches are there in the first place. Ragan was the man at NASA responsible for identifying the horological needs of the agency’s astronauts, and he performed the tests that would eventually lead to NASA picking the Speedmaster over other models for the Gemini and Apollo flight crews. And his influence ended up impacting the Speedmaster itself too – it’s because of him, for example, that Omega added crown guards.