In the world of watches, few are more coveted than those that were developed for space travel. Being associated with NASA and other space programs not only gives a watch a bit of a romantic aura, but it’s a testament to their mechanical prowess. Combine that with an ultra rare model, and you have something close to the stature of the Omega Prototype Alaska III being put up for auction this month.
The Alaska program, Omega’s code name for watches being developed for space travel, saw four separate iterations developed between the years of 1969 and 1979. This particular model went a step beyond the mechanical chronograph and instead employed the use of a new and revolutionary tuning fork. Omega made three versions of the watch, all of which would be sent to NASA in Houston on the 3rd of April 1978 for testing. NASA ended up passing on the new technology citing concerns that the battery technology wouldn’t be as reliable as mechanical movements, but the technology developed for the prototype would go on to become the Caliber 1255 movement. And one of those watches? It’s now being auctioned off by Phillips where it is expected to fetch a price between ten and twenty thousand dollars. Not bad for a reject.