6177 Straight lug cal. 321 ‘Ed White’, Omega ‘Pre-Professional’ Speedmaster, model number ST105.003-63, dating from 1965
These early Speedmasters with the 321 calibre movement have become very desirable in the last few years. They are quite different from the later Moonwatches, being smaller, with flat lugs, no crown guard and of course they were fitted with the famed LeMania 2310 movement (which Omega rebadged as the 321).
The movement is a pink gilt 17 jewel, incabloc version and numbered 24013482.
The 321 was the last chronograph calibre from Omega to use the classic `castle' or `column' wheel operation, and this fact has contributed greatly to its new found desirability. The other reason is that these watches were the true Moonwatches, as they were of the type actually used by the Apollo astronauts.
The bezel is perfect black and the watch is in exceptional condition, considering it is over 40 years old. The case has the flat lugs and the stepped back with the hippocampus engraving centred and the word 'Speedmaster' around it.
The watch has the original style dial with the sunken registers, no “Professional” and the applied steel Omega symbol below the 12 marker. This was the first Speedmaster model to use the white parallel hands, which greatly increased the legibility of the watch.
This model became known as the 'Ed White' after Col. Edward White, who made the first spacewalk in June 1965 wearing one of these watches. He spent 23 minutes outside his Gemini 4 capsule and enjoyed himself so much that he had to be ordered back inside. For watchnuts, the important thing about this spacewalk was that the photograph of White outside the craft wearing his Omega was the first knowledge Omega actually had that NASA were using Speedmasters in space.
The case is a solid 95%, the dial and hands are 95+% whilst the movement protected by its dustcover is also 95+%. The watch even has the original crystal with the tiny Omega mark above the centre post.
Diameter 40mm; Lug to Lug 48mm; Height 13mm. It takes a 19mm band and the original expanding Omega 1501 band is still fitted.