Lot 107
  • 107


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  • A Rare and Important Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Registers and Tachometer Flown on Apollo VII by Astronaut Donn F. EiseleSpeedmaster Professional, Circa 1965, Movement 24002987, Ref. S105.012-65, NASA Serial No. SEB12100039-002
  • diameter 42mm.
Cal. 321, copper-finished lever movement, monometallic compensation balance, 17 jewels, metal dust cover, black dial, luminescent baton indexes, three engine-turned subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds, 30-minute and 2-hour registers, large tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case with raised black bezel calibrated for tachometer, two round chronograph pushers in the band, downturned lugs, NASA serial number inscribed to the outside of the screw back, case, dial and movement signed.


The movement is running and chronograph functions, however it is hard to activate the chronograph as it is in need of cleaning. The chronograph registers do not advance properly and will need cleaning and adjusting. The watch should be cleaned and serviced for best accuracy. The luminescent batons on the dial have all aged and discolored and the hands have aged and have become spotted. Otherwise the dial is in nice condition with only light spots. The case shows significant wear and some denting and significant scuffing. Still, the edges remain very sharp as the watch does not appear to have been polished much. The outside of the back of the watch is rubbed. The inside of the case is stamped D1692 and E2898. Overall this is a wonderful watch. It is historically important and was clearly very dear to Eisele, who wore it long after he returned to Earth.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by flown Apollo VII mission patch, flown Apollo VII beta patch, flown first day cover, flown American flag and flown Apollo VII mission insignia medallion numbered '53'. Also accompanied by presentation display featuring photographs of Apollo VII launch and astronauts after flight, photographs taken by Donn F. Eisele aboard Apollo VII looking back at Earth, with views of Hurricane Gladys and booster rocket falling away, and card reading 'First Manned Apollo Flight, Apollo 7 October 11-22, 1968, Schirra - Eisele - Cunningham' with each astronaut's authentic signature. 

The present watch was issued by NASA to Astronaut Donn F. Eisele and flown aboard the Apollo VII Command/Service Module on October 11, 1968.

It is one of the very few remaining flown Speedmaster Professionals from the Apollo program still in private hands.

The watch bears the engraved NASA serial numbers on the back, 'SEB12100039-002', and on the side, 'S/N38'. It was originally fitted and worn in space with a stainless steel bracelet, however that is now lacking. Eisele was very fond of this watch and wore it long after the Apollo mission.

This model, Ref. 105.012, was in production for only a few months in late 1965. The shape of the case on this model differs from its predecessor, Ref. 105.003, in that here the lugs are ridged, while the early model had more standard tapered lugs. In addition, this was the first model to feature protective shoulders to each side of the crown and chronograph pushers. In 1967, this model was replaced by Ref. 145.012.

Omega became the official watch of the Apollo program almost by accident and without any marketing effort on the company's part. In 1962, NASA purchased dozens of commercially available watches in retail stores in Houston, Texas for testing.

After rigorous examination, the Omega Speedmaster won the right to be worn by the astronauts in space. Its easily readable design and sleek chronograph construction, not to mention its durability in extreme temperatures and positions, helped it gain the contract.

Astronaut Edward White was the first astronaut to wear a Speedmaster in his spacewalk during the Gemini IV mission in 1965. Legend has it that Omega only found out that the watch on White's wrist was their own after examining photographs of the activity.

Omega would remain on the wrists of the Apollo astronauts until the program came to an end in 1972. In the years that followed, the firm would remain close to NASA. To this day, Omega Speedmaster watches are still frequently flown in outer space.