Omega. A Very Fine and Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Letter and Box
Omega. A Very Fine and Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Letter and Box

SIGNED OMEGA, SPEEDMASTER, MOVEMENT NO. 25'442'602, CASE REF. ST 105 003-65, MANUFACTURED IN 1967

Details
Omega. A Very Fine and Rare Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet, Letter and Box
Signed Omega, Speedmaster, Movement No. 25'442'602, Case Ref. ST 105 003-65, Manufactured in 1967
Cal. 321 mechanical movement, 17 jewels, metal dust cap, black dial, applied OMEGA symbol, luminous baton numerals, outer fifths of a second divisions, luminous baton hands, three sunken engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, black bezel with tachymeter scale calibrated to a maximum of 500 units, straight lugs, screw back with engraved seahorse logo, SPEEDMASTER and O inscription, OMEGA crown, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel semi-expandable OMEGA bracelet stamped 1035/506, deployant clasp stamped 3 67, overall approximate length 8 inches, case, dial and movement signed

38mm diam.
Provenance
From the Private Collection of Riccardo Bernard

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Lot Essay

Accompanied by an OMEGA Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch on 1 November 1967 and its subsequent delivery to United Kingdom. Further accompanied by a letter from the second owner dated 22 August 2007 confirming that the present watch has been given to him by J.W. Hackett’s wife upon his death, OMEGA presentation box and outer packaging.

Captain John W. Hackett

The beginning of the twentieth century was an auspicious time for developments in the field of aviation. Although there is common debate as to who was the first to invent an airplane and then fly an airplane, credit for this incredible dual feat is usually given to brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, who built an aircraft and successfully completed four controlled flights in this powered vehicle in 1903. Since then, the field of aviation has witnessed remarkable innovation and development.

Aviators set ambitious goals during the twentieth century, with many men wanting to be the first to fly an aircraft to places that it had never flown before. One of these highly notable names and well known aviation pioneers is Captain John W. Hackett. Hailing from the United Kingdom, in 1955 Captain Hackett and his navigator Peter Moneypenny set a new world record with their transatlantic journey.

The two men flew a bullet-nosed English Electric Canberra PR7 aircraft, a bomber manufactured in larger numbers throughout the 1950s. On August 23, 1955, they flew the plane from London to New York and back in one day, completing the roundtrip 6,920 mile flight in 14 hours 21 minutes and 45 seconds with a short 35 minute refueling stop. They averaged 481 miles per hour. This was an immense improvement from the first non-stop transatlantic flight that took place after the War in 1919 and was operated by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown. It took Alcock and Brown 16 hours and 27 minutes to complete their one-way journey.

Captain Hackett was 32 years old during this momentous journey, which won him much acclaim from newspapers at the time. For example The Gazette and Daily on August 24, 1955 wrote, “Two nonchalant British airmen breakfasted in London yesterday morning, slipped over to New York for lunch and flew back home to dine with their wives last night.” Another newspaper, the German Hamburg Evening Newspaper commented on the public’s reaction to the famous Hackett: “Again and again the people broke through the cordon of police. Many rushed to the runway to greet the pilot of the twin-engine jet bomber.” Even Prime Minster Anthony Eden described the triumph, in a message of congratulations, as “a brilliant flight.”

In addition to this honored achievement, Hackett was also the Senior Training Pilot for the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), which co-developed the Concorde aircraft in conjunction with Aerospatiale of France. The Concorde’s first flight was in 1969 and featured a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound. It could transport up to 128 passengers to their destination in times that were less than half of other airliners. Hackett supervised the first sub-3 hour transatlantic flight in history in 1974 on the supersonic jet.

A Royal Air Force veteran, Hackett won the prestigious Britannia Trophy presented by the Royal Aero Club for The British aviator or aviators accomplishing the most meritorious performance in aviation during the previous year.”

The present watch reference 105 003, also known as 'Pre-Professional', is the last of the Speedmaster series with straight lugs as opposed to fluted lugs. This reference passed the most rigorous tests in 1965 in order to become officially qualified by NASA for the Gemini missions, and then later for the Apollo missions. Its production volume is estimated at approximately 16,000 units and the model remained unchanged until its production end in 1969.

An example of the Speedmaster reference 105 003 is illustrated and described in OMEGA, A Journey Through Time by Marco Richon, 2007, p. 599.

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