If you’ve had internet connection this week, you’ll be aware that Jeff Bezos was the second billionaire in a fortnight to launch himself into space. At 9:15 AM local time, the Blue Origin Mission NS-16 rocketed skyward with four passengers aboard, including Bezos himself, his brother Mark, former NASA trainee Wally Funk, and an 18-year old from Holland. For the flight, Jeff Bezos wore a custom Omega Speedmaster on his wrist – but you’d be surprised by how similar it was to a watch anyone can just buy.
That’s right, the watch in question was a tweaked version of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Master Chronometer Ref. 310.30.42.50.01.001, which itself was launched at the beginning of 2021. Of course, it makes sense that Bezos and crew were wearing Omega Speedmasters during the ascent. It was the watch that NASA officially certified as suitable for space flight in the 60s after all.
However, the watches worn by the Blue Origin passengers weren’t as customised as you’d assume. In the context of the dozens of elaborately detailed and carefully considered Speedmaster limited editions that have been released in the last decade, one might expect Omega to have done a little more.
The Speedmasters were secured with grey versions of the 20mm Velcro straps that Omega launched at the beginning of this year, which had the Blue Origin logo printed on them. In true astronaut style, the crew wore their watches over their blue flight suits. The only other customisations featured were specially engraved casebacks that displayed the name of their wearer, the flight number, and the Blue Origin feather logo.
On one hand, it would have been cool for the customisation to go a little further. Perhaps with the Blue Origin feather in the nine o’clock subdial, which has been a historically popular location for limited edition graphics, or even a blue ceramic bezel to match their flight suits. On the other hand, it does mean that it remains very easy to buy your very own Speedmaster with the knowledge that it’s almost identical to the one Bezos wore when he spent a couple minutes chilling in the Karman line (the formal beginning of space).
If you want to check out the (almost) identical Omega to the custom piece Jeff Bezos wore, you can do so below.