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Out Of This World Snoopy Tribute
HE MAY just be a dog but Snoopy has never hidden his ambition to go to space.
Since the beginning, Snoopy's creator, Charles M Schulz, has regularly depicted the beagle living his astronaut dreams in the long-running comic strip series so it's no surprise that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) came to adopt the lovable canine as its "watchdog" and face of its safety programme in 1968.
In fact, the astronauts' adoration extended to a special Silver Snoopy Award - designed by Schulz - which NASA gave out to people or companies that have made a significant contribution to the success of human space flight missions.
Since its inception in 1968, only less than one per cent of eligible participants have received the honour and among that rare and special bunch of recipients is Omega.
The Swiss watchmaker is no stranger to NASA - its iconic Speedmaster timepiece was declared by the space organisation as "flight qualified for all manned space missions" in 1965 and just four years after that, the chronograph became the first watch to be worn on the moon. But the proudest moment came about in 1970 when the timepiece played a crucial role in the Apollo 13 mission.
After an oxygen tank exploded on board two days after the launch, the crew was forced to move into the Lunar Module.
To conserve energy, nearly all the power had to shut down so the digital timers became useless.
Thank goodness for the Speedmaster chronographs the crew was issued with because an exact 14-second burn of the engine was required in order to manually adjust the course of the craft so it could re-enter the earth's atmosphere safely.
The watch played such a crucial role in helping bring the astronauts of Apollo 13 back safely that on Oct 5, 1970, Omega received its Silver Snoopy Award from Nasa for the role it played in the rescue mission.
Now exactly 50 years later, a special commemorative moonwatch has been issued to mark the occasion.
The blue on the ceramic bezel, nylon strap, indices and hands contrast nicely with the silver dial on the 42mm steel case.
Snoopy appears on one of the subdials, wearing his spacesuit and signature flying ace scarf. That depiction, incidentally, is a replica of the design of the Silver Snoopy Award itself, which comes in the form of a pin.
But the scene-stealer is on the back of the watch where Snoopy can be seen seated inside his Command and Service Module.
Activate the chronograph hands and the Space Beagle begins to take a trip around the far side of the moon, which is decorated on the sapphire crystal with a unique micro-structured metallisation.
Not only that, an Earth disc also rotates once per minute in sync with the watch's small seconds hand. This little animated scene set the Internet abuzz when the Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary watch was announced earlier this month. It's a unique touch and a befitting tribute not only to the Apollo 13 rescue mission but also the endearing partnership between Omega, NASA and the world's most famous beagle.
This non-limited edition watch also comes in a special blue presentation box and is powered by the manual-winding Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 with 50 hours of power reserve.