Accompanied by an OMEGA Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch on 3 September 1970 and its subsequent delivery to the USA. Further accompanied by additional materials described below, including Apollo 17 mission-used strap, Fisher pen, and letters from Mrs. Ron Evans.
Consigned by its second owner, this timepiece has an extraordinary provenance. The present Speedmaster, along with the metal part it was attached to, was used by the astronaut Ron Evans on board the Apollo 17 Command Module America in a heat flow experiment. After the return home, Ron Evans took a portable hand engraving tool and engraved his Speedmaster and the black metal attachment.
An example of the present watch is accompanied with a signed letter from Jan Evans (Mrs. Ron Evans) stating: “I certify that the stainless steel OMEGA Speedmaster watch and the small black metal piece that are offered with this letter were flown to the Moon and used by my husband Ron Evans on Apollo 17, December 1972. At the conclusion of the flight Ron etched on the reverse of the watch: “FLOWN IN C.S.M. TO THE MOON” and “APOLLO 17” and his signature. On the edge of the watch he etched: “HEAT FLOW EXPR” and “6-19 DEC 1972”. Ron has also etched directly on the back metal piece that it was “...’glued to OMEGA watch’...” for the experiment. These items have been with our family since the flight.” A color photo of the OMEGA Speedmaster that is fixed on the heat experimental equipment is delivered with the present lot.
The watch is further accompanied by the Apollo 17 flown OMEGA Speedmaster watch strap from the personal collection of astronaut Ron Evans, accompanied with a signed Letter from Jan Evans (Mrs Ron Evans) stating “I certify that the watchstrap offered with this letter, marked as P/N SEB 12100030-202 and serial number 1087 was flown to the moon on board the Apollo 17 spacecraft, December 1972. This watchstrap was worn with a Speedmaster by my husband Ron Evans during his EVA on December 17 1972. It has been with our family since the flight. Note: View Ron’s EVA picture above!”
The present watch strap was used to attach Ron Evans Speedmaster to his space suit. During the trip home from the Moon, Ron Evans performed a one-hour spacewalk, the last ever in deep space, to retrieve film canisters from cameras mounted in the equipment bay at the rear of the spacecraft. An original black and white photo released by NASA on 27 December 1972 shows Ron Evans wearing the watch strap on his left arm while working outside the spacecraft. This original black and white photo is signed on the back by Ron Evans and is delivered with the present lot. A color version of this image is included as well.
Additionally, the watch is accompanied by the Apollo 17 flown Fisher AG 7 space pen from the personal collection of astronaut Ron Evans. It is marked with the NASA numbers SEB 12100051-204 and SN 1131. This pen has been specially designed by Paul C. Fisher (Fisher Pen Company) for the NASA and could be used in any position, on any surface, underwater or in condition of weightless thanks to its pressurized ink. The present one has a piece of Velcro near the top. It is accompanied with a Letter from Jan Evans (Mrs Ron Evans) stating “I certify that the silver metal Fisher pen offered with this letter, marked as serial number 1131, was flown to the Moon on board the Apollo 17 spacecraft and used by my husband Ron Evans during the flight, December 1972. This pen has been with our family since the flight. Please see attached certified copy of January 9, 1973 NASA Memorandum from FC7 Recovery Team Leader, USS Ticonderoga. Note: Ron served two tours aboard the USS Ticonderoga flying F8U aircraft. It was a special treat that the “Tico” was the recovery ship for Apollo 17.” The certified copy of January 9, 1973 NASA Memorandum is included with the present lot.
Finally the watch is accompanied by a set of 6 DVDs related to the Apollo 17 mission, from the film and television transmissions, to multi-angle coverage of launch and rare on board audio recording. On the first DVD of this set, we can see the images of Ron Evans wearing his OMEGA Speedmaster inside the space module between minute 7.30 and 8.30. This DVD set is accompanied by an original NASA Apollo 17 Guidebook from 1972 ON THE MOON WITH APOLLO 17 by Gene Simmons, Chief Scientist of the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. He is the Principal Investigator of an Apollo 17 experiment to measure the surface electrical properties of the Moon.
Remarkably, the personal Ron Evans watch is the first ever Speedmaster to travel into space bearing the celebrated caliber 861. Until 1968, the Speedmaster used the caliber 321, but was then updated to the caliber 861, which beat at a higher rate of 21,600 A/h instead of the 18,000 A/h of the caliber 321.
An example of the Speedmaster reference 145022 is illustrated and described in OMEGA, A Journey Through Time by Marco Richon,
2007, p. 604.
Omega. An Exceptional, Highly Attractive
Ronald Ellwin Evans, JR. (1933- 1990)
Astronaut Ronald “Ron” Evans, Jr. was born in Kansas in 1933. With a keen interest in engineering, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1956 as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1964. His NASA experience came after his duty on sea, notably in the Pacific while assigned to flying aircraft during a period of seven months in Vietnam combat operations. He was a combat flight instructor in 1961 and 1962.
Captain Evans was one of 19 astronauts specially selected by NASA in April 1966 as part of “Astronaut Group 5”. He was a supportive member for the Apollo 7 and Apollo 11 missions, as well as backup command module pilot for Apollo 14. His first and most famous NASA experience was during Apollo 17 in 1972 where he was chosen to be the command module pilot. As the last scheduled manned mission to the Moon, this mission broke several records set by previous flights including longest manned lunar landing flight, largest lunar sample return, and longest time in lunar orbit.
In addition, important tests were undertaken, for the continued development of space processing. Evans realized the importance of space processing as it exploits the unique environment of a space laboratory to research, develop, and finally manufacture products having improvements over those made on Earth. One of the tests performed was called Apollo 17 Heat Flow and Convection Experiments, carried out by Evans on December 8, 1972, while on his way to the Moon, which included the test of an OMEGA Speedmaster with the caliber 861. A highlight of his mission was when he had to retrieve cameras and equipment from the exterior of the craft, allowing him to be free in space for a short period of time.
One of only 24 astronauts that have ever had the incredible opportunity to fly to the Moon, Evans holds the record of more time in lunar orbit that anyone else in the world: he spent a logged time of 301 hours and 51 minutes total in space, with 1 hour and 6 minutes of that time performing in extravehicular activity. Additionally, Evans was backup command module pilot for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which joined the United States and Soviet Union in an orbital mission.
Ron Evans retired from the United States Navy on in 1976 after 21 years of service, but he remained active for NASAs Space Shuttle Program and as a NASA astronaut. He was also a member of the operations and training group within the astronaut office that was responsible for launch and ascent phases. Evans eventually retired from NASA in March 1977 to become a coal industry executive. He passed away in April 1990 at 56 years of age.
As a distinguished astronaut and aviator, Evans was presented with a number of awards including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1973, the Johnson Space Center Superior Achievement Award in 1970, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal in 1973, the Vietnam Service Medal; and the Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing service in 1966. In 1983, Evans was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame and in 1997 he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Signed Omega, Speedmaster, Professional, Movement No. 30’593’275, Case Ref. 145022-69 ST, Manufactured in 1970
Omega, 1970s, chronograph, Watches, gent's wristwatch, steel/stainless steel, Vintage
Cal. 861 mechanical movement, 17 jewels, metal dust cap, black dial, 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, crystal etched with OMEGA symbol, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, black bezel with tachymeter scale calibrated to a maximum of 500 units, fluted lugs, screw back with engraved seahorse logo, SPEEDMASTER and O inscription, hand engraving Flown in C.S.M. To the moon, Apollo 17 and Ron Evans signature to the case back, hand engraving 6-19 Dec 72 Heat Flow Exp to the left band, OMEGA crown, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel OMEGA bracelet stamped 1450/808, deployant clasp, overall approximate length 7 inches, case, dial and movement signed 42mm diam.
From the Private Collection of Riccardo Bernard