Around the Web: Astronaut Donn Eisele’s Stolen Speedmaster Found After Nearly 30 Years Missing

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Storied watches going missing are always a point of fascination for collectors. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that people were saying, “I wonder what happened to Paul Newman’s Paul Newman Daytona.” One such watch story revolves around the Speedmaster worn by NASA astronaut Donn Eisele, who flew on the Apollo 7 Mission into Earth’s orbit with crew mates Wally Schirra and Walt Cunningham. Eisele, like many other NASA astronauts, wore an issued Speedmaster on his wrist, and that watch was inscribed SEB12100039-002 (the part number for NASA Speedmasters) and given a unique serial number, “34.”In 1989, two years after Eisele’s passing, the watch was stolen from a display at the Instituto Geográfico Militar in Quito, Ecuador (the watch was on loan from the Smithsonian.) An investigation was launched, but the thief was never found.

For nearly 30 years, the watch stayed missing—that is, until just five months ago, when a watch with a very curious inscription surfaced on the Web. It was Eisele’s stolen watch, and it was in Mexico City.

For the full account and background on how the watch was found and recovered, check out this fantastic write up here and here.

Photos via Collect Space.

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Ilya is worn&wound’s Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.

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  • BJ314

    It would be interesting to know if they identified all the previous owners, and determined how many knew its origin.

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