A Gold Speedmaster Owned by Michael Collins is Up for Auction

In the world of Speedmasters, there’s basically nothing more rare than a NASA issued Speedy that was flown to the moon. We’ve put human beings on the moon six times, all between the years of 1969 and 1972, and every Speedmaster strapped to every spacesuit worn by each astronaut on those missions was the property of the United States federal government. Legally, they all had to be returned to NASA, and if you somehow came across one and tried to sell it, you’d be likely to get a knock on the door from someone more than willing to flash you their identification. So, those Speedies are basically untouchable and uncollectable. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t extremely special astronaut owned Speedmasters out in the world that well heeled collectors can at least make an attempt to obtain. We heard about one such Speedy recently currently on the block in Texas, a fitting location given its NASA provenance. 


The gold Speedmaster Professional seen here was owned by Michael Collins, part of the Apollo 11 crew that was first to land on the moon in 1969. Collins, who flew the command module while astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong touched down on the lunar surface, passed away last year. Collins had a distinguished career that included two spaceflights (the other was on Gemini 10 in 1966), and a stint with the State Department and then the Smithsonian Institution following his retirement from NASA in 1970. While he was known to wear a Rolex when not orbiting the moon, watch lovers will likely always associate any Apollo era astronaut with the Speedy, which speaks to the truly iconic nature of the watch in the eyes of the public. 

If this particular gold Speedmaster looks familiar, that’s because Omega reissued a version of it early in 2019. That reissue represented the first time a Speedy Pro had shipped with a movement featuring a co-axial escapement, a feature that has now trickled down to the standard Moonwatch in stainless steel, but felt like a pretty big deal only a few short years ago. The original watch, like the one owned by Collins, is an incredibly rare piece of NASA and Omega history. The reference BA145.022 was produced in extremely limited numbers during the Apollo years, and reserved for astronauts and other VIPs (pieces made for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were turned down in accordance with rules associated with Presidents and the receipt of gifts). 

The watch is being sold at auction through Heritage Auctions, based in Dallas, TX, and includes a handwritten note from Collins confirming its authenticity. The note reads, “This Omega watch was given to me shortly after the flight of Apollo XI, and has been in my personal possession ever since. I wore it seldom if ever, but I have wound it every decade or so, and I believe it is in perfect operating condition. Michael Collins, Apollo XI CMP.”

With less than 20 days to go in the online auction, the watch is currently sitting at $82,500. Check it out right here.

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.