When an American, an Italian and a Russian are launched to the International Space Station this spring, they’ll be carrying with them some of our most advanced technology. And a bunch of watches.
Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli and cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy spoke about their upcoming mission during a press conference from the Johnson Space Center in Houston this past Wednesday. They discussed the importance of research aboard the orbiting laboratory, about learning exciting new things from experiments to be conducted, and so forth. For space nerds, watching the Q & A is a great way to spend one hour.
But as a watch nerd, what I wanted to know was, “what watch will you be bringing into space and why?” So I asked them.
(The above video is the entire conference. For the relevant section, click here.)
Bresnik, a NASA astronaut, flew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station in 2009. Bresnik said he planned to wear the same Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 that he wore on that mission in 2009. Though Bresnik couldn’t remember which version of the X-33 he owns, it appears in pictures to be the second generation, which makes sense since Omega decided to make the second generation only available to active-duty astronauts and military flight crews for a period of time.
The titanium watch features both an analog and digital time display. It boasts numerous functions including an alarm, chronograph, day-date, and a 24-hour GMT, all driven by a precision quartz multi-function movement.
“It was a gift from my wife, thank you,” Bresnik said then smiled. “This time—don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret—I got one for my son. He’s 10 years old. My hope is that when he graduates from high school, I can give it to him as a gift having a few millions miles on it.”