The Omega Speedmaster Worn by Tom Hanks in Apollo 13

July 8, 2022 at 12:20 am

It is hard to imagine a watch more heavily featured in film than Tom Hanks Speedmaster from Apollo 13. What is so great about this movie worn watch is that it appears in almost every scene. You can see ever mission control employee and astronaut in the film wearing an Omega Speedmaster as it was the watch that NASA selected for the program.

Omega Speedmasters are the only watch at the time which was qualified for spaceflight and this is what made it a popular choice at the time as the best collectors watch. The recreations made by Omega for the movie are close to the 1960s and 1970s style watches and they are a slight copycat to the original watch worn by the astronauts.

What makes this film so important for a collectors watch at auction is how important the watch turns out to be. After recording the segment for live television the crew needs to use the watches to correct their course and calculate their oxygen levels after there is a catastrophic failure in the module. The Omega Speedmaster was one of the heroes for the day. Just like in the feature film, the watch would have played an important role in the history of getting the heroes home and this is what makes it an iconic model.

The watches were iconic throughout the preparation for the mission. We see Hanks sporting his watch in the earlier scenes before the launch and we saw many of the astronauts and team members showcasing beautiful pieces like the rolx pepsi GMT master that Swigert sported in training.

Ed Harris’s character also sports some beautiful watches with the Seiko Speedtimer and Haise is spotted wearing two different models of the Speedmaster before the launch process. The Speedmaster is an iconic tool in the history of space exploration and it was an essential piece of kit for any member for the space program.

Even early on in the film, Ron Howard is quick to showcase this model of watch. We see Lovell in the backyard after watching the Armstrong moon landing laying in lawn chairs with his wife. As he points up at the sky with his thumb, we get the glimpse of the Speedmaster for the first time.

From the moment he puts on the space suit we get a glimpse of the watch too. The crew members are all wearing an Omega Speedmaster over their flight suits with oversized straps. This same solution was devised for the NASA space program and then recreated by the props department for the film.

As we see so many different versions of the watches of the time as well as some of the best historically accurate uses of the Speedmaster, Apollo 13 stands as a true love letter to this watch. If you are a collector or a space history fan, you have got to get your hands on one of these timepieces or a new edition to celebrate the history that goes into this model.

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