Produced on November 23rd, 1964, this watch was delivered to Maple Leaf Services - Canadian Army, as detailed in the extract from Omega’s archives. Although not of direct military issuance, this watch was sold at the PX (Post-Exchange), to a member of the Canadian Army. These Base Exchanges sold consumer goods and services to authorised patrons, and most sales were free of sales or VAT taxes. This pre-dates the formation of the Canadian Forces Exchange System (CANEX) in 1968, which continues to provide an exchange service to Canadian Forces today.
Sized at 40mm, the pre-professional Speedmasters such as this ‘Ed White’ are most easily differentiated by the straight lug cases used and absence of crown guards, compared to the later, twisted bombe lugs. The case is in good condition, with its original, correct crown. The case-back retains a deep Omega hippocampus and is engraved on the inside ‘105.003-64’, and comes with its original dust-cover. Further to this, the watch also displays a slightly ghosted, Dot over 90 tachymeter bezel, in exceptionally good condition.
This ‘Ed White’ Speedmaster has its original ‘stepped’ dial in very good condition and features an applied Omega logo. The patina on the tritium hour markers are a dark-yellow tone, matching the handset. The hands themselves show all the signs of ageing, suggesting originality, with only the lume on the chronograph hand appearing slightly fresher than the others, possibly refilled when the original luminescent material fell out. It still shows subtle signs of luminescence under UV, but less than the remaining hands or index markers.
Powered by the famous calibre 321, it is a column-wheel chronograph movement that is heralded to be one of the greatest ever produced. All pre-professional Speedmasters utilised this high-end calibre, before Omega eventually switched to the more economical, non-column wheel Cal. 861.
Colloquially referred to as the "Ed White" Speedmaster, the watch was worn by NASA Astronaut Edward White, when he became the first American to perform a spacewalk.Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.