The Reinhard Furrer Speedmaster by Dale Vito
Yes Speedmaster-cognosenti, you are all right: this is the very Speedmaster that FratelloWatches featured a few months ago: presumably issued by NASA to Reinhard Furrer in 1978. After his unfortunate death, it found its way to a friend (and fellow astronaut) through his estate.
As indicated above, a comprehensive write-up on the history of this watch and the late Mr. Reinhard Furrer was done by FratelloWatches when they first discovered the whereabouts of this rare Speedmaster. Their post is worth a read! However, there is next to nothing to be added to their post, so for now we’ll concentrate on the appearance and a few notable design elements of this watch:
The Reinhard Furrer Speedmaster differs from a regular Speedy Pro in two distinct parts: the dial and the caseback. The dial is not that hard to distinguish: the lay-out of the numerals is very different. The caseback is lacking engravings that hint to the 1969 moon landing, but instead it is engraved with NASA issue numbers. An example of a similar dial can also be found in the OmegaMania catalogue.
While Ace Photo Studio did an excellent job in the 10 minutes (!) that was given to them for this shooting (no Photoshop!), the high-resolution picture by Antiquorum is the only way to get an idea of the details that might be lost when taking a casual glance. Proof is in the picture below:
The lay-out of the numerals, differing heavily from your regular 3570.50.00, is all but subtle. It is however not the only thing that makes this dial stand out. What about the lacking ‘Swiss’ signature – in whatever form?
Yes, there is n Swiss signature at 6 o’clock!? Is there any way to explain this? While it might seem puzzling, we think there might be an explanation. Please – do not hesitate to share your views in the comments below! And note – we are still looking for ways to verify the segment below.
Often discussed in Speedmaster circles is the ‘Made in America’ rule. It is said that NASA insisted that the majority of parts of watches (or all equipment?) -or value- of their gear should be made in the USA. Now how does a Swiss watch company – with the only watch actually certified for use by NASA at the time – get around this? Omega’s answer was to have the cases for the NASA Speedmasters made in the USA. They hooked up with an American case maker and had their Speedmaster cases produced in the good ol’ USA. This may seem like quite a leap, but it actually isn’t: the mark of the Star Watch Case Company can be spotted in the pic of the caseback below – it is the line starting at 3 o’clock.
Since rules for ‘Swiss Made’ or any other designation have changed quite drastically in the last 20-30 years, it is not that much of a leap to think that the 50% value added in the USA (including casing, regulation) would exclude the Speedmaster Professional in NASA-disguise from using such wording on its dial.
It is documented that Omega did contract the Star Watch Case Company for just this reason – if interested, you can read more about it right here.
Below you’ll find a few additional pictures of this stunning watch. Once more: do not hesitate to share your views in the comments!
- First of all of course the gentleman collector who owns this stunning Speedmaster. It would not have been possible without your cooperation!
- SpeedyWatches.com for the article.
- Ace Photo Studio for the excellent job performed in the very short time frame we permitted – please note, these pics were made in just 10 minutes without any Photoshop! Kudos guys! Their website is not up yet, but don’t hesitate to ask us for details.
- FratelloWatches for finding out about the watch and its whereabouts.
- Antiquorum for the high-res pic as found in the OmegaMania Auction.
- Military Watch Resource and user Camfam for the info on the Star Watch Case Company.