Since the 1960s, OMEGA has been strongly linked to NASA, the conquest of space and all six lunar landings. On 11 December, the brand announced that a new Speedmaster chronograph – the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 – has been tested and qualified by the European Space Agency (ESA). OMEGA and ESA collaborated on the development of this unusual timepiece, which will be included in the standard equipment issued to astronauts by the space agency.
Describing the brand’s association with ESA, President of OMEGA Stephen Urquhart said: “We are delighted that our friends at the European Space Agency have tested and qualified the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 for all its piloted missions, which is a natural extension of our long relationship with NASA and its space programme. ESA’s abilities and ambitions are extraordinary, as demonstrated by their recent high-profile successes with Rosetta and Philae, and we are proud that their name and endorsement grace the back of this iconic chronograph.”
Testing the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33
?The Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 was subjected to and passed five sets of rigorous tests which included space radiation, depressurisation and repressurisation, intense vibrations simulating those that the cargo in a spacecraft would experience during launch, centrifuge tests with speeds reaching 5 Gs and 7 Gs, and performance analyses in extreme space vacuum temperatures ranging from – 45 degrees Celsius to + 75 degrees Celsius.
The tests were performed sequentially and each timepiece was visually inspected and its functions were reviewed before and after each procedure.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33
?Designed especially for space explorers, the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 evolved from the Speedmaster Professional X-33, which was released in 1998. The new Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 has been innovatively upgraded and, powered by an advanced quartz calibre, it was developed to meet the needs not only of astronauts but of anyone who can appreciate its impressive variety of functions.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 is powered by the multi-functional quartz chronograph movement, OMEGA calibre 5619, with a thermo-compensated integrated circuit. The new X-33 model has been tested and qualified by the European Space Agency and was developed under an ESA patent license based on an invention by ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy.