Speedmaster vs. Strela: The Battle Of The Moon Watches

STRELA, a moon watch?

Well, not that we know, but we think this article posted on wristwatchreview.com is an interesting read.

Most “watch nerds” are familiar with the story of the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moon watch” and the ensuing cult of flight certified and flown wristwatches. However like many things in the cold war, including the Space ShuttleConcord, and the Harrier behind the iron curtain a shadowy mirror image could be found competing with the western version. In the Soviet Union in the 1960’s and 70’s there was another column wheel chronograph strapped to the wrist of a man hanging in raw vacuum and remorselessly ticking away.

Vintage Omega Speedmaster – Image by Shane Lin

Strelas were in heavy use amongst cosmonauts and were still being used in space until 1978 with cosmonaut Alexi Gubarev clearly pictured in Omega’s own “Time Capsule” book on the history of the Speedmaster.

Vintage Sekonda – Image source unknown

Now commonly known as the “Strela” (Russian for “Arrow”) this watch was based around a calibre derived from the Venus 150 movement and dubbed the 3017. Originally this was issued to Russian air force pilots it became standard issue for cosmonauts throughout the early days of the soviet space program. Most memorably it seems Alexi Leonov wore a “Strela” on the first “spacewalk” or EVA (extra vehicular activity) just a few months before Ed White would do the same wearing his Speedmaster. Unlike White’s flight however, and in keeping with the general lack of contemporary documentation available in the USSR space program there is some debate if Leonov wore a watch on the EVA, or if he did whether it was inside or outside his pressure suit.

We though this article “Speedmaster vs Strela: The Battle Of The Moon Watches” is a nice share for you. Article by: Simon Clare · Read the full article here.