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11/12/2020
 5 minutes

The Magic of the Omega Speedmaster Snoopy

By Jorg Weppelink
CAM-1456-2-1

The Magic of the Omega Speedmaster Snoopy

On the 5th of October, Omega presented the new Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary edition. In this article, we’re going to compare and contrast all three Speedmaster Snoopys. What are the differences in design and technology? How are the first two editions performing on the market? And will this new Speedmaster Snoopy be as popular as the first two? Let’s find out and explore the fascinating world of the Speedmaster Snoopy.

How Snoopy First Met Omega

On the 5th of October 1970, Omega was awarded the Silver Snoopy Award by NASA astronaut Thomas P. Stafford. It is the highest honor that NASA awards to contractors for their special contributions and outstanding effort. NASA chose the character Snoopy to serve as “a watchdog” for flight safety.

During the Apollo 13 mission, the Omega Speedmaster played a pivotal role in getting the crew back to Earth safely. The oxygen tank in the service module failed due to an explosion and the astronauts had to abort the lunar landing just two days into their mission. All NASA could do was try to get the crew home safely, but that was no easy task.

In order to properly adjust the course of the spacecraft back into Earth’s atmosphere, the astronauts had to run the main engine for exactly 14 seconds. The digital timers on the spacecraft failed, so Jack Swigert timed the crucial 14 seconds using his Omega Speedmaster while Jim Lovell steered using Earth’s horizon as his guiding point. The three crew members safely returned to Earth on April 17, 1970 – in large part thanks to the Speedmaster. As a result, Omega received the coveted Silver Snoopy Award, which included a Snoopy certificate, letter, and silver Snoopy pin.

Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Award 3578.51
Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Award 3578.51

The Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Award 3578.51 – 2003

In 2003, Omega released the first Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Award (ref. 3578.51.00) to commemorate receiving the Silver Snoopy Award in 1970. The original Speedmaster Snoopy was a regular 2003 Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” (ref 3570.50.00) fitted with the Omega caliber 1861.

Omega added the Snoopy “Eyes on the Stars” patch to the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock as well as the sapphire crystal case back. Production was limited to a total of 5,441 pieces, a reference to the length of the Apollo 13 mission: 142 hours, 54 minutes, and 41 seconds. The list price of the first Speedmaster Snoopy Edition was around 3,600 EUR (approx. 4,200 USD) in 2003.

Due to the high production numbers and the fact that the watch was introduced before the limited edition craze, the first Speedmaster Snoopy didn’t fly off the shelves immediately. Seventeen years later, however, the watch has become a collector’s item that some consider the first and best Speedmaster Snoopy. That being said, the majority of fans tend to disagree due to what came next…

Omega Speedmaster Snoopy 311.32.42.30.04.003
Omega Speedmaster Snoopy 311.32.42.30.04.003

The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 311.32.42.30.04.003 – 2015

In 2015, Omega released the Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award (311.32.42.30.04.003) as a tribute to the 45thanniversary of the Apollo 13 mission and Omega’s Silver Snoopy Award. This time, Omega created a completely new design to perfectly encapsulate the idea behind the Silver Snoopy Award and the pivotal role the Speedmaster played in the Apollo 13 mission.

The design concept starts with the black and white colors, a reference to Snoopy. The famous dog himself can be found on the 9 o’clock subdial. The center of the dial features “Failure is not an option” written in Peanuts’ characteristic font. The sentence refers to words spoken by Ed Harris when he played NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz in the film Apollo 13. Another stroke of brilliance is the inscription found between 0 and 14 seconds that reads “What could you do in 14 seconds?”

The magic continues on the case back, which protects the Omega caliber 1861 within. There, you can find a silver reproduction of the Silver Snoopy pin on top of blue and black enamel sprinkled with silver powder, giving the impression that Snoopy is floating in space. All 1,970 pieces sold out immediately after the watch’s introduction at Baselworld 2015. The original list price was 6,000 EUR (approx. 7,000 USD). Over the last five years, the watch has been hailed as one of the best limited edition Speedmasters ever produced.

The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary
The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary

The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary

This brings us to the latest Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary that was introduced on October 5th of this year. The new 50th Anniversary model features the updated Omega caliber 3861, which also powers the new Speedmaster Professional. The watch features an off-white dial with blue subdials – a so-called “Blue Panda” dial – and a blue ceramic bezel. As with the previous models, Snoopy can be found on the 9 o’clock subdial alongside the text “50th Anniversary.”

The reverse side of the watch is a true work of art. When you start the chronograph, a little Apollo spacecraft with Snoopy inside begins making its way around the case back. It takes him exactly 14 seconds to float over the Earth before disappearing behind the Moon. To top it off, the Earth is seen on the Moon’s horizon, and rotates once every minute thanks to its being connected to the small running seconds.

Initial reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, and if that is any indication of performance, this watch will be a big success. This edition does not have a limited run, making it accessible for anyone who wants to spend 9,600 USD. I am sure there are plenty of Speedmaster fans out there who can’t wait to get their hands on one. As I write, the first watches are out for delivery.

Price Comparison of the Speedmaster Snoopy Watches
Price Comparison of the Speedmaster Snoopy Watches

Prices of the Speedmaster Snoopy Editions

The new Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary marks another popular release in the series, but as mentioned, the watch isn’t a limited edition, which will likely impact its price compared to the two previous models.

The original Speedmaster Snoopy from 2003 had an official list price of around 3,600 EUR (approx. 4,200 USD). If you want to get your hands on one today, you’ll have to pay at least 10,000 EUR (approx. 11,600 USD). If you want a full set with the original box and papers, expect to pay even more – if you can find one.

The Speedmaster Silver Snoopy from 2015 is probably the most popular limited edition Speedmaster ever produced. With a run of just 1,970 pieces, it is incredibly hard to find today. The lack of supply and incredible demand have sent prices soaring. Expect to pay anywhere between 35,000 – 45,000 EUR (approx. 40,700 – 52,000 USD) if you want one. That’s outrageous considering its official list price was around 6,000 EUR (approx. 7,000 USD) just five years ago.

We likely won’t see the same degree of price appreciation for the new Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50thAnniversary in the near future. As long as the watch is widely available, prices will not exceed the list price. Once Omega stops production of the new watch, however, things may be different; only time will tell.

One of the reasons why the Snoopy watches are in such high demand is because they appeal to more than just Speedmaster enthusiasts. They attract space exploration fans, Snoopy fans, and Speedmaster fans alike, making the set one of the most popular series ever produced. Who knew that having a cartoon dog on the dial of a Speedmaster could create such a buzz?

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About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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