Mission to Mars: Omega Alaska project

Any watch enthusiast understands what the incredible Omega Speedmaster Moonswatch has done for the watch industry, and also the development and links to space exploration. However very few have heard of the Omega Speedmaster 'Alaska project'! For those who havent, this blog takes you through the Alaska 1 project and will talk you through how this watch has been brought into the modern era with the Mission to Mars Swatch x Omega Moonswatch!

In the captivating realm of space and the ever-evolving demands of lunar missions, the Alaska Project emerged as an enigmatic venture, shrouded in secrecy to conceal its true purpose. Nestled within the archives of Omega's history, this covert effort bore the name "Alaska," yet it held no connection to the U.S. state from which it borrowed its name. Why? Well this watch was designed in the 1960's in the height of the space race and Omega & Nasa wanted to keep their innovation as low-key as possible! In the transformative year of 1969, the Alaska Project gave birth to four remarkable watches of the Alaska 1 (Prototype) reference 5-003, a watch that from a design point of view didn't share any design resemblance to the iconic Speedmaster, however shared a common heartbeat, the bullet proof calibre 861.

The Alaska 1 may have been distinct from the Speedmaster in many aspects, yet it retained several intriguing ties to its renowned sibling. This three-register manually wound chronograph, featuring baton hands, embodied a titanium case, an epitome of temperature resilience, lightness, and robustness that stood in stark contrast to the Speedmaster's steel casing. With a larger, 44mm cushion-shaped profile, and an intriguingly asymmetric back, the Alaska 1 held a unique visual identity. The curvature of the left side, gracefully arched inward, mirrored the right, while the round pushers stood unguarded, contrasting with the crown nestled within a protective recess.

Notably, the Alaska 1 lacked the tachymeter bezel, relying on an internal sloped bezel to mark finer time increments. The chronograph's cumulative elapsed minutes and hours were indicated by distinctive red, funnel-shaped markers, reminiscent of the Command Module's Launch Escape System on the Apollo spacecraft stack. These markers were echoed at significant time intervals on the bezel, creating a mesmerizing visual harmony.

The pièce de résistance of the Alaska 1 was its clamshell "heat shield" case, crafted from anodized aluminum. This innovative case was designed to narrow the temperature range experienced by the watch.. Omega's patent for the Alaska Project aptly noted the difference, demonstrating that the watch's temperature rose from 20°C to a scorching 106°C in 3 hours and 22 minutes when exposed to the sun, but with the protective casing, it reached a more manageable 36°C in just 2 hours and 51 minutes. To safeguard the dial from the aluminium shield's cover, it was coated in white zinc oxide, effectively dissipating the sun's rays. The shield itself bore a striking red hue.The oversized, well-spaced pushers, located at 6 o'clock to open the clamshell and at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock for the chronograph function, allowed for easy manipulation, even with gloved hands.

The Swatch Mission to Mars clearly captures the design aspects from the original Alaska project. Most notably its Iconic red and white colours, the rocket shaped baton markers on the sub dials, its white and red velcro strap and finally the bezel markers to mark those finer time increments


The Alaska Project serves as a testament to the exceptional quality and unwavering durability of watches made for space exploration. The Mission to Mars brings this watch into more 21st century wearable piece, with its modern design capturing key design elements from the original Alaska project. Both exceptionally cool timepieces and a real talking point with fellow watch enthusiasts


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Swatch Moonswatch - Mission to Mars: Redefining Time with Cosmic Inspi – MGB WATCHES 
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