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Apollo 15 commander's watch clocks up $1.6m at auction

Hefty price tag for Dave Scott’s lunar timepiece

A timepiece worn by Apollo 15 commander Dave R. Scott on the surface of the Moon has sold at auction for an astronomical $1,625,000.

Apollo astronauts normally strapped a standard NASA-issue Omega Speedmaster Professional to their wrists, but Scott carried a personal Bulova Wrist Chronograph as back-up on the 1971 mission.

It accompanied him on his third extravehicular activity (EVA), following the loss of his Omega's "hesalite" crystal* during EVA 2.

The watch can (just about) be seen in a Jim Irwin picture of Scott snapped during the, four-hour, 49-minute excursion:

Scott on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 15. Pic: NASA

It later appeared more explicitly on Scott's arm after the Apollo 15 crew splashed down in the Pacific. The commander's on the left, looking suitably Right Stuffish:

The Apollo 15 crew after splashdown. Pic: NASA

The Bulova has been in Scott's possession ever since. It went under the hammer yesterday, along with a "detailed five-page letter of authenticity". RR Auction had previously estimated it might hit $1m.

Given the final selling price, RR Auction's exec VP, Bobby Livingston, unsurprisingly said: "We are extremely pleased with the results and honored to have been able to offer such an historically important timepiece - the only American-made watch that was worn on the surface of the Moon." ®


*Omega clarifies: "When NASA chose this watch, they requested a hesalite crystal, which, unlike a sapphire crystal, does not break into tiny fragments on impact. This feature is very important for astronauts, as the tiny fragments of a broken sapphire crystal would pose a danger in a zero-gravity environment."

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