The special edition golden Speedmaster is given as a reward for their contributions to science communication.
It seems Omega’s involvement in the sciences isn’t limited to moon expeditions and helping clean up dangerous space debris. It’s also taking part in this year’s Starmus VI Festival: an event hosted in Yerevan, Armenia that celebrates science, art and music.
First held back in 2011, the Starmus Festival features performances and presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners, and leading figures from science, culture, the arts, and music. It’s meant to help the general public understand and appreciate science by combining all these elements.
But aside from the entertainment and the discussions, the festival also hands out the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication—an award that recognizes people who promote science through different disciplines like science writing, films, music and art.
This year’s edition saw four awardees receive the medal: musician and astrophysicist Brian May of Queen, primatologist Jane Goodall, poet Diane Ackerman, and the NASA Communications Unit.
And here’s where Omega comes in. Each of the awardees also received a special Speedmaster Moonwatch in 18K Sedna Gold – Omega’s proprietary red gold alloy. The watch runs on the modern Co-Axial Master Chronometer 3861 movement, which is derived from the iconic Calibre 321 that went to the moon.
The watch also has a smoked sapphire crystal glass caseback, which bears a unique engraving of the medal itself. The image in the back includes a depiction of cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the first ever human spacewalk, as well as the “Red Special” guitar of Brian May.
Omega has been supporting the festival since 2017, and this year will mark the brand’s third appearance.
“What we love about the Starmus Festival is that they make innovative and complex subjects accessible to everyone,” says Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega. “It’s a celebration of creativity and getting more people excited about the universe around us. We’re very honored to play a part and gift these watches to such deserving winners of the Stephen Hawking medal.”
And while being recognized for science communication is a fantastic achievement, it certainly doesn’t hurt to get a Moonwatch into the bargain.
In any case, the Starmus VI Festival is dedicated to “50 Year On Mars,” and will take place this September. This year’s edition will welcome many notable figures in the scientific world, including Omega’s own ambassador—Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke.