IWC Pilot’s Watch and 5 timepieces that have travelled to space

IWC’s special edition Pilot’s Chronograph is set to accompany the Elon Musk-operated all-civilian mission to space, following in the footsteps of five other timepieces that made the journey

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to launch the historic Inspiration4 mission on September 14 at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch marks the first all-civilian crew in space travel history and accompanying the travellers will be four special edition IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Inspiration4” timepieces.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Inspiration4”. Photo: IWC

The white ceramic chronographs are paired with straps marked with the mission’s logo. The reference will not be available for purchase. Instead, those who want to get their hands on this will have to wait until the mission is complete; the watches will be put up for auction when they return to earth with proceeds going to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

These four watches will be among a small handful of timepieces that have clocked more air miles than you. We take a look at other timepieces that have travelled beyond our great planet.

Jeff and Mark Bezos on their way to boarding Blue Origin’s New Shepard passenger rocket in West Texas. Photo: Blue Origin

Omega Speedmaster

Jeff Bezos followed closely in NASA tradition and wore an Omega Speedmaster on his first trip to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard passenger rocket on July 20 in West Texas. The billionaire and founder of Amazon dressed his Speedmaster watch in Omega’s new velcro strap stamped with the Blue Origin logo. 

The Speedmaster’s legendary status was cemented over half a century ago when Buzz Aldrin wore it when he took that first step on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. 

While the Omega Moonwatch was the first to reach the moon, it wasn’t the first or the last in space. Astronauts have worn everything from Audemars Piguet to Rolex on their journeys to space.

Breitling Navitimer 

Breitling Navitimer. Photo: Breitling

Astronaut Scott Carpenter travelled to space as part of Aurora 7 in April 1962. An accomplished test pilot, he enlisted Breitling to create a Navitimer chronograph for his journey. 

Breitling would later revive the model as the Navitimer Cosmonaute on the 50th anniversary of the mission in 2012.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

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Cirque du Soleil CEO, Guy Laliberté, headed up to the international space station aboard Soyuz TMA-16 in September 2009 wearing an all-black PVD titanium Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grand Complication. The watch is said to be a custom design and the most expensive timepiece to have ever travelled to space. 

Rolex GMT Master II

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Rugged and reliable, the Rolex GMT Master II often finds its way onto the wrists of those who lead active lifestyles. Both astronauts Leroy Chiao and Lloyd Blaine Hammond have worn theirs on multiple space journeys since as early as the 1990s. 

Rolex Submariner 

When Kenneth Cameron lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center as part of the STS-74 mission heading to the international space station in November 1995, his Rolex Submariner accompanied him on the eight-day journey. 

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