Dave Scott's lunar wristwatch sets U.S space memorabilia record
A watch worn on the moon by Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott has become the world's most expensive piece of U.S space memorabilia.
Scott's Bulova wristwatch, the only privately owned watch ever worn on the lunar surface, was sold for $1.6 million by Boston-based RR Auction as part of a dedicated Space and Aviation memorabilia sale.
All Apollo astronauts wore NASA-issued Omega Speedmaster watches during their missions, with the majority now housed in museums and institutions. However, Scott had also taken his own American-made Bulova Chronograph wristwatch along for the ride, and was forced to use it when his Omega watch malfunctioned.
Scott attached his watch to the original strap, and wore it during his third and final spacewalk lasting 4 hours, 49 minutes, 50 seconds. It then remained on his wrist for the journey back to Earth, and played a vital role in the safety of the mission.
"Among the decisions I made, the monitoring and use of time was perhaps the most important," recalled Scott. "Time is of the essence during human lunar expeditions—and exploration time on the surface is limited by the oxygen and water (for cooling) we can carry in our backpacks…Knowledge of precise time remaining was essential."
As the only privately owned watch ever worn on the lunar surface, Scott's Bulova Chronograph attracted attention from collectors around the world and soared to a final price of $1,625,000 – the highest price ever paid for a piece of American space memorabilia.
It beat the previous record of $1.3 million, set in 2011 when a cuff checklist worn on the moon by Apollo 12 astronaut Charles Conrad sold in a private sale.
The record auction price for any piece of space memorabilia stands at $2.9 million, set in 2011 by the Soviet Vostok 3KA-2 space capsule which sold at Sotheby's.
“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,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction
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