Wristwatch worn on the Moon set for auction
The only privately owned watch ever worn on the Moon is heading for sale at RR Auction this month.
The Bulova Chronograph wristwatch was worn on the lunar surface by Apollo 15 astronaut and moon-walker Commander Dave Scott, and has remained in his private collection ever since. Now it will be offered for sale for the first time, with bidding starting at $50,000.
All Apollo astronauts were issued with Swiss-made Omega watches as standard, but Scott decided to also take a Bulova watch on the mission, in an attempt to prove that an American-made timepiece could also withstand the rigours of space.
Having worn the Omega watch on his first two lunar walks, Scott discovered it had malfunctioned and was missing a crystal. On his third and final moon walk he wore his Bulova watch, and subsequently kept it on during the crew's return to Earth.
"Among the decisions I made, the monitoring and use of time was perhaps the most important," recalled Scott, in a detailed letter offered with the timepiece. "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 a backup to the standard issued Omega chronograph, I carried and used a Bulova chronograph on the lunar surface...this unique strap was...worn during...each of my three EVAs on the lunar surface.”
The watch is the only non-NASA issue wristwatch to have been worn on the surface of the moon, and experts believe it could easily bring a six-figure price.
RR Auction has previously sold a number of items from Scott's personal collection of memorabilia – most notably his cuff checklist worn on the lunar surface, which realized $364,452 back in 2012.
Bidding in the RR Auction Space and Aviation sale opens on October 15, and runs until October 22.
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