RR Auction’s recent space memorabilia sale included a custom gold Vacheron Constantin wristwatch made for Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard.
It realised $81,311.
This watch is one of three in existence
Shepard, along with fellow crew members Edgar Mitchell and Stu Roosa, was awarded the watch as a gift from the people of Geneva during a ceremony in the Swiss capital.
Mitchell’s watch made $62,500 at Christie’s last year.
Shepard’s status as head of the mission is likely behind the higher result.
The consignor of the watch told the auction house: "When NASA was founded my grandfather had an affiliation with them, I am not sure where he met Alan Shepard either through NASA or through his dentistry practice...
“When my grandfather died in '99 there was a watch left for my Dad in his will and he kept it in a safe deposit box ever since.”
An Omega Speedmaster Pro flown by astronaut Gennady Padalka aboard the International Space Station in 2012 realised $39,458.
Padalka explains in a letter that he left the watch in an airlock during a spacewalk, where “it was subjected to the vacuum of the space environment for 5 hours and 51 minutes...
“This watch flew a total of 2 thousand orbits during 125 days in Space and travelled approximately 50 million miles during my space flight.”
The Speedmaster was one of a number of wristwatches NASA tested for their effectiveness in space in the early 1960s. It was the best performer and has been the official watch of the space program ever since.
In 2014, an example worn by Ron Evans during the Apollo 17 mission sold for $245,000.
You can secure your own piece of space memorabilia here.
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