Buzz Aldrin’s Speedmaster and Paul Newman’s Rolex
In 2017 Phillips auction house of New York sold Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona for a record setting $17.8 Million. Since it was once owned by a famous Hollywood movie actor many collectors say it’s the greatest watch in the world. Who can argue with such logic? I can! My vote goes to the Omega Speedmaster Buzz Aldrin wore on the Apollo 11 first lunar landing. It’s true that Neil Armstrong also carried a Speedmaster on the historic flight, but unlike Aldrin he didn’t wear it as he walked on the Moon.
Where is Aldrin’s Speedmaster today? Like the Amber Room it has vanished into the mists of time. After returning from the Moon Buzz decided to donate the government issued Speedmaster to the Smithsonian Institution although he was in no way required to do so. He sent the watch via the United States Postal Service and the package went missing in transit never to be seen again. If you think that Buzz was foolish to mail the watch it should be remembered that the Hope Diamond was successful mailed through the USPS when it too was given to the Smithsonian. It arrived without a problem, the postal workers having no clue what they were handling.
Sure the watch was just an intimate object and perhaps it’s inglorious to place too much value on simple things. But due to its provenance the Speedmaster had the power to inspire the young and invoke wonder in the old. My guess is that the Apollo moon landings will be remembered long after Paul Newman has been forgotten.