VIDEO : Floating watches and watch repair on board the ISS

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth yesterday after having handed over his command of the International Space Station (ISS) to his friend and crewmate Pavel Vinogradov.

At the time of the launch of this this post his cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ is fast approaching seven million views on YouTube. A farewell to the ISS, the first music video made in space has brought him new fans beyond the almost 800,000 who avidly followed his twitter feed during his ISS stay (there are many more than that now), in awe of his photographs of Earth and charmed by his active engagement with social media.

One of the things he shared was a short video of his watch floating in the ISS. When asked, on Twitter, why he wore it so loosely, he replied that he liked to see it floating in zero gravity.

So what is Commander Hadfield’s watch? It’s Omega’s X-33 Speedmaster.

A 42.25mm titanium tool watch containing the Omega Cal. 1666 quartz movement, the X-33 was designed in conjunction with American and European astronauts, Russian cosmonauts and some professional pilots. Apart from the day and date it also has a chronograph, alarm, a countdown function and functionality that was designed for astronauts – ‘mission elapsed time’, ‘mission elapsed alarm’, ‘universal time’, and universal time alarm. It has been used for quite a few years now by NASA, but ceased regular production in 2006. If you wish to find out more about it click here. You can read the X-33’s manual here.

So what happens if an astronaut on board the ISS has to fix his X-33? This video was made by astronaut Don Pettit, who was on the ISS between November 2002 – May 2003.

If you aren’t on twitter, this article will give you some idea of how huge Commander Chris Hadfield’s presence and impact were during his time on the International Space Station.

Categories: Ephemera, horology videos, Omega, Watch Profile, watches, Watchmaking

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