The success of Elon Musk’s Space X endeavors has brought the “final frontier” (thanks, Star Trek) back to the fore for many around the world, including this watch freak. When Space X launched the first crewed Dragon capsule recently, I was glued to the television for the launch and later caught up with the docking watching a NASA YouTube video. It brought back fond memories of watching the Gemini and Apollo missions on a portable black and white television in the second half of the last century.
So, I started thinking about what watches the astronauts and cosmonauts wore on the early missions into outer space. When you look at the space capsules and the crude instruments and controls, taking a reliable timepiece along for the ride made sense. This is especially true for the astronauts who came from their respective air forces where they flew fixed-wing aircraft. Pilots need and use wristwatches, something reliable for timing routes if instruments fail.