Let’s open a new chapter, a chapter about watches that tell us more than just time, but their journey speaks a thousand stories…
The Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) was a military air force base with HQ in Salisbury (modern Harare) in Rhodesia, (Zimbabwe, an ex British colony) which was active between 1935 and 1980.
Known as the Royal Rhodesian Air Force (RRAF) until 1954, the “Royal” denomination was abandoned in 1970 when Rhodesia declared their independence.
According to the Omega Archive, this particular example of Speedmaster Moonwatch arrived in East Africa on the 25th November in 1976, in the midst of the Rhodesian civil Bush war which lasted from 1964-1979.
It is interesting to note that in this particular historical moment, we can find numerous examples of Omega Speedmaster with a military background and associated engravings. (check @watchbooksonly article about RHODESIAN AIR FORCE)
The example we have in our hands today is a reference 145.022-74 with serial 39’180’xxx which matches that of the other 145022 knowns.
A very curious fact that is that the watch was produced in the same serial batch as that of the ‘Apollo-Soyuz’. In fact, it features the same case with larger pushers (5.5mm).
The cherry on the cake of this whole story is the unpolished case and plexi… the perfect ending for this incredible story, and one that adds yet another twist to the rich history of this amazing chronograph.