28.01.2022 - Rolex

NFL star chooses out-of-this-world Rolex for space trip

‘Join us on a trip to space and bring three pounds of personal effects with you’.

Not the kind of invite you get every day.

But one that had us thinking when we heard Good Morning America presenter and former NFL star Michael Strahan got offered the 11-minute out-of-this-world experience. 

Amongst the personal items he took were a cool De Bethune DB28 Kind of Blue, a Super Bowl XLII ring and a pearl necklace.But what he also managed to get onboard Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocket was a very fancy - and appropriate for the occasion - watch on his wrist.

Strahan, well known for his collection of Rolex watches, wore a white-gold Rolex GMT-Master II 126719 BLRO outfitted with a fetching meteorite dial. The limited edition watch first debuted in Baselworld back in 2019 as the first GMT-Master with a meteorite dial - made from a solid slice of the Gibeon meteorite which is attached to the dial surface and treated with an acid-wash finish to bring out its natural crystalline pattern. Rolex used this on the Daytona but it has been seen on Datejusts and other models. The GMT is an unusual choice for a meteorite dial.

The 126719 BLRO is 40mm with a blue and red Cerachrom bezel and impressive automatic calibre 3285 movement. It may be a fascinating watch to admire but just how reliable did it prove to be up in space? 

After launching the Apollo Program, NASA looked for a reliable timepiece to serve as the official watch of the space program. Rolex 6238 pre-Daytona, the Longines-Wittnauer 242T, and the Omega Speedmaster were put through rigorous examinations in 1965 including extreme temperature testing to simulate the moon’s climate, as well as acceleration, decompression and high-pressure tests.

The Rolex model stopped running on two occasions during the relative humidity test and failed one of the temperature tests. The Longines-Wittnauer failed one of the temperature tests and decompression test while the Omega Speedmaster gained 21 minutes during the decompression test and lost 15 minutes during the acceleration tests. The luminous material on the dial was destroyed. In the end it was the Speedmaster reference ST105.021, worn by Neil Armstrong, on the Apollo 11 mission.

We’d love to hear how Strahan’s Rolex fared in space - despite the short time frame!

If you fancy an out-of-this-world watch, we’ve got some amazing timepieces on sale just now. Make an appointment to visit our Essex boutique or check out our online offerings. Contact us if you’d like to ask any questions.

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