A Rolex watch known to have landed on the surface of the moon.Apollo 17 Lunar Module Flown Rolex GMT-Master Chronometer Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Ron Evans, Signed and Certified. It is widely known that the Omega Speedmaster Pro was the only watch approved by NASA for use on the Apollo moon flights. Its official status has led it be called the "Moonwatch." Many students and collectors of space-flown timepieces are aware that Jack Swigert carried and/or wore a Rolex on the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight which never landed on the moon. The possibility has recently been raised that Edgar Mitchell took his Rolex to the moon. We are not aware, however, of any moon-landed Rolexes ever having been publicly offered for sale. This handsome, all-original, 1968-era Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master was Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans' personal watch. He placed it into his Personal Preference Kit (PPK) which was taken to the moon by his crewmates Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt aboard the Lunar Module Challenger, while he orbited the moon in the Command Module America. It remained on the moon for approximately seventy-five hours on what, up to this day, was the last manned lunar landing mission.
After Evans' return to Earth, he certified the watch by engraving the pertinent facts and his name along the outside edge of the back of the watch with an electric engraving tool. He wrote: "FLOWN ON APOLLO XVII 6-19 DEC 72 ON MOON 11-17[?] DEC RON EVANS". Apparently, he did not remove the stainless steel band to accomplish this as the "writing" is a bit rough and shaky. The apparent "7" in the "ON MOON" phrase was certainly intended by him to be a "4" but, it being directly below the band's attachment to the watch, and due to the size of the portable engraving machine, the number was not clearly engraved. There can be no doubt that this watch belonged to Evans and that he took it with him on Apollo 17. A totally unique item worthy of the finest institutional or private space or timepiece collection.
The technical specifications for this particular chronometer are as follows:
Model: Rolex GMT-Master Oyster Perpetual Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified Steel Wristwatch, circa 1968.
Movement: Caliber 1580, nickel-finished lever movement, 26 jewels, mono-metallic balance, adjusted to five positions and temperature, shock absorber, self-compensating Breguet balance spring.
Case: Reference 1675, No. 2448718, three body, bi-directional blue and red anodized aluminum bezel, screw-down case back and Twin-lock crown, curved lugs, acrylic crystal with Cyclops lens over the date, 40mm diameter.
Dial: Matte black dial with luminous markers, outer white minute divisions, luminous steel skeleton hands, luminous tip to the red arrowhead 24 hour indication hand.
Band: Stainless steel, style 9315, deployant clasp with flip lock.
Condition: Movement is very good, dial is very good and original, case and band are good with wear consistent with age, crystal is scratched. Watch is with the original boxes, tags, certification paper, and guarantee booklet. The outside of the cardboard box has a label with the typewritten notation "CDR. EVANS".
Included with this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from Jan Evans (Mrs. Ron Evans) stating: "I certify that the stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual, GMT-MASTER watch that accompanies this letter was lunar flown on board Apollo 17, December 1972. This Rolex was my husband's, Ron Evans CMP Apollo 17, personal watch and flown to the lunar surface as an item in his PPK. After the flight Ron certified this fact by etching onto the watch: 'FLOWN ON APOLLO XVII 6-19 DEC 72 ON MOON 11-17 [sic] DEC RON EVANS'. Ron's Rolex has been with our family since the flight."
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