A watch that has traveled further than the vast majority of humanity hit the auction block this week. Astronaut Dave Scott’s Bulova Chronograph, a watch that accompanied him to the moon and back during his Apollo 15 mission just sold for $1.6 million at the RR Auction’s Space and Aviation Autograph and Artifact Auction in Boston. It is the only privately worn watch on the moon—ever.
What sets this particular timepiece apart from those that have previously graced the wrists of astronauts is that Commander Scott brought the Bulova with him on the Apollo mission as a personal backup to his government issued Omega Chronograph. The standard issue Omega watches belonging to NASA have never been available to the public, making Scott’s Bulova a rare piece. His decision to bring the personal timepiece on his mission ultimately paid off as his Omega watch was lost following his first two trips on the moon’s surface, while driving in the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LVR) alongside James Irwin.
On their third excursion in the LVR Scott wore his personal Bulova Chronograph to help track their timing, ensuring that their portable life support systems would sustain them. The team was sent to the moon on October 26, 1971, to gather scientific samples from one of the largest crater valleys, Mare Imbrium.
The Bulova Chronograph is visibly weathered from the harsh conditions on the moon’s surface, and luckily survived the re-entry process that had the team splashdown in the Pacific Ocean before being retrieved by NASA. Scott’s wish for the watch is that it finds a new owner who will share it with as many people as possible.
Astronaut Dave Scott, at left.
…and Dave Scott on the moon. That may or may not be the Bulova on his right wrist.