May 22, 2017
Swiss watchmaker Omega is helping the public appreciate science through a new partnership with The Starmus Festival.
The mission of The Starmus Festival is to teach the general public to understand and appreciate science, art and music. Launched in 2011, The Starmus Festival’s program has included performances and presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and figures from science, culture, the arts and music.
Speedmaster meets Starmus
Omega is the ideal partner for The Starmus Festival due to its own pioneering history and scientific accomplishments. The brand’s timepieces have been to space and deep within the ocean, in addition to innovations in magnetic watchmaking and precision.
During The Starmus Festival three recipients are chosen to receive the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. The medal is awarded to individuals who promote science through three disciplines: Science Writing, Films and Music and Art.
On June 20, Omega and The Starmus Festival will present this year’s medal recipients with an 18-karat yellow gold Omega Speedmaster timepiece with a black leather strap. The timepiece, produced by Omega specifically for the award ceremony, features an engraving that mirrors the design of the actual Stephen Hawking Medal.
Left to right: Omega CEO Raynald Aeschilmann with Professor Stephen Hawking
The medal, as well as the caseback, features an image of cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the first-ever human spacewalk. Also on the medal is the “red special” guitar of Queen’s Brian May and the award name.
Omega selected its calibre 1861 for the timepiece. This hand-wound movement is nearly identical to the calibre that powered NASA’s astronauts while on the moon (see story).
“As we know in watchmaking, it’s not always easy to communicate new innovation or complex technology,” said Raynald Aeschlimann, president/CEO of Omega, in a statement. “In science, I’m sure it’s the same.
“That’s why we recognize the importance of the Starmus Festival,” he said. “It embraces creativity to help the general public understand and appreciate everything about science.
“Omega has a strong history within science and we wanted to maintain out commitment to this important area.”
The Starmus Festival IV will be held June 18-23 in Trondheim, Norway.