Wally Schirra's Omega Speedmaster Professional watch sold for $1,906,954, to a bidder who wishes to remain anonymous, according to Boston-based RR Auction
. The timepiece was presented to Schirra at a special gala dinner on November 25, 1969, at the Hotel Warwick in Houston.
Omega presented 26 of these gold commemorative watchesknown as the 'Tribute to Astronauts' watchto NASA astronauts alive and deceased, with the case back of each watch specially engraved with a quote, the name and missions of the astronaut, and a unique number relative to when the astronaut flew into space.
This watch's case back, issued as "No. 8," is encircled, "Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Mercury 8Gemini 6Apollo 7," with the central quote reading: "To mark man's conquest of space with time, through time, on time." The gold bezel has a burgundy red aluminum inlay, with the famous 'dot over ninety' and a special solid gold dial.
Schirra holds the unique distinction of being the only U.S. astronaut to fly on all three of NASA's early space projects. Noted space collector Larry McGlynn purchased Schirra's watch directly from the Schirra family after Wally's death.
"This watch is a rare and remarkable example of astronaut-owned objects from the Apollo Era," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. "We are thrilled and excited for our consignor and the winning bidder."
Among other items in this sale was Gene Cernan's Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 1957 Chronograph which sold for $68,707.
Dave Scott's Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Chronograph, the only privately owned watch worn on the Moon, sold for $1.6 million in 2015.
The Space Exploration auction from RR Auction began on September 22 and concluded on October 20. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.