Swiss watch brand Omega has teamed up with ESA to launch the Marstimer: the first watch to display the time on Earth and Mars. Developed in partnership with ESA’s Mars exploration teams and tested at ESA ESTEC, this new watch is space-tough and Mars-mission ready.
The Marstimer watch was officially unveiled at ESA’s ESTEC facility in The Netherlands on 27 September 2022. It’s the latest addition to Omega’s Speedmaster family of watches, which have a long association with space exploration.
They were worn by NASA’s Gemini and Apollo astronauts, most famously during the Moon landing missions. They continue to be worn by astronauts today, including on the International Space Station.
The initial concept for the Marstimer came from ESA’s engineers and scientists, who wanted a watch with Mars-specific mission functions to help operate the Rosalind Franklin rover. The team got in touch with Omega and this led to a partnership to create a new watch.
The Marstimer was developed under ESA patents. It includes features from the previous ESA-Omega collaboration on the X-33 Skywalker that used ideas from ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, plus multiple new ones. For example, as well as telling the time on Mars, the X-33 Marstimer can find true north on Earth and Mars without using a magnetic compass.
Space is a uniquely challenging environment. ESA builds spacecraft that can withstand extremes of temperature, the vacuum of space, the vibrations and stresses of launch, radiation and the harsh conditions of other worlds.
To ensure the Marstimer was space-ready, a suite of tests was developed with Omega and several prototype watches were successfully evaluated at ESA ESTEC. As a result, the watch bears the words ‘ESA tested and qualified’ on its caseback.
The Marstimer watch, developed with the same spirit that sent the first humans to space, builds on that heritage and looks forward to a new era of space exploration.
Note: ESA is an intergovernmental organisation and is not involved in the manufacturing or commercialisation of the Omega X-33 Marstimer.