An Evening with General Stafford
We're still buzzing from an electrifying evening at Topper Jewelers with General Thomas Stafford – former NASA astronaut, and retired three-star General who commanded Apollo 10 – the second crewed mission to orbit the moon. Oh, and he was also the very first to fly a Lunar Module in lunar orbit. Suffice to say, our Speedmaster community was well represented for a very special Q&A with General Stafford, who, much to the satisfaction of everyone in attendance, was also wearing one heck of a Speedy.
From harrowing stories of early experiments in zero-gravity on the Gemini missions, to tales of commanding the crucial Apollo 10 mission that paved the way for the history-making Apollo 11 moon mission, General Stafford spent the evening sharing highlights from his career, all interwoven with plenty of love for the Omega Speedmaster. But our favorite moment from the evening came when a member of our audience asked whether or not General Stafford regretted turning down a chance to walk on the moon in the Apollo 11 mission, by accepting the rank of brigadier general (effectively making him a one-star general) following the success of Apollo 10.
Without a pause, he asserted that he has never once regretted that decision, as it paved the way for a commanding role on the successful Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a joint space mission between the United States and Russia, which yielded the first handshake in space between the two superpowers, and ultimately marking a historic de-escalation of tensions in the waning months of the Cold War. Naturally, General Stafford's Speedmaster of choice was 2010's Apollo-Soyuz Limited Edition with the meteorite dial – a gorgeous, and very well-worn commemorative reference on the wrist of the man who helped shape one of the most important, but lesser-known space missions in history.
Sharp, witty, and immensely generous with his time, General Stafford was also gracious enough to sign a very limited number of Moonwatch boxes for us, so if you've been on the fence over adding Omega's most iconic chronograph of all time to your collection, now is the perfect time. The General signed the lid of the special edition box set, which contains the watch, the NASA-approved velcro strap, a strap-changing tool, loupe, and Speedmaster Hippocampus medallion.
Four Moonwatch references are eligible to receive this special box set, but remember – we only have a few boxes! If you'd like to add a Speedmaster to your collection, we'd welcome you to inquire by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reserve one on Topper's online web shop right here.
General Stafford (top left) with the Apollo-Soyuz test project crewThe Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.