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Lot #9007
Soyuz 14/Salyut 3: Yuri Artyukhin's Flown Omega Flightmaster Chronograph

Omega Flightmaster watch flown on a secretive Soviet space mission—carried on Soyuz 14 from July 3-19, 1974

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Estimate: $18000+
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Description

Omega Flightmaster watch flown on a secretive Soviet space mission—carried on Soyuz 14 from July 3-19, 1974

Cosmonaut Yuri Artyukhin's flown Omega Flightmaster (Ref. 145.026) chronograph wristwatch, carried on the Soyuz 14 mission to the Salyut 3 military space station, as engraved on the caseback. The mission lasted for over 15 days, launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 3, 1974, and returning on July 19, 1974. While on board Salyut 3, the cosmonauts reportedly assessed the suitability of the space station as a crewed military reconnaissance platform—including the alleged test of high-resolution Earth spy camera systems—and conducted human biological experiments, monitoring heart and circulatory systems, lung capacity, and intracranial pressure.

This desirable Omega Flightmaster, flown on a secretive Soviet space mission, boasts a manual-wind Omega 911 caliber movement, featuring 30-minute, 12-hour, and running seconds subdials, with a full-sized chronograph sweep hand and an independent GMT hand. All are housed in a a hefty 43mm steel case on an Omega steel link band with deployment clasp. This is the 'yellow hands' variant, allowing for higher legibility in aircraft/spacecraft cabins. Complete with its Omega Flightmaster box. In very good to fine cosmetic condition, with various scuffs and scratches from use; the watch is untested as to function.

A variant of the Speedmaster line, Omega developed the Flightmaster specifically for use in aviation. With its oversized case, seven hands, three crowns, and two pushers, the Flightmaster is a distinctive and highly functional space-age timepiece. Its wearer, Yuri Artyukhin (1930-1998), was a graduate of the Soviet Air Force Institute with a doctorate in engineering, specializing in military communication systems. Soyuz 14 was his only spaceflight, after which he went on to participate in the development of the Soviet space shuttle Buran and in cosmonaut training.

Provenance:
Heritage, Space Exploration Signature Auction, November 11, 2016
From the Estate of Malcolm S. Forbes, Sotheby's, Lot 77, Russian Space History Auction, December 11, 1993

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration and Aviation
  • Dates: #664 - Ended April 20, 2023