A Bulova Chronograph watch worn during astronaut Dave Scott’s third and final walk on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission will be auctioned Oct. 22 by RR Auction located in Boston. The auction house is predicting a final price of $750,000 to $1 million, depending on the bidding frenzy.
The watch is unique in that others worn by Apollo crews remained in government control and were given to institutions. This is the only one ever to reach private hands, auction officials said.
There is evidence of wear and tear caused by the moonwalk and crew recovery from the ocean, officials said. “The watch was used on the lunar surface for more than 4 hours and was exposed to lunar material, some of which remains on the strap, and possibly on the watch,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.
The watch includes a letter of authenticity from Scott: “The Bulova Lunar EVA (Wrist) Chronograph and attached Velcro wrist strap was worn by me on the lunar surface during the third EVA of Apollo 15, and then in lunar orbit and return to Earth.
“The primary use of the wrist chronograph on the surface of the Moon was to track (record) the elapsed time of consumables use (oxygen, water, and battery) in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) backpack.
“Our mission was to basically double the capabilities and requirements of previous missions, including especially the duration of extra-vehicular activities (EVA) outside the Lunar Module.
“At the moment of liftoff, I was fully responsible for the mission and the safety of my crew.
“Among the decisions I made, the monitoring and use of time was perhaps the most important.
“Time is of the essence during human lunar expeditions—and exploration time on the surface is limited by the oxygen and water (for cooling) we can carry in our backpacks.
“Knowledge of precise time remaining was essential.
“...as a backup to the standard issued Omega chronograph, I carried and used a Bulova chronograph on the lunar surface.
“NASA post-flight personnel collected all equipment on board the spacecraft and subsequently gave the Bulova back to me. I do not know what occurred between splashdown and delivery to me.
“Hopefully the new owner will share it with as many interested parties as practical.”