The NASA-approved Apollo 15 commemorative watch from California-based timepiece maker Xeric lands in an absolute sweet spot for fans of American innovation and industry. It’s not only a watch honoring a truly historic moment in the space agency’s march into the stars, but its American movement status represents a return of watchmaking production back to U.S. shores.
BACKGROUND: THIS UNIQUE WATCH IS NASA THROUGH AND THROUGH
This watch from Xeric is the latest edition to its wildly popular NASA series, which started in 2019 with the introduction of its first model honoring the 50th anniversary of the era-defining 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing mission. That timepiece shattered previous Kickstarter watch campaign records, netting over 18,000 backers, so it’s no surprise Xeric is back, this time memorializing the first deployment of the lunar roving device during 1971’s Apollo 15 mission.
Just like the space agency itself, Xeric learned from the success of the Apollo 11 timepiece, only to come back with this new artisan wearable that’s slimmer, lighter, and even more fashionable than its earlier creation.
The watch itself is even crafted employing two different movement systems. Buyers can purchase the American-assembled, battery-driven moonphase movement version, which features a pair of circling moons representing the minutes and hours, while a unique phase gauge also displays the current phase of the moon in its precise 29.5-day cycle around the Earth.
Of course, for those who would rather never worry about changing a battery at all, there is also a fully automatic version of this collectible on sale. It runs on a self-winding mechanical “engine” that can be powered either by winding the watch crown or just through arm motions carried out while it’s being worn.
In addition to its precision movement, the Apollo 15 watch is chock-full of callbacks and subtle allurances to that fabled mission. The articulated ridge lines stitched into the Horween leather strip look like the ridges found on the gloves of those NASA pioneers. Meanwhile, the watch crown includes a unique wire mesh design that looks just like the odd treads of that Apollo rover. And the watch grille itself is shaped to inspire thought of the Apollo 15 command module with segments denoting each hour shaped just like the module’s iconic crew access hatch.
Luminescent Super-LumiNova indices and planets glow when the watch is in the darkness, and the watch face on certain models is even sliced right from the remains of an actual meteorite.
ANALYSIS: THIS UNIQUE TIMEPIECE IS TEARING UP KICKSTARTER
While this NASA-approved design is steeped in Apollo DNA from top to bottom, its most important feature may not be the honor it pays to America’s past, but the role it seeks to play in America’s future. While past Xeric models feature Japanese movement, this Apollo 15 is the first to feature movement crafted in the United States, right at the watchmaker’s facility in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Just like its predecessor, the Apollo 15 watch was unveiled to massive success on Kickstarter almost immediately. Within minutes of its unveiling, the project was already over its $10,000 pledge limit for backing, well on it’s way to more than 700 backers spending over $250,000 in just over 24 hours.
OUTLOOK: THIS LIMITED EDITION WATCH IS GOING FAST
Both the automatic and moonphase versions of the Xeric Apollo 15 commemorative watch are available in a handful of different styles, though each is limited to no more than 1,971 pieces in any given style. Priced at between $259 and $699, each is also on sale now through the Kickstarter campaign at up to 36 percent off its retail price.