The last Peanuts comic strip was released on February 13th, 2000 when author, Charles M. Schultz, passed peacefully in his sleep the night before. This marked the end of the Peanuts comics – but not the heart-warming, satirical, and witty remarks that are forever in our hearts.
Less than 70 years after the Wright brothers successfully flew the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. That’s a staggering amount of innovation within one lifetime. The Omega Speedmaster Snoopy and Timex Snoopy Flying Ace Marlin Automatic commemorate such courageous expeditions of mankind, while capturing the nostalgic memories of the Peanuts gang.
The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy
The famous words “Houston, we’ve got a problem…” were uttered by astronaut Jack Swigert during Apollo 13, the third mission to land on the moon. So what was the problem? On April 13th, 1970, an explosion caused the ship’s electrical systems and fuel cells to fail. Luckily Swigert’s clever use of the Omega Speedmaster was able to save the day!
Despite an oxygen tank depleted to zero, the crew managed to safely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere by timing the ignition of the ship’s rockets with the Speedmaster to decrease speed and increase the flight path angle, minimizing the length of the return trip.
For the role Omega played in the crew’s safe landing, NASA and astronauts of Apollo 13 awarded the Silver Snoopy to Omega, a distinguished honor for those contributing outstanding service toward flight safety and mission success. They chose the beagle as an icon to emphasize mission success and to act as a “watchdog” for flight safety.
So how did Snoopy end up on the Silver Snoopy? It first happened in 2003, when Omega released the Speedmaster “Eyes on the Stars” edition. While this model was popular among collectors, the bigger hitter came in 2015, when Omega released the Speedmaster Silver Snoopy to commemorate the 45th anniversary of their recognition with the Silver Snoopy Award. So what’s so special about this watch?
Like Omega’s white gold or moonphase timepieces, the Snoopy Speedmaster features the unique white dial which is reserved for special models. The monochromatic color scheme gives this Speedmasters a fresh take on their classical black dial design and also ties in really well with the Snoopy character and his cute black ears and white fur.
Without argument the Silver Snoopy is not only a timepiece with a cute non-Beagle-looking Beagle, but also a symbol of Omega’s service for NASA and Apollo 13.
The crew had to successfully produce 14-second manual flight-corrections in order to safely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. In remembrance, the words “What could you do in 14 seconds?” was inscribed along the chapter ring from 0 to 14 seconds.
The astronauts’ determination is expressed in Snoopy’s speech bubble at 9 o’clock, reading “Failure is not an option.” This quote was inspired by mission controller Jerry Bostick after an interview in preparation for the 1995 film, “Apollo 13.” He was asked “Weren’t there times when everybody, or at least a few people, just panicked?” His response:
“When bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them.”
If you remember (or read) the Peanuts comics, we follow Snoopy on his journey to the moon. What people may not have realized is that Snoopy actually went to the moon – in the form of a pin! Read on to see what I mean…
The Silver Snoopy pin Omega was awarded actually accompanied astronauts on their Apollo missions. To commemorate the award, the back of each Omega Silver Snoopy features a handcrafted silver medallion surrounded by a deep blue enamel and hand-applied silver specks for stars.
The Snoopy also brings about a three-dimensional element and is protected by sapphire crystal. In recognition of the year Omega received the Silver Snoopy Award, there are only 1,970 pieces of the Silver Snoopy Speedmaster!
While the Silver Snoopy retailed for a reasonable $7,350, it quickly became a hit for collectors due to its whimsicality, unique design, and commemorative status. As a result, it has become one of the most desirable – and expensive – Speedmasters, with a market price of around $25,000 and climbing.
But if you’re not a fan of the Speedmaster or the price tag, there’s still a Silver Snoopy for you – by none other than Timex!
Timex Marlin Snoopy Flying Ace
Timex continued its long history of partnering with Peanuts with its 2019 release of the Snoopy Flying Ace. The previous Peanuts collections include a variety of colorful timepieces featuring characters like Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock.
Bringing back the iconic Marlin
The Snoopy Flying Ace a tribute to one of Timex’s old iconic models: the Marlin. It was a classic 1950s dress watch overflowing with both style and charm. They definitely know how to bring back something old and make it feel new again.
A modern take
However, unlike the original Marlin, the Snoopy Flying Ace features modern amenities like automatic winding – though it still doesn’t hack. It also brings the case size up to a modern 40mm.
The case houses a Japanese Miyota automatic movement with about two days of power reserve. This is an upgrade from the Chinese manual wind movements Timex had previously used.
Dial and crystal
The dial itself is silver and Snoopy is depicted wearing his flying ace at the 6 o’clock mark.
The domed acrylic crystal distorts the watch face depending on the angle and adds a three-dimensional pop.
So which is “better”?
The Timex Marlin Flying Ace is priced at a modest $249 new, making it attainable for just about 1% of the cost of an Omega Silver Snoopy. The Timex is also a great pick if you’re looking into a simpler piece and a great conversation starter. However, it is currently sold out in the US but the next production round should be arriving soon.
The Omega Speedmaster Snoopy on the other hand is near $25,000 on the resale market and that is definitely something to consider before seeking out this timepiece. However, it’s also probably one of the few modern “investment grade” timepieces that could be a solid store or value going forward.
In terms of size and functionality, I think it is a no-brainer that the Speedmaster Snoopy with the chronograph, small seconds, and tachymeter is far superior to the Marlin Automatic with Japanese Miyota automatic movement. Big bigger and more complex isn’t always better.
The Speedmaster also features excellent lume – including a lumed Snoopy! So if you’re looking to see Snoopy regardless of if you’re going to bed at night or floating in outer space, this is the watch for you!
Aesthetically, if you’re looking for a smaller watch, I’d go for the Marlin, but who can resist the unique Omega white dial?
The Marlin is very nostalgic as it brings back an older, iconic Timex model and ties back to the days when Peanuts comics were still released every Sunday. However, the Omega Speedmaster portrays a different role for Snoopy: NASA’s mascot since 1968. Snoopy was upgraded from being more than a comical element in weekly comics to a watch-dog for flight safety.
I’d say that if you’re shopping for your child, get the Snoopy Flying Ace or another piece from the Peanuts collection. But if you are shopping for your inner child, the Speedmaster Silver Snoopy is the perfect companion for you – though maybe not for your wallet.