Apollo 15 commander David Scott is the seventh person to walk on the moon and perhaps the first one to own a Bulova watch that will one day land in an auction site.
The Bulova watch will be up for auction at the RR Auction Space and Aviation Auction and will have a starting bid price of $50,000. Bidding period will begin on Oct. 15 and will last until Oct. 22.
"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...the elapsed time of consumables use (oxygen, water, and battery) in the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) backpack," wrote Scott in a letter of authenticity made up of 5 pages as part of the auction.
The auction site described the watch as "the only privately owned watch worn on the Moon." The Bulova wrist chronograph bears the model number 885104/01 2'509'052. Since it was worn on the Moon, the watch showed significant wear from its lunar exposure. It also showed residual rust earned from the splashdown. The Velcro watchband is said to be worn on all three Apollo 15 EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) and is also expected to exhibit some wear because of how it was used extensively during the mission.
Most of the watches worn by astronauts in space are the standard Omega chronographs which are the officially issued watches by NASA. They are government issued watches which means that they are also government property. Most of them are now placed in museums and other government institutions. These include the Omega chronograph that was used by David Scott on EVA-1 and EVA-2.
"Officially issued by NASA, they are acknowledged as government property, and many, including Dave Scott's watch used on EVA-1 and -2, are housed in institutions, a distinction that leaves Commander Scott's here-offered EVA-3-worn Bulova Chronograph as the singular lunar surface watch in private hands. This precision timepiece, made available here for the first time, is an astounding specimen rife with aeronautical and horological history - a key piece inherent to Apollo 15's success," states the description part in the auction site.
Scott brought the watch with an intent to use it as a backup in case something goes wrong with the NASA-issued Omega chronograph. He reasoned that should the watch fail, he needs to have another way of keeping accurate time.
"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. This unique strap was worn during each of my three EVAs on the lunar surface," wrote Scott.