Revealing a new Speedmaster watch for the winners of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication

19th May 2017:  At a special press conference at the Royal Society in London on Friday, the Starmus Festival announced its new partnership with the prestigious Swiss watchmaker OMEGA.
The Starmus Festival is a combination of science, art and music, and its goal is to help the general public understand and appreciate science. Since 2011, it has included performances and presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music.

OMEGA’s own pioneering history is filled with scientific accomplishment including the conquests of space and the ocean, as well as revolutionary breakthroughs in magnetic watchmaking and precision.

Raynald Aeschlimann, the President and CEO of OMEGA, spoke about the new partnership by saying, “As we know in watchmaking, it’s not always easy to communicate new innovation or complex technology. In science, I’m sure it’s the same. That’s why we recognise the importance of the Starmus Festival. It embraces creativity to help the general public understand and appreciate everything about science. OMEGA has a strong history within science and we wanted to maintain our commitment to this important area.”

As part of its partnership, OMEGA is proudly supporting the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. The Medal recognises those who promote science through three different disciplines including Science Writing; Films; and Music and Art.

On June 20th this year at the Starmus Festival, the three winners will be presented with a brand new 18K yellow gold OMEGA Speedmaster watch. On the back of the watch, the brand has included a unique engraving that mirrors the design of the actual medal itself. This includes an image of the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the first ever human spacewalk as well as the “Red Special” guitar of Queen’s Brian May.

Professor Hawking himself was at the press announcement and shared his enthusiasm for OMEGA’s support. “I’m delighted that OMEGA is joining forces with us this year and that these watches will be given to the winners. I would like to thank OMEGA for this initiative and for their sponsorship.”

Three other important guests were present on the day, including Professor Garik Israelian, the Founder of Starmus; Professor Claude Nicollier, the first Swiss astronaut and close friend of OMEGA; and Professor Edvard Moser, the renowned Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist.

Speaking on stage, Professor Israelian, the Founder of Starmus said, “Our principal goal is to inspire. This is the base of everything. I’m very proud to announce the partnership with OMEGA and have them helping us with our goals.”

Professor Nicollier was also able to shed more light on OMEGA’s scientific past and reveal his own unique experience with the brand. He said, “I have huge admiration for the achievements of Stephen Hawking. My connection to OMEGA is the value of excellence. So I’m looking forward to Starmus IV and the involvement of OMEGA in the next chapter of science, art and music at the highest level.”

Without doubt, OMEGA will be following the announcement of the Medal winners very closely and is looking forward to Starmus IV taking place this year from June 18 – 23 in Trondheim, Norway.

About the watch
The three winners of the Stephen Hawking medal will each receive an OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph. The 42 mm case and bezel are made from 18K yellow gold and the black dial also includes 18K yellow gold hands and indexes. The watch is distinguished by its unique caseback which includes the words “WINNER OF THE STEPHEN HAWKING MEDAL FOR SCIENCE COMMUNICATION”, as well as a laser-engraved medallion that follows the exact design of the medal itself. This includes the Starmus logo and images of Alexei Leonov during the first human spacewalk and the “Red Special” guitar of Queen’s Brian May. The watch is presented on a black leather strap and is driven by the famous OMEGA calibre 1861, virtually the same hand-wound movement that powered the timepieces NASA’s astronauts wore on the Moon.

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