BUY ME: Space age watch and case

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The Independent Culture
Space age design has influenced a wide variety of products from washing powder to Smarties since the late Fifties, and continues to do so. The closest contender of late for the ultimate space age product is being fought over by two companies. Omega claims to sell the only watch that has ever been to the moon - the Speedmaster professional, and Halliburton, a luggage company, is re-marketing its Zero Halliburton case, which was used by Nasa to bring back rock specimens from the moon.

While Omega may not be a watch company you immediately associate with innovative design, when it comes to quality and luxury every man has to own at least one Omega watch in his lifetime (preferably an early Sixties one). The watch currently "opening new frontiers in the mastery of time in space" is the Speedmaster Professional X33, currently on its way to Mars. It is made from lightweight, ultra-resistant, anti-allergenic titanium and was designed in collaboration with American and European astronauts. These watches have been worn by Russian cosmonauts on board the MIR space station since January this year. The inter-galactic yarns you could spin with one of these on the end of your wrist should be enough for you to want to own your very own chunk of space memorabilia.

The Zero Halliburton "is the strongest travel case in the world", according to Halliburton. It can withstand 50,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and temperatures of up to 900 degF. Try the Northern Line at rush hour in August if this sounds a bit over the top. When one of their laptop cases was recently exploded at a Paris airport because it was left unattended, the contents were left intact and the case looked like the corner had been bashed about a bit, but that was it. This indestructibility features in Mission Impossible, Independence Day and The Big Lebowski. The perfect travelling companion, perhaps for those who deal in slightly risque circles - your secrets will be well and truly guarded.

Speedmaster Professional X33, pounds 1,575, available from Watches of Switzerland, 16 New Bond Street, London W1 and stockists nationwide; enquiries 01703- 646 800.

Halliburton attache case, from pounds 250, laptop case pounds 345, available from Selfridges, Oxford Street, London W1, and other stores nationwide; enquiries 0181-208 3080.

Holly Wood

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