News detail

1 May 2003

OMEGA ambassador Gene Cernan is a star guest at the Knokke Eccentric exhibition


Prestigious watchmaker OMEGA is one of the main participants at the Eccentric exhibition, organised in collaboration with the town of Knokke. A highlight today was the presence of one of the company's star ambassadors, Gene Cernan, who delighted locals and visitors to the exhibition, as he drove a replica of the famous Lunar Rover through a main shopping street. Cernan stopped off at the OMEGA stand at the exhibition and also took part in a lively press debate with Dirk Frimout, the first Belgian astronaut to venture into space.

In December 1972, Apollo XVII astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt set off on a ground-breaking mission during which they collected 108.6 kgs of rocks and covered 30.5 km in a lunar revolving vehicle. Today, the Belgian public had the opportunity to admire a replica of the Lunar Rover driven through Avenue Lippens by Cernan himself: the last man to have left an imprint of his footsteps on the moon. Cernan drove the lunar roving vehicle past the De Maere and Roelandt jewellers and also stopped off at the OMEGA stand at the Eccentric exhibition in Knokke. The sight of Cernan driving the Lunar Rover would no doubt have aroused a sense of nostalgia for those who were able to watch the event live on their television screens 30 years ago. Another main highlight of the day was the lively press debate, which took place in the Swatch Group offices in Brussels, in which both Cernan and Frimout participated. This event was chaired by Herman Henderickx, a VRT journalist and space enthusiast.

Mayor Leopold Lippens was particularly honoured to open the Eccentric exhibition in the presence of Eugene Cernan and Baron Dirk Frimout, who was only recently raised to the peerage. Guests, including the VIPs, then took part in a charity auction. Three highly sought-after OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo XVII commemorative watches that OMEGA had given to the mayor were sold and the proceeds are to be donated to three charities chosen by the town of Knokke. The OMEGA Speedmaster is the only watch to have been worn on the moon and it was this model that Cernan wore during his historic mission 30 years ago. The exhibition continues until 5 May.


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