The world’s biggest party city plus the most talented athletes from across the globe, what could possibly top it? The answer is very few things, but for the Rio Olympics, a visit from the second man to walk on the moon proved to be both the icing and the cherry on the cake.

Sure, other famous guests made their presence felt in Brazil – actors Eddie Redmayne and Matthew McConaughey to name but two – but when living legend Buzz Aldrin landed in town, Rio went wild. This was quickly followed by chattering in the watch world when, following a Q&A session at luxury Rio base Omega House, news broke via Aldrin’s Twitter and Facebook accounts of a new guest watch designer at Omega.

It appears that Aldrin’s comment about co-designing a watch for Mars’ days of 24 hours and 39 minutes with Omega may not actually be as throwaway as it first appeared – although there is certainly no official comment from Omega! It may be a pretty useless timepiece for life on earth but oh mama, do I want one. And, as excitement grew over the “news”, Aldrin joked on social media that friends in Brazil had ordained him “the Sultan of Mars!”

Aldrin has had a relationship with Omega dating back to 1965 when the Speedmaster, after meeting all the requirements of NASA was declared “operational for space exploration and flight certified”, making it the official Moonwatch and the model Aldrin and his colleagues wore when the Apollo 11 became the first spacecraft to take humans to the moon.

Today, looking decades younger than his 86 years, Aldrin is still dreaming big and has been sharing his passion by cheering on the US Olympic squad, decked out in patriotic wristbands, braces and ties, posting his adventures on Facebook along the way – including one 1960s shot of himself pole vaulting with the caption: Been waiting for the pole vaulting. It’s my sport! I could still pole vault in 1968. I was 38 years old here. I’m surprised I didn’t hurt my back.”

Buzz in the House

In a night entitled Cocktails in Space, Aldrin mingled and chatted with athletes and invited guests at Omega House, happily answering questions and hinting at interesting things to come…

How are you enjoying Rio?

We’ve moved around a little bit. Not too much today, it’s a little sprinkly. But we saw some of the swimming and it’s really nice to see a different city with the mountains and the coastline – we don’t have those in Florida.

What was your favourite moment of the Games?

Well, what stands out most in my mind is the swimming competition. I particularly liked the camera views from underneath where you can see the exact strokes and kicks that the swimmers are doing. And that old guy who’s been around a long time – Phelps. He’s pretty good. A tall guy.

Once you’ve been to the moon, what challenges are left?

Climbing a mountain was one. Flying across the ocean. Getting in a submersible and going down and looking at the Titanic and coming back again. I’ve been to the North Pole. And I’ve been trying for a while to get to the South Pole.

One of your key phrases is “No Dream Is Too High”. Are dreams key to our human spirit?

Yes. Wherever we started, the Garden of Eden maybe, or in the trees, we spread out. We wanted to find out what’s on the other side of the ocean. Once we found out that it’s not a flat world, we wanted to look more and more. And then we started looking up. With propellers first and then rockets to the moon. And we did a pretty good job there but now we’re looking even further.

From up in a rocket, you’ve probably had a view of Brazil that not many people have seen before. How does our planet look from space?

Everything is small, including the clouds. The clouds are real close. Even with the thunderstorms at night. It’s dark, and you get the flashes. It’s not like flying at 40 or 50,000 feet, you cover a lot more distance all the way up there. You get to see wonderful sights. But in all the flights, especially Apollo, we were in space for an orbit and a half, checking everything down. So we weren’t sightseeing before we lit the third stage engine again.

The length of a day on Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes. If we do settle there, would that mean that Omega would have to reinvent the watch?

No. They just ask some out-of-the-box thinker like me. Some innovator who looks at what is available and how we make that useful.

What can we learn from the Olympic Games?

It’s a great joining together of all the capable countries in the world. And now we have a number of countries that have space programmes. And I think it’s a great advantage to grow them together and not compete against each other. Of course we would like to compete at the design level and then cooperate at the operations level.

Omega has been talking a lot about recording dreams. What is the key to achieving a dream? It’s the same that drives everyone who wants to appreciate what they stand for. What they can do. What their contribution may be. It may be small, but you want it to be your contribution. And you want it to be the best that you can do. If you’re fortunate, you can turn it into progressive games of achievement with yourself. Whether it’s getting grades in school in your formative years or whether it’s getting a job or achieving some other objective, we’re all working towards something. We explore, or we expire. You’ve got a choice.