How having 90 Euros in coins resulted in owning a vintage Omega Speedmaster Professional. You read these stories sometimes and wish it was you. But it happened to Rumen Kostov, who has become an avid follower of Speedy Tuesday in the meanwhile. His love for the Speedmaster is because of the two most common reasons: 1) the timeless design of this chronograph and 2) the moonwatch story, of course.
Although we watch enthusiasts and collectors tend to forget sometimes, spending $4500 on a watch is not normal for most people. It remains to be a lot of money, even though we are of the opinion that the Speedmaster is money well-spent. Putting money aside each month, sometimes for years, finally results in buying that special watch that makes your heart skip a beat. But, some people don’t have that kind of patience and find other ways to make their horological dreams come true. We’ve all heard of up-trading, where you collect watches of some kind and sell them again in order to be able to buy a more expensive one. Rumen Kostov, who lives in Bulgaria, purchased his 1984 Speedmaster earlier this year. A watch that wasn’t perfect and definitely needed some tlc from a good watchmaker. A missing pusher, missing bezel and a scratched crystal for example. But the watch was mainly dirty. And I like dirty watches, to be honest, as these mostly show that they have not been tempered with by a watchmaker. They just need a good overhaul. So that’s what Rumen basically had done to the watch, a complete overhaul. It didn’t come cheap, at approx. 800 Euro, but the watch is ready for being worn daily again.
He had dreamt of having a Speedmaster for a long time, but simply could not get himself to come up with the right amount of money. So he came up with the idea of starting to buy and sell cheaper watches and doing that long enough to fund a Speedmaster. He had witnessed someone else doing this as well, on a local Bulgarian watch forum, who ended up with a Submariner. A good example of how this could be done. His budget, just 90 Euros in coins. Pocket change that he had put aside over a period of 3 months. His first purchase was a Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. It had an issue, but since his daytime job is repairing mobile and smartphones, he was able to repair the watch as well. Rumen started to buy and trade cheaper watches, Seiko, Citizen, Revue Thommen, Zelos, Invicta, Festina, Pulsar, Casio, Victorinox but even the occasional fashion watch (e.g. Gucci) went through his hands. In total, 58 watches were once his.
He bought his first watch November 14th, 2017 and started doing his trades and swaps like there was no tomorrow. A few months later, on March 18, 2018, he found an advertisement of a not properly working Omega Speedmaster Professional with a missing bezel and decided to take his car and visit the seller. It set him back 800 Euro that he fully financed by selling off some of his cheaper watches. It was a bit of a gamble for him, as he had no clue about an estimate for repair. And the Omega Speedmaster definitely needed to be fixed, as it had a broken mainspring and a missing pusher and bezel. After asking some collectors who were also participating in the online watch forum, he found a reliable watchmaker with very good feedback (very important). This guy repaired and serviced the Lemania based calibre 861 movement and installed a new bezel, two new pushers, a new winding crown, new Hesalite crystal and all gaskets. A full overhaul, you could say. This set Rumen back another 800 Euro, that he was able to fund with the money of the remaining watches he had sold. So in total, his fully restored 1984 Speedmaster Professional had cost him 1600 Euro.
Below, some images of the watch how Rumen found it and a number of images after the repair and restoration of the Speedmaster. You can click the images for larger versions
Last month, on May 26th, the restoration work was finished on the Speedmaster and he picked it up again. A dream come true, as he truly cherishes the Speedmaster Professional. With a bit of luck but especially with a lot of persistence, Rumen managed to get his favourite chronograph, completely serviced and with an interesting story to tell. In the process of collecting and trading watches, and living up to getting his Speedmaster back from service, Rumen lets us know that he met a lot of cool people and made some great friends. His Speedmaster Professional is his everyday watch and he couldn’t have wished for a better ‘first serious watch’.
Thanks to Rumen for sharing his story. Do you have a story of your own you want to share with us? Use this page to contact us.