This year, we visited 7 different locations to host a Speedy Tuesday Event. The kick-off took place in Biel, at the headquarters of Omega to introduce the new caliber 321 to the Speedy Tuesday community.
What followed were events in Milan, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, and last but certainly not least, Tokyo. We spent countless hours in preparing these events, but the results have been amazing. Hundreds of Speedmaster fans signed up for these events, even though we had limited capacity, and we received (and still do) many requests for other locations to host these events.
Last week, we did the last Speedy Tuesday event of this year in Tokyo.
Japan is an important market for the Speedmaster. Besides Italy and Germany, Omega made several Speedmasters specifically for Japan. The Tokyo 2020 (Olympic Games) editions are the most recent example, but what to think of the Japan Racing (2004), the Mitsukoshi (2003), Galaxy Express (1999) and a bit longer ago, the most complicated Speedmaster ever, the Speedmaster Perpetual Calendar (1991). Specific older models also have a lot of interest in Japan, such as the Speedmaster 125. Especially in the early 2000s, when these watches weren’t sought after anywhere else, in Japan, they became suddenly very popular. Legend has it that TV star Kimura Takuya was wearing one in a show called HERO. Another great example is, of course, the Speedmaster (145.012-67) with the orange chronograph hand that was used in the 1970s for the cast of Ultraman.
In all honesty, we were a bit of afraid for the translation from English to Japanese. But that didn’t hold anyone back from joining the event. In total, we had over 60 guests for the Speedy Tuesday Tokyo event. A healthy mix of locals, expats, and people that traveled from abroad to be a part of this day. Omega had arranged for interpreters, who directly translated the speakers of the day. As a special guest, we had explorer and documentary maker Sam Cossman.
In the end, the language wasn’t much of an issue. The love for the Speedmaster seems universal, and the guests connected easily, even if there was a language problem. It was fascinating to see how much passion the guests in Tokyo have for the Speedmaster. Many of them brought (parts) of their collection; others just proudly brought and showed their only Speedmaster. One of the most exciting watches we’ve come across was one of the 56 Speedmaster Alaska III models that inspired us in 2017 to come up with the first Speedy Tuesday watch. Also interesting to note is that the new Speedmaster Apollo XI models, both the steel and the Moonshine gold version, were very well represented. The Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 watches could also be found among the guests, one ‘Rising Sun‘ was put on a green NATO strap, and that looks pretty cool, in our opinion. Another watch that is worth mentioning is the Speedmaster Alaska IV model (LCD) on the wrist of one of the guests. Overlooked by many, but a pretty rare sight. The number of vintage Speedmasters was pretty high as well.
The event was held on the top floor of the Hayek building in Ginza, Tokyo. An industrial-looking space, with a terrace that gave a beautiful outlook on Ginza. Enough room for all the guests to enjoy the presentations of the new watches, the caliber 321 movement, and listen to the special guest for the day, Sam Cossman.
Most famous for his documenting his “jump” into a volcano (with over 4.8 million views on youtube) in 2014, which he, later on, did again with more professional gear and support. In the video above, you can see his talk on the volcano expedition and his Quantum Leap project, where he is working on the concept of exiting a spacecraft in case of emergency and returning home safely. An ambitious plan, but Sam Cossman is destined to achieve his goal in the future. Together with Sam Cossman and Omega’s Head of Product Management Gregory Kissling, a panel discussion was held on the role of the Speedmaster in space, the history of the Speedmaster (and space), and what meaning the Omega Speedmaster has for Cossman.
After the panel discussion, Gregory Kissling gave a presentation on the Speedmaster Apollo XI models that were introduced earlier this year. Although most of you (and the guests) are already familiar with these watches (and there were quite a few present on the wrists of the Speedy Tuesday Tokyo event guests), Kissling gave an in-depth overview of how these watches have been designed, developed and produced. It became clear to the guests that all the little details you will find on these watches (here and here), often were very challenging to develop and realize for Omega.
More recent is the introduction of the Speedmaster Platinum caliber 321, and Omega brought two of these with them to Tokyo to show. Kissling explained about the special platinum alloy for this watch, the Onyx dial that consists of two layers to get the ‘step’ and of course, about the meteorite subdials. Special attention was given to the new caliber 321 movement, with Sedna gold plated bridges. After the presentation, the guests were able to give this watch (and the Apollo XI models) a try at the special desks that were in the room. An interesting question was asked by one of the guests regarding the servicing of vintage caliber 321 movements. This particular person was told that Omega is not able to service the caliber 321 movements these days, but that is not the case. Omega is perfectly able to perform a service on these caliber 321 chronograph movements. We thought this is worth sharing here, as many of you do own a Speedmaster (or Seamaster/De Ville) with that movement.
After the event (from 3:00 pm till 6:00 pm), we headed to a restaurant within walking distance. The name of the restaurant was not a coincidence, The Apollo, but the floor number was. 11.
Enjoy the images of the event below. We want to thank Omega HQ, Omega Japan, Sam Cossman, and of course, all participants for this successful Speedy Tuesday Tokyo event.
Do you want to learn more about Speedy Tuesday? Click here. In case you want to share your Speedmaster story with us? Send us an email (info [at] fratellowatches.com).
Want to see all our Speedy Tuesday videos? Visit our YouTube channel (and subscribe to our channel!).
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more