Welcome back to our Collector’s Corner feature, where we give the microphone to you: our dear readers and watch fans. Not long after we published our Düsseldorf Speedmaster GTG report, we received a message from one of our readers, who wrote us the following:
“….thanks for the great ‘Speedmaster GTG Düsseldorf Event Report’ and the last ‘Collector’s Corner’ article, I really enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. Here is a thought I have flirted with… could I ever be a one watch guy? If I was able to acquire my Grail then maybe. Well, I just acquired my Grail, a 69 Speedy and I am totally smitten by it. It truly is timeless (no pun intended) It looks very much in it’s element today in a casual setting as it did strapped on a wrist of a spaceman in zero gravity.
A thought that I played with very often, how it would be to have only one watch. Actually, I was asked this question just recently during an interview with a (watch) magazine. I couldn’t live with just one watch just for the simple reason that I have number of watches that are really precious to me, as I received them from my wife and daughter, my mother and I inherited a beautiful watch as well. Watches I could never part with. If I’d exclude those, I might pull off living with just one watch, but I am also pretty sure I would miss a couple of watches that I feel I ‘need’ to have in my collection.
In any case, for this week’s Speedy Tuesday we do our Collector’s Corner with reader “SC” and ask him about his favorite watches.
FW: When did you start to collect watches?
SC: I have always had interest in watches. Growing up I would notice my dad wearing a few watches in rotation. Nothing special but I would notice some of the subtle details. My first real understanding the difference between quartz and mechanical came is when I asked my dad why one of his watches seconds hand ticks and stops and ticks again vs moving in one continues motion. He did not elaborate but gave me a general understanding. I went through the usual phases, first came the digital Casio followed by the funky Swatch and then Fossils etc.
I knew of the luxury brands but that was simply out of my reach then. My interest and knowledge in vintage watches had slowly but surely been growing courtesy of a few blogs such as yours. Fast-forward 10 years to 2012, I began hunting for the Moonwatch but landed up with my first Omega Speedmaster, the Mark III.
FW: What do you love about the Speedmaster?
SC: Everything, period.
I am referring to the my recently acquired Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.022 step dial from 1969. It truly is timeless (no pun intended). It looks very much in it’s element today in a casual setting as it did strapped on a wrist of a spaceman in zero gravity. Let’s just put the NASA thing to the side and simply take the watch for what it is. It’s a classic. I love how the twisted lugs catch light and become more dimensional and in the same light the dial turns ever so slightly espresso brown. The layered monochromatic dial is sublime and very legible and the 42mm case sits perfectly on my 7.5” wrist. I am a graphic designer so excuse me if I get a bit design nerdy. The design of the speedmaster definitely checks a few boxes and fits Dieter Rams (industrial design Guru) 10 principle of ‘Good Design’. One of which is Good design is ‘Long Lasting’. I think this is a fitting example of a Long Lasting design, it’s practically unchanged since it was conceived and will probably remain more or less the same for the next 50 years. Good design is aesthetic and practical, looks great and timing a parking meter or a slow cooker pot is a breeze. Good design make the product useful ( I think NASA can vouch for that).
FW: Do you believe in an ‘only one watch’ principle? Which watch would that be?
SC: I have flirted with this thought in the past but I never really acted upon it is because; a) I own a few lovely timepieces that I enjoy wearing in rotation and b) I know too much about other timepieces I would kill to have in my collection. But I think the bigger question is ‘how does one choose a single timepiece to become ‘the one’. As I type this my heart is beating a bit faster and my brain is going ‘don’t go down this road’, ’this is too difficult a decision’. This is purely my perspective, but to begin with I think the watch better be aesthetically pleasing if going to be strapped to my wrist day in and day out. It has to be a mechanical manually wound watch. An automatic may make it a bit easier, but to me I think it’s a constant reminder of your companion. Most importantly you have to have a deeper connection with the watch to live with it. It wasn’t until I acquired my ’69 Speedy that I actually thought I might be able to pull to off. Why? In my case it’s simply, I have lusted over this watch ever since I have know about it. Reading and researching and trying to locate one didn’t help either. It almost became an obsession. It totally lived up to my expectations.
FW: What is your grail watch?
SC: Speedmaster reference 2915… right, who am I kidding. Realistically speaking the Speedmaster reference 2998-2. It’s just cool!
FW: How do you feel about Omega’s current Speedmaster line-up (for example caliber 9300 models, new Moonwatch, limited editions etc).
SC: The current Omega offerings are stunning. If I had to spend my hard earned dollars on one form their line-up it would have to be ’The Dark Side of the Moon’. I had a chance to handle the Dark Side of the Moon watch on a recent international trip at the airport, I was totally blown away by it, I spent almost 20 minutes playing with it and tried to think of every excuse I would give my wife for buying this watch. But in the end, reality kicked in and I said ‘Thank you’ to the nice and very patient salesman and went on my way again. But I was blown away with the quality and finish, which is second to none. The (new) in-house Co-Axial movement Caliber 9300/9301 is not only gorgeously finished but a highly robust and serious horological step forward by Omega.
Omega recently released some interesting color variants to this watch (FW: We did an in-depth write-up on all of these models in this article). Immediately I was drawn to the ‘Vintage black’ version. On the other hand my reaction to ’the White Side of the Moon’ was “WHAT??!” but then again I am not the target audience. Omega is definitely looking to their past for inspiration and why not, the ’57 and the Mark II are fantastic looking designs, beautifully recreated and they house fine movements.
I expect Omega to continue on with refreshing and adding to of their Speedmaster offering however I think they would have to look to the future for inspiration. As for me I’ll wear my Speedmaster Pro from 1969 with pleasure while I search for my grail. And who knows may give the ‘only one watch’ a shot.
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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