[Video] The Speedy Tuesday 10th Anniversary Took The Omega HQ By Storm
Last week we held the first Speedy Tuesday Event again. It’s been a long time since the last one (for one obvious reason that has affected all of us). We received an incredibly high amount of registrations, but we were limited (no pun intended) to 50 people in total. For these 50 persons, Fratello and Omega hosted the Speedy Tuesday Event at the Omega headquarters in Biel, with quite some nice surprises in store.
Speedy Tuesday Event Biel Edition 2022
When I started Speedy Tuesday back in 2012 — 10 years ago — I didn’t put a lot of thought into it. It sounded like a nice working title and it allowed me to write about my favorite chronograph at least once a week. The first get-together came in 2012, which was a lunch with Speedmaster collectors, held in The Hague. A year later, we asked Omega during Baselworld if they wanted to support our idea for an event at the European Space Agency visitor’s center and they did. The events were, besides all the messages and posts via Instagram, the most fun thing to do. Meet with like-minded Speedmaster fans and discuss the watches that were brought in or even just the latest Speedmaster editions.
We did a number of these events, but it wasn’t until 2016 that Fratello, together with Omega, held an event at their headquarters. It was also there that the idea of the first Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday (Tribute to Alaska) watch took its first concrete steps towards being introduced a few months later, in January 2017. Then, one year later, the Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Ultraman”, a tribute to the original Speedmaster Ultraman 145.012-67 followed. The Speedy Tuesday Events — or get-togethers — never stopped though, and in 2019 we hosted approximately 10 of them worldwide. These events, whether they are in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York City, Milan, or Frankfurt, are the perfect way to meet each other, and to see the faces behind the Instagram accounts that post #SpeedyTuesday images on Tuesdays, or send you messages about certain Speedmasters, or you have digital conversations within the Speedy Tuesday Facebook group.
A two-day event at Omega’s Head Quarters
For this year, 2022, we have a number of Speedy Tuesday Events planned, and the first kick-off was in Biel, home of Omega. It was the first time we hosted a two-day event, at least lasting for nearly 24 hours, from Tuesday 3 pm till Wednesday 2 pm. We had a packed program on day 1, with visits to the special workshop where all Omega Speedmasters with caliber 321 are being manufactured, and a visit to the METAS laboratory where (nearly) all Omega watches get tested and certificated. From Fratello, we were there with Gerard (photography), Sinara (social media), Balazs, Ben, Matthijs (video), and myself.
Guided tours and panel discussion
On the first day, we started with a warm welcome from Raynald Aeschlimann, President, and CEO of Omega, and a few words from my side, to welcome our guests and express my gratitude to all who — in the last two years — kept posting Speedmaster images using the #SpeedyTuesday tag on Instagram, discussed Speedmasters here and in the #ST Facebook Group, and who reached out to us with Speedmaster questions and comments. As Raynald Aeschlimann made it so clear in his opening speech, #SpeedyTuesday is about the passion for the Speedmaster, and that has not faded away in the absence of the events since 2019. It’s good to be back with these events, and this one in Biel was just the first one for 2022.
In the afternoon, we (Petros Protopapas, Omega’s Brand Heritage Director) and I, also did a panel talk on the Alaska project watches and that it goes beyond the watches they did for (and with) NASA in the 1960s and 1970s. We will brief you later on these findings, but one thing I found interesting to learn is that in the end, besides the Speedmaster Mark series, the Seamaster PloProf was also a result of the Alaska projects at Omega. Another one of the interesting takeaways from Petros’s talk was a letter from the then-president of Bulova (after Apollo 15 took place!) to NASA that they were disappointed by the fact that not one astronaut during the Apollo program had worn a Bulova watch on the wrist. An interesting note.
Dinner and drinks
After the presentations and visits to the Atelier Calibre 321 and METAS laboratory, we had some drinks before dinner. Also, for those interested, Omega and Swatch organized for everyone to see the new MoonSwatch suitcase over at the Swatch building (connected to Omega’s building). All 11 models were in the case and could be examined and tried by the guests.
Next, Omega arranged to have a dinner inside the manufacture at headquarters, on the 2nd floor, where during the day time watches are being assembled and tested. Below us, you could see the automated order picking system that ensures high precision and efficiency concerning Omega’s watch production. I can’t say if this was ever done before, but it surely was the first time for us. After the dinner, Omega had an amazing surprise for us and the guests.
Touring the manufacture
A beautifully decorated ground floor of the manufacture, all dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Speedy Tuesday with special cakes and chocolates. Raynald Aeschlimann gathered the Fratello team and handed over a special gift as a sign of gratitude for the work done on Speedy Tuesday. Besides cakes and sweets, there were special cocktails and an assortment of whiskey. Guests didn’t leave empty-handed at the end of the evening, everyone received a #SpeedyTuesday signed watch stand.
On the next day, Wednesday morning, we started day two of the Speedy Tuesday Biel Edition 2022. After giving everyone a warm welcome, the doors opened to one of the most impressive wooden conference rooms I’ve ever seen, where the guests could try all the new (and last year’s) Omega Speedmaster watches, including the Canopus white gold Speedmaster Broad Arrow Calibre 321.
It seems the new Moonshine gold Speedmaster Professional watches, green dial, and the panda, were the most popular ones. After the product discovery sessions, there was a lunch organized by Omega, and a second gift was handed over to the guests (a hoodie with very subtle Speedmaster embroidering). Afterward, some left for an Omega Museum visit and others got lucky in the Swatch boutique outside where a few MoonSwatch watches were just delivered.
The first Speedy Tuesday Event of 2022 was a big success, thanks to Omega, and all the guests. We will soon announce the next Speedy Tuesday Event (Italy). Enjoy the images and the video.
Let us know in the comments which cities you would love to see a Speedy Tuesday event!