I had to count the years on my fingers like a little kid over again and again. I wanted to be sure that I got it right. I couldn’t believe that it has been nearly six years since the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” came to light! I was even more surprised to realize that it had been two years since it sat on my wrist for the last time…

It was my second classic car rally. The country that it ran through was the same, and so was the car. The differences were the season, the weather, the “copilot,” and the watch on my wrist. If you want to get my full rally experience, here is a warm-up article about the summer rally. You can check the pictures to see how my Fratello × Oris Divers Sixty-Five battled dusty Romanian roads.

Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman winter rally

Changing the wrist gear

This year, I was so close to picking up a vintage watch. I felt like an old car and an old watch belonged together. But as I didn’t know much about what to expect at a winter rally, I killed my experimental thoughts and decided to equip myself with a modern watch. I came back to the candidate list that I created before the summer rally. It seemed that I would go with the Oris again, but the idea of my Speedy Ultraman on my wrist while driving through the snow kept bugging me.

Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman winter rally

What happened

About 99% of the year, I wear watches 35–38mm in diameter. This became my standard. My eyes got so used to it that I found these diameters perfect. Anything bigger (I know you won’t like what I am about to say) kind of feels too big and even a bit cumbersome. It bugs me and restricts my wrist movements. This and the idea of jumping into a river for a refresher after a day in the car made me choose the Oris for the summer rally. But as I didn’t expect any Wim Hof baths during a winter rally, I decided to take my Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman.”

Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman winter rally

The size problem

When I strapped it to my wrist, I realized that I hadn’t seen it for almost two years. I almost felt offended by myself. May I have so many watches that such a jewel doesn’t get a wrist time for so long? It made me realize how easy it is to put a watch into a corner. After experiencing a wide range of feelings, there it was on my wrist again. Did it feel too big? Yes, it really did.

Is the Speedy a big watch?

No, it is not. It felt big for the first half of the first day. From the second day on, all my “size issues” evaporated. Toward the end of the rally, I was able to swear that this was my preferred — no, my only — diameter for a watch. This rally made me realize how flexible our perception is. Two years without a 42mm watch made me feel that it was a no-go diameter. But after a few days, it becomes as natural as could be.

Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman winter rally

Driving with the Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman”

My 1979 Honda Prelude has the only clock in the cockpit. It is integrated into a dashboard, but it is way too tiny. It is the size of a Casio display. You can imagine that in daylight, the legibility is not ideal. That fact made me check my wrist quite often. When we sat behind the wheel every morning, I started the chronograph and timed how much time we spent driving. Three of the days, it rolled past the 12-hour mark. Since we were driving on bumpy country roads, it was a real endurance test for both the cars and their drivers.

Rain in snow

The first day in Romania caught us by surprise. There was heavy all-day rain waiting for us. Some parts of the day looked like we were swimming through small rivers running in the car ruts. We drove up and down hills, and the dangerous ice underneath us made us proceed cautiously. That day, we had to mount and dismount the snow chains maybe five or six times. All the snow changed into thousands of little lakes. When we had to step out of the car, we were standing in water practically up to our ankles. I was so happy that the rally organizer told me to throw a pair of warm Wellington boots in my trunk.

I hate mud

This rally made me realize how fortunate we were at the summer one. We had beautiful sunshine all week (if I forget just one morning storm), and I didn’t have a chance to fully realize how it would be to drive on muddy forest roads. Well, I got that chance this time in bucketloads. The rain made most of the snow disappear. Instead of 1,000 kilometers of white powder, we got 1,000 kilometers of sticky mud. I have to say that driving in mud was an enriching experience, and I enjoyed it well enough. My car, on the other hand, did not.

I was thinking about bringing a four-wheel drive car. And that would’ve been better for the weather. Sticky mud is much more demanding on the car’s drivetrain, and supposedly simple terrain becomes challenging to drive through. This year, we went pretty fast, and we were ahead of the entire group. It was nice to explore the country on our own, but it had its drawbacks. When we came to the track section where we couldn’t make it through alone, there was no one to help us pull our car over the challenging road ahead.

An early finish

On the last racing day, there was a tricky section through the hills ahead. That final night, our car didn’t make it through a meadow with a pretty small hill. Our automatic transmission was unable to effectively transmit power to the wheels when starting uphill on the slick terrain. It was a tough call to make, but we decided to give up on the last day. And I am thankful that we did. I was watching the rally chat the whole time. We saw up to 10 SUVs and 4×4s in the mud. We would’ve killed our 1.6l front-wheel-drive Honda Prelude in there…

Street art

We drove back home 900 kilometers in one shot and stopped just to fuel up. I parked at home at 1:00 AM. Both of my kids were sick, so I jumped into family duties and left my car on the street for a few days untouched, as dirty as it had come from the rally. A friend who spotted the car on the street sent me the picture above. Someone who was passing by came close to the car and studied the rally sticker on the door. Apparently, he got attracted by how far we drove in just a few days. The reality was even tougher. We made it 2,800 kilometers in just five days.

Fascinating views

In comparison to the summer rally, I felt like we drove through civilization more often. We saw many more little villages and had the opportunity to observe local life. I was stunned by the architecture of Romanian country houses, especially the windows. I took tons of pictures of homes, and the variety of old window styles is astonishing. So was the TransRarăul, the most spectacular road in Bucovina and one of the most beautiful mountain roads in Romania. I enjoyed it much more than the legendary Transalpina a year ago.

Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman winter rally

The Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” was a good choice

You cannot imagine how happy I am that I took my Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman.” I was a bit worried, but it was safe. During the summer rally, my arms were bare, so my Oris was exposed. During the winter rally, though, my Speedy was often protected by my jacket or a glove. It didn’t get hurt when I was forced out of the car to shovel snow. I just had to be careful when mounting the snow chains. The Hesalite crystal picked up a few scars, but I don’t mind. I am happy that the watch lived up to its name and now reminds me of one of my most memorable experiences on the road with my brother.