This is our first in a series of interviews.
The gentleman in this interview is a friend of ours, a professional in the watch-industry and a dedicated lover of fine, rare and unusual timepieces. For security reasons, he choose to remain anonymous.
Speedy Watches (SW): Let’s start from the beginning. You choose to remain anonymous – how should we address you? Any particular reasons?
Anonymous (A): Let’s stick to Anonymous. While I love your project and Speedmasters, I’m not in it for the fame.
SW: What was the first Speedmaster you bought?
A: I think it was the 1957 Replica. I vividly recall seeing it in a CD-sized book by Rene Pannier and instantly fell in love. I sold my Rolex Submariner 14060 to fund it. I was 18 at the time and worked very hard after school to fund my love of watches. I still have that little book, and whenever funds are there but inspiration is little, I read it for inspiration.
SW: What Speedmaster(s) do you own at the moment?
A: Sadly none. I am almost embarrassed to admit it. I have a deep passion for the classics amongst wristwatches – the Breitling Navitimer, Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Datejust, Day-Date, GMT-Master, Daytona, Explorer, Submariner and Seadweller, the Patek Calatrava and so on. The lack of a Speedmaster in my current collection is something I need to work on as soon as possible! The watch that comes closest is a vintage Seamaster Chronograph 176.005 – close but no cigar.
SW: Are there any others besides the 1957 replica you’ve owned?
A: Are you testing me? [laughs]. Of course. Many. I can’t even recall them all.
SW: Humor us….
A: Are you serious? Alright.. I have owned many Professionals. Non earlier than the straight-text version though. I have always been fond of the blue/yellow/red Racing models, of which I have owned the yellow and red version. The packaging was awesome. I’m not sure why Omega doesn’t do that crazy stuff anymore. I’ve owned a few other automatics – the 7750-powered kind. I was never to crazy about those. A few from the Mark-series – they didn’t do it at the time, although my interest in them has since grown. The X-33 is a favorite of mine and I’ve owned a few. I love the crazy heritage and the fact that it’s a quartz – digital nonetheless. Spending hundreds, if not thousands of Euro’s on such a piece seems crazy to even the most seasoned collectors, but I love that watch. I’ve owned the carbon-dialed Rattrapante as well. I wish I still did. It’s rather affordable for a split-second chronograph from a respected brand.
SW: Are there any you regret selling?
A: I once owned a Professional with an Ivory dial. Off white. I spotted it at a watch fair in Cologne and fell in love. Back home it still looked great, but I wasn’t too sure about the originallity – the watch was from the seventies while the dial appeared to be from a limited edition for Italy from the nineties. I sold it. But looking back, I think I should’ve kept it. It was a killer piece.
SW: So what is in your collection at the moment if you don’t mind us asking?
A: If you don’t mind, I won’t go into detail. But it’s quite eclectic. A few Rolex’s from the fifties, sixties and seventies, an IWC Ingenieur from the eighties, the Seamaster Chrono I mentioned earlier, a tuning fork Omega Geneva, quite a few other vintages from brands long forgotten and a handful of G-Shocks and Swatches. Ah, and a Cartier Santos 100 – I haven’t worn that one for months!
SW: So, no Speedmasters at the moment, but you said that ‘problem’ will be sorted out soon. Will you be looking for a new or vintage model?
A: I’m not quite sure yet. Since I bought my Seamaster Chronograph I am beginning to appreciate the wicked style of the seventies a bit more. Quite surprising, since my taste tends to be a bit on the conservative side. Old school if you will. A Speedy from the Mark-series might be a viable option. Since the Professional had very little changes since the introduction of the crown-guards, a vintage Speedmaster has to have either the right patina or the right price for me to buy it. I really like the straight-lug Speedies, but they do come at a price and to find an unmolested example is getting harder and harder.
SW: So we’ve covered vintage. Are there any modern Speedmasters that spark your interest?
A: In fact there are. I am rather fond of the First Omega in Space model. I think it’s a superb alternative to a vintage 2998. If Omega fitted a plexi instead of the sapphire glass, it would’ve been a no-brainer. On a whole ‘nother level, I quite like the Dark Side of the Moon as well. The new 1957 collection has quite a few cool pieces too. I like the somewhat smaller size when compared to the regular 9300 models. Plus you can’t go wrong with the 3570.50.00, although I think the bracelet is a bit overkill – too heavy and thick. Luckily the Speedmaster welcomes a lot of straps! Slowly I’m getting interested in limited editions as well, how do you rate them? Modern? Vintage?
SW: It depends..
A: There are a few I’m interested in. I love the patch series. While the complete case might be a bit of a stretch on the financial side, I love the individual pieces and the history they carry. Besides, favorite of mine has always been the Snoopy-award. History packed in an awkward package – what could be better? I love the panda dials as well. Mitsukoshi and Apollo-something. I think that’s a great look. I also like the one with the engraved silver dial. It’s so weird you gotta love it. [Mmmmm] thinking of it, it seems I like all Limited Edition Speedmaster Professionals.
SW: So, it seems you’ve got your goals set: a nice Speedmaster in the near future. Any last words?
A: I love what you’re doing and I love the Speedmaster. There are few watches that have such an iconic status. Keep them coming.. And I will get back to you once I found myself a Speedmaster!
SW: Thank you for your time and good luck on your hunt!