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Thread: What's the draw of Omega Speedmaster?

  1. #1

    What's the draw of Omega Speedmaster?

    This is not a troll thread -- it is a genuine question that I have for those of you who are fans of the Speedy Pro.

    Outside of its history as the moon watch, what exactly is attractive about the Speedy? On more than one occasion, I have considered getting it for its history, but I just find the whole watch very mediocre with poor aesthetics.

    So, I ask you all -- what is your draw to the Speedy, outside of its historical significance? Would you have still bought it if it hadn't been the moon watch? What is the draw?

    Educate me.

  2. #2
    I think it's bland personally, but the legibility and reliability are awesome. The history, check.

    My buddy has the moonwatch and the movement is beautiful and winds like a dream.

  3. #3
    Member CamB's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Down Under
    I love it- outside of the history, it has a style to it that is just from another era- any yet it still stands up today. It has great legibilty a balanced dial and it just exudes masculinity. It embodies a lot of things guys like, the complexity of the Chrono, a sporty feel, vintage elements such as the crystal and manual winding. Whats not to like?
    The fact that people still love it 50 years after its creation tells me its something akin to a style icon such as the Porsche 911.
    Regards Cam

    Tudor Pelagos, Omega Speedmaster 3510.50, Oris 1965 Diver, Tissot Visodate, Helson Blackbeard, Seiko PADI Turtle, Tag Heuer F1

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  5. #4
    Bone Collector Bwana's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Deep in the Timber
    I'm not sure either, but if you put a NASA velcro strap on it...word is it's like going to a strip joint

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  7. #5
    Member Teeritz's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Melb, AUS
    Blog Entries
    Here's what I said about this watch on 'another' forum. More than once, because this kind of question would come up every now and then;

    "It's one watch that has very strong ties to its original design. The whole NASA association? Never been a draw-card for me, but I've said that here before. It's a beautiful example of a mid-Sixties chronograph. That's what has always appealed to me about it. Whenever I wear mine, I get an urge for a scotch on the rocks as I try to hit on Raquel Welch before she gets into her E-Type Jag and drives away to her pad in Malibu.

    No Date? Use the chrono hand as a date pointer.
    Hesalite crystal? Yes, so be just slightly careful with it. But if you do break the crystal, then it can be replaced.
    Hand-wound? That's the beauty of it. In this plugged-in, Facebooked, "I-want-it-now" world, there's a certain pleasure in slowing down for a minute to wind your watch.

    It's a watch that's not for everybody. I used to have customers coming in to look at the Speedmaster because they'd heard "It's what the astronauts wore to the Moon" and they hadn't done any other homework on this watch. The non-date/hesalite/crystal/ hand-wound aspects of the watch would usually be a deal-breaker for a lot of these guys.
    But, to the customer who knew what he was getting, who'd done his research, this watch represented the fulfillment of a dream.

    I've told this story before, but here it is again; An elderly gentleman (would have been in his 80s) came into my store three years ago to get his Speedmaster serviced. As I ran a fingernail along the edge of the case, I noticed that all the sharp edges had been worn down over time. The gent watched me as I did this and said; "I bought that watch in 1969. I had it serviced every few years when it needed it and I've replaced the glass four or five times. It's the best watch I've ever had."
    I looked up at the gent as he said this. He had a faraway look in his eyes. Probably was remembering all of the occasions and events in his life when he had the watch on. He was smiling.
    I looked at the dial. The hands and markers had taken on that creamy patina from four decades of exposure to light. This watch looked beautiful.
    The watch, like its owner, had lived a life.

    Technically, it's fairly primitive by today's standards. But again, that adds to its charm for me.

    Truth be told, it wasn't the biggest seller in my store. We'd sell one every four to six weeks because this watch is not for the feint-hearted. You'd be surprised how many fit and able-bodied young men COULD NOT BE BOTHERED winding a wristwatch. If you're ever on board a sinking ship, don't get in a life-boat with these guys 'cos they'll be useless.

    But I digress.
    This watch, much like the Rolex Submariner, evokes a certain feeling for me. The Speedy belongs to a time of unfiltered cigarettes, cool actors from the Sixties, like Rod Taylor, Paul Newman and Michael Caine, oil platforms and gas pipelines out in the Sahara.
    The Speedmaster Professional is more than just a watch.
    It's a mood.

    Okay, the coffee machine's warmed up and I need an espresso.


    (IWL Member No. 72)
    My other distractions --->

  8. #6
    deadhead hayday's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Maine, USA
    I really don't get it either. To me, it's a good looking watch with great history and reliability, but so are lots of other watches. I like the watch but not enough to spend my own money on it.

    Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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  10. #7
    Lurker Extraordinaire Marendra's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Not sure how anyone follows that explanation.... Almost spirtual.

    I don't have a moonwatch, but do have a FOIS.... I was drawn to the 'classic' style (whatever that means) that has barely changed in decades and the simple, no date layout... IMO nothing ruins a chrono vibe more than an afterthought of a date window.

    The moon / space reference, and associated marketing, didn't do anything for me, and actually gave me pause for a while before I got over it. But get over it I did.

  11. #8
    Member RegF's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Planet Earth
    I'm with Teeritz with the exception of being a huge space nut as well as a watch collector.

    I've got a fair few chronos in the collection and am always looking for another Speedie.

    If you look at it alongside some other design classics like the TAG Monaco, the Rolex Daytona, Breitling Navitimer, Zenith Striking 10th, it offers a simple, subtle style all of its own.

    The case shape and lugs make it comfortable to wear as well as catching the light for a hint of sparkle. The air of complexity mentioned above, appeals to the technically minded part of me.

    The only area where I disagree both with Teeritz & the original question is this:-

    I believe that the watches history is ingrained in its character - I half expected the older gentleman mentioned in the story above to be one of the 12 men to wear it on the moon.

    Maybe its because I grew up watching the space programme unfold that I view it differently, but ultimately its the history of the watch and the fact that it is a damn nice, functional,timeless design.

    If neither of those things appeals to you, then, fine, that just means there's less folk out there competing with me for my collection.
    Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

  12. #9
    I have more than one Speedmaster; different coloured dials, of course. However, I’m not exactly a fan (a word I hardly use) I just like the watch.

    For the sake of this “discussion” let’s forget the history, the moon, the astronauts, the ambassadors and the folklore. I don’t care much for these “attributes”, anyway.

    So, why? Because it suits me: aesthetically (mediocre according to your opinion, but subtle or even austere and surprisingly simple, according to my humble judgement) and functionally (hand wind chrono). Technically, the movement is far from elegant and it’s certainly not the most accurate mechanism around. But it’s reliable and trustable. The fact that the watch seems to have the shape and the dimensions appropriate for my wrist is a fortunate part of the package. The legibility, when I think of my age, well, let’s just say: it’s something to take into consideration.

    Now, this is not a universal dogma, that we may or you may not accept. Nor I even dare to educate you, Mr Montaigne or anyone else. The attractiveness of the Speedmaster comes from a fortunate convergence of characteristics that seem to fulfil a reasonable number of people’s expectations for (roughly) 50 years. Yours may diverge and that’s fine or else, the world would be a (even) more boring place to live.


    P.S.: The words underlined/ italic show that I still consider this, an eminently personal opinion.
    Last edited by CFR; Dec 4, 2014 at 04:05 AM.

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  14. #10
    Antipodean Ape GlennO's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Because everyone must have at least one boring looking go-anywhere type watch. Some choose the Speedy. Some choose the Sub. I chose an AT.

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