Hodinkee.com is a platform for watch enthusiasts around the world to publish the latest watch information, share love watch stories and trade collection watches. We interviewed Benjamin Clymer, the website’s founder, to hear his story about his favorite Speedmaster watch.
When did you fall in love with the Omega Speedmaster series?
It started when I saw the Speedmaster watch worn by my grandfather. My grandfather is a hero in my mind. When I am with him, I always have access to all kinds of new and interesting objects, such as cameras, cars, stereos, and computers. Of course, there are watches. Grandpa owned the Speedmaster watch that I bought in my old age when I lived with him. I often think that my grandfather bought this watch for me. In addition to this Omega, my grandfather had two other watches, left to my father and uncle. Although he never said to me personally, I understand his intentions. It was this Grandpa watch that my grandfather left to me that opened my love and made me have my present life.
Do you remember the moment Grandpa handed you this Speedmaster watch? What was your first thought at the time?
of course I remember. At the age of 16, I was awed by this Speedmaster, and I liked its complexity, its weight and texture. Usually, I noticed that my grandfather often wore this watch. One day he suddenly took it from his wrist and gave it to me. This Speedmaster has been with me ever since. At that time, I just got this watch and never thought about wanting to own another watch. In fact, I almost did it. Of course, it is this Speedmaster watch that opened all my knowledge about the watch. So I am grateful.
Recently, you published this article ’12 Serious Mistakes for Watch Buyers’. Among them, one of the mistakes you mentioned is ‘never owned an Omega Speedmaster watch’. Why are Speedmasters so special?
I remember when I first met a top watch collector very nervous because his collection was worth close to ten million dollars. I thought he would wear a top sophisticated watch on his hand. But when he entered the room, I found out that he was wearing an Omega Speedmaster professional chronograph. When I asked him why he had so many of the best watches in the world and chose to wear it, his answer was ‘because the Speedmaster is the best watch in the world.’ This sentence completely changed my mind. Since then, I have made many famous collectors in the world. Without exception, they all say that no matter what they want, the Speedmaster is so special. Speedmaster watches are the pinnacle of art, design, practicality and history. For me, simple and pure watches are the most attractive, and the three points of Speedmaster manual winding, three small dials and black chronograph dial are pure enough, not to mention that Speedmaster watches are involved in human space exploration. important meaning. I’m serious-if you haven’t tried to collect a Speedmaster, you are definitely not qualified to be a watch collector.
How excited can collectors be when a rare watch appears on the market?
This excitement is beyond words. If I see a dream watch appear, I can’t suppress my joy and excitement. In order to collect these watches, I traveled the world and spent countless hours doing research. Other collectors must be like me. A special Speedmaster is the “holy grail” of all collections. When such a watch appears, no one can be too excited.
You have been in contact with the Omega brand a lot and are very familiar with antique watches. What does it feel like to hold a rare Speedmaster in your hand?
When you become a collector with more and better collections, your feelings change. About 10 years ago, the first time I purchased an Omega Speedmaster Professional with a 321 movement, it cost $ 1,500. At the time, I thought I was the ‘king of the world’ and it was incredible. Since then, I have owned several Speedmaster watches with different 321 movements, but compared with the watch numbered 145.012-67 that year, I was not so excited. However, I still think it is one of the best watches in the world. Because I have already collected a lot of watches, and I know very well which ones I want. When you get that perfect watch, there will always be more excitement for collectors.
How do you evaluate the appearance of Speedmaster watches? Speedmaster watches have been around for 60 years. Aside from historical roots and space exploration stories, do you think the Speedmaster is a beautiful timepiece?
I like its shape very much. As I said before, the sheer feel of the small black dial is incomparable, and it can perfectly match various straps. One of the things I really like to do is to match the straps sold in the HODINKEE online store with the black dial of the Speedmaster. I think that replacing the dial with the stainless steel bracelet with a leather strap is like giving the watch a second life. At the same time, as an antique car enthusiast, the Speedmaster watch inspired by racing timing has another appeal to me. As one friend said, there is no need for a speedometer bezel in space. What impresses me is that, after so many years, when the Speedmaster watch has been changed from the racing field to the moon watch, the design of the speedometer ring has been retained.
What do you think of the Omega Speedmaster series recently launched, such as the dark side of the moon and the moon phase watch?
In my opinion, they are an excellent and natural evolution of the Speedmaster series. I especially like the dark side of the moon. I wrote an article back then when it was just launched. At the time, I said that when the world heard that Omega was about to launch a black ceramic Speedmaster watch, it would definitely feel ‘this idea is terrible.’ But when we saw this watch with our own eyes, we realized that Omega had accomplished almost impossible tasks, and a charming upgrade of the classic Speedmaster watch, and it was made of ceramic! I think this is a great watch, and I want to keep it in my pocket countless times.
Which Speedmaster do you want to own?
I was fortunate to have several early Speedmaster watches, and today I still have two Speedmaster watches: the Mark 40 that my grandfather gave me, and the Speedmaster watch number 2915-1. At that time, I took a lot of effort to obtain that superpower and after several trades I got it. So I am very satisfied with the collection of the original Speedmaster. But I still regret to miss a Speedmaster watch-Alaska Project Prototype. I really like the story and origin behind that watch, but what attracts me more is its appearance! The replica of this watch is also very beautiful, but for me the original is a must. A piece appeared at this year’s Phillips auction. I actively participated in the auction, but in the end the price slightly exceeded my expectations, and I also fancyed another watch in the auction. We may not have everything we want, but I am very eager to include that Speedmaster in my collection. I’m trying to save money for it.
Which Speedmaster watch do you want to admire up close? Is it a super material with a special material or a reprint of a particular style?
I think Omega is very good at getting inspiration from classics. If I were asked to design a Speedmaster today (I was actually suggested to do so), I would very much like to create a very limited number of watch series with a Speedmaster original case design, a luminous dial and hands, and equipped with The Lemania 321 movement is exactly the same as the original Speedmaster. Of course this will be a limited edition. I hope that the case will be made of platinum and the circulation will not exceed 50 pieces. Maybe another version made of stainless steel, limited to hundreds. But I think if Omega really launches a collectible limited watch with 321 movement, the enthusiasm on the market will be quite high.
What do you think makes a watch iconic?
This question is more difficult to answer because there are too many factors that make a watch legendary. It may be because of the wearer of a watch, or because of its beautiful design and craftsmanship. These reasons exist. As for Speedmaster, its legend goes beyond the obvious reasons above, and it is difficult for any other watch to match today. The charm of Speedmaster watches is so multifaceted, which is why I love it. People around me may be as obsessed with Speedmaster as I am, but for completely different reasons. To me, the more versatile a product is, the more attractive it is.