Friday, June 9, 2023

The Brown Speedmaster

"What do you do when the thing you most wanted, so perfect, just comes?"

Samuel L Jackson as Charles Morritz in The Red Violin.

Courtesy of Phillips

Word has been slowly dripping out of Biel Bienne via intrepid investigating that the "Tropical" Speedmaster that fetched stupid amounts of money on auction, was in fact a compilation of mostly "down-home" components paired with various elements that were no more authentic to its alleged provenance than a Omega/Swatch "mission" watch is to the real Speedmaster.
Editors Note: Yes, I do own a Mission to Mars. No, I did not lose my mind and drive to New York numerous times, I did not bribe a boutique employee, I didn't spend 5 times the price on Ebay, etc. I simply waited until I found one at the Swatch boutique in Ottawa last October.

At the heart of this tragic comedy is the fact that at least three of the main characters in this farce were Omega employees, with one of them being the former head of heritage and director of the Omega museum. The best reporting you can read on this subject was written by Jose Pereztroika for his site,

Another, actually very fair and interesting analysis was provided by Rob Corder at WatchPro -

Now while these articles are wonderful, well researched and insightful, they are also frustrating. They are frustrating because they underscore again the very unhealthy symbiotic relationship between the big brands and the top watch media outlets. In other words, what should have been the biggest story to break this year (or really in the last 3 years) the big dogs with the biggest media outlets offer crickets (and I don't mean alarm watches). Bravo to Jose Pereztroika, and Rob Corder. Watch Town needs much more of this type of media coverage!

So yes, the douchebaggery at Omega is a very depressing tale, and I would be less than surprised if Mr. Corder's theories were born out. But the bigger story here is the fear displayed by the rest of the watch media. Because when you live your professional life in fear, you will never be able to get out of the pockets of those you live in fear of, who only want you when they need you. It's nice to be kept, I suppose, but I wonder if these guys and gals ever wonder what life is like outside of a brand's pockets...

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