One day, when I was 16 years old, at the end of a week-long visit, I went to give the watch back to him and he simply said “you can keep it.” There wasn’t any great fanfare or to-do, he just wanted me to have it. He knew how much I appreciated mechanical things, and I’m sure he knew how much he meant to me, even back then. And that Speedmaster MK40 has been with me ever since. It remains a staple of my collection to this day, and is easily the most important piece to me for a variety of reasons. It was this watch that really allowed me to fully understand the beauty of mechanical watches. The MK40 is not a “moon watch” in that it’s not a hand-wound, date-less Speedmaster. But it is the perfect representation of the period of watchmaking in which I, and many of us, grew up. The watch is based on a Valjoux 7750, a movement that powered so many of the most popular watches in the world at the time, and was far more complicated looking than a normal Speedmaster – with pops of color not often seen on the traditionally stoic model.
When it came time to select what we wanted to do for our 10th anniversary watch, there was really no debate about with whom to work and in what direction we should head. In early conversations with Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann, it was clear he had been approached by countless platforms after the success of my friend Robert-Jan’s #SpeedyTuesday project, and he wasn’t interested in just another limited edition. So we put our heads together to consider what would make sense – in his words, HODINKEE isn’t just another watch magazine, and Omega isn’t just another brand, in particular to myself and the role it has played in my own development as a watch lover. My first vintage watch was also an Omega, by the way, so we agreed that we would only do something together if it was really special – and I am quite sure what we’ve come up with really is.