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When the dust now have settled after the release of the Speedy Tuesday 2 – that is the “Ultraman” – I thought it’d be timely to have a look back at the ST1.

The Speedy Tuesday 1, or the Speedy Tuesday if you ask me, was a mess of a release. It literally sold out in a few minutes once released online. And you may remember people waiting for over a year for their order.
It turned out a lot of people bought the watch just to make a profit. Well, most failed. The prices did not skyrocket like the Snoopy I reviewed a while back, or like the Alaska Project or Tintin have the last few months. I am also laughing hard at the idiots who didn’t learn in time for the release of the ST2. The ST2 is going at retail or lower here in Norway at the moment.

Well, have the prices stayed down because of the watch, or is it just a reaction to the speculators of the watch community?

Omega Speedy Tuesday ST1

Speedy Tuesday ST1

I must admit that I bought this watch at its online release because I felt it would have a historical significance. Besides that fact, I was really missing a Speedmaster in my collection and I thought this watch was beautiful. The brushed case and hands, the matte reversed panda dial and the font on the radial subdials are just stunning. I am also a sucker for the vintage feel that the hesalite glass brings to the watch.
In my opinion a drunk man must have designed the superluminova pattern on the Speedy Tuesday. I could easily have done without it. But in reality it doesn’t bother me much.

After a year with this watch I have used it quite a lot. Sometimes for weeks. And I still feel for it like I did in the beginning. It is a very comfortable watch to wear. I like it on a strap. The design of this Speedmaster is so strong that I am still fascinated about it a year in. Every time I take it out of the box I feel lucky I got one.

Omega Speedy Tuesday ST1

Robert-Jan Broer

I had to ask the co-creator of this baby – Robert-Jan Broer from the eminent Fratellowatches – about his feelings for the watch as well:

-I love the ST1, it is a dream come true for my team and myself. People compare this watch – understandably – with the Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman”. And although I love that one too, these are completely different watches. That makes it fun, at least for me.
Where the Ultraman is a bit more of a ‘thematic’ watch, perhaps like the Snoopy, the ST1 is a watch inspired by the Speedmasters that were qualified by NASA for the Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s. Brushed case, radial dial and on top, a reverse panda dial. It is not a very flashy watch, but it also wasn’t supposed to be. We see that especially people who normally are into vintage watches, like it a lot.

Omega Speedy Tuesday ST1

Robert-Jan also sums up his personal relationship to the watch:

-During the honeymoon period of a new watch, it always gets most wear. But over time, you also start to wear other watches (Speedmasters) again. I have a modest collection of Speedmasters, dating from the 1960s till the current releases, and I find myself wearing the ST1 pretty regularly. I have a number of favourites, but I try to wear them all. Certain awkward models like the Speedmaster 125, X-33 and perhaps the bit less awkward Mark II get minor wear, but the regular Speedmaster (Professional) watches are all in the rotation programme, including the ST1. For me, the ST1 and ST2 remain very special so perhaps they have a slight advantage compared to the others. In all seriousness, I think that the ST1 is different enough from the standard Moonwatch or other limited or special editions that it is a really nice piece to own and wear.

Final thoughts

The Speedy Tuesday 1 is a historical watch in all aspects. It was the first social media related watch release and it was the first watch in history to be sold entirely online. From a premium brand of course. —Don’t hit me with that kickstarter shit, it doesn’t count as watches. —

Panerai have always had a tight grip on their Paneristi community with many releases solely to this group of watch nerds, but no other premium brand have done anything close to what Omega did with the release of this first Speedy Tuesday.

It may be too early to call it a true collectors item, but in my opinion the collectability level is high on the Speedy Tuesday ST1. And in my opinion market prices on both ST1 and ST2 both have stayed down because of the massive supply on the second hand market have kept it that way. At the moment ST1 supply is drying out. So get one before the prices shoot up.

Omega Speedy Tuesday ST1

I spend a lot of time researching stuff online. So much time that my wife at some point told me to get a life on my own, or cut back. So now a part of my daily routine is to go through auction catalogues and online auctions during my lunch break.
Sometimes when I feel I have a good grasp on what is on the market I just browse random online auctions.

Usually I find nothing interesting. But sometimes I find that one special piece. That piece that doesn’t really fit the collection but that ties it together in a way. Together with the history. This will be one of those stories.

The Dutch online auction site Catawiki is infamous for fakes, reproductions, frankens and overpriced watches. Their auctioneers really have no clue or control, and it is a sellers market. After a couple of incidents with them I even wonder if their auctioneers are real people. Consider yourself warned.

However it was on Catawiki that I struck gold. The nick psmolders was selling a collection of seemingly original NASA pictures. After some research, facebook stalking and visits to space flight forums, I found Piet Smolders. He is a respected international author and journalist in his field. He is also famous amongst space flight collectors for having one of the largest collections of original NASA pictures.

His entire collection of pictures was out on Catawiki but there was only one that I wanted. This picture tie together watch collecting, space travel and cartoons. Odd but true. This image is essential to the connection between Omega Speedmaster and NASA. Now I just had to fight off the NASA collectors and the Snoopy collectors.

Omega Speedmaster and NASA

The shared history between Omega Speedmaster and NASAs spaceflight programme is well documented, but still speculated on. Officially NASA was looking for extremely reliable timepieces and as a government agency they had to obtain a so-called Request for Proposal from the different manufactures. In 1964 they asked 10 manufactures, and only four responded. That was Omega, Rolex, Longines and Hamilton. Hamilton responded with a pocket watch (God only knows). So three watches remained in the competition; The Omega Speedmaster ST105.003, Rolex Cosmograph ref 6238 and Longines Wittnauer.

In this video Jim Ragan, the test engineer of the Speedmaster watches with NASA, tells the tale in his own words.

The always eminent Fratello Watches also wrote up the story in detail here.

NASA and Snoopy

Back in 1968 Snoopy was a popular character in the daily newspaper comic strips. In these strips he could often be seen flying his make believe airplane. Sitting on top of his doghouse with his Flying Ace hat and scarf.
NASA approached cartoonist Charles Schulz for permission to use Snoopy as their safety mascot after an accident during the early days of the Apollo program.
Schulz agreed and in one of the first sketches Schulz published of Snoopy he was daydreaming about space in his fishbowl helmet. It was really a perfect match.

That same year NASA established the “Silver Snoopy Award”. The Snoopy icon was turned into a silver lapel pin and awarded to astronauts “for outstanding efforts that contribute to the success of human space flight missions“. 

Now that Silver Snoopy was also brought into the Omega Speedmaster in 2015. Read my review of that watch here.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

Apollo 10

On the 18th of May 1969, Apollo 10 astronauts Thomas Stafford, Gene Cernan and John Young travelled from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida all the way to the moon. All aspects of an actual crewed lunar landing was to take place. Except for the landing of course. They were going to separate a landing module from the command module and orbit the moon for eight hours. They were also going in close to the moon’s surface to search for a landing site for the next Apollo 11 lunar landing.

The crew selected Snoopy as their mission mascot. Charlie Brown was selected as the name for their command module and Snoopy for their landing module.

Now the picture shows Apollo 10 commander Thomas Stafford pat the nose on their Snoopy mascot. On his left wrist you can clearly see the Omega Speedmaster he wore on the mission. Jayme Flowers is the woman in the picture holding the mascot as the crew walks along the hallway to the waiting transfer bus.

Their mission is described in detail here and even more detail here.

How Snoopy ended up on the dial and back on the Omega Speedmaster you can read here.

Omega Speedmaster NASA Apollo 10 Snoopy Award

Collecting odd stuff

You see why I needed to have these pictures?

Collecting sure is fun.This picture may not be for every watch collector out there, but I like these odd objects. And I love getting my hands on rare and original objects that is directly or indirectly connected to the history of watches. I know my man cave will be looking good with this one framed up and ready to tell the story of my Omega Speedmaster.

Omega Speedmaster NASA Apollo 10 Snoopy Award

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award is the long and not so simple name of this already legendary watch. When the watch was released at SIHH 2015 I honestly did not take notice of it. I am like every other watch collector and enthusiast out there. I have my field of expertise within watches. Omega Speedmasters I have researched from a vintage collection perspective. Honestly I never really got the whole Snoopy gig. To me it might as well have been Hello Kitty. Sacrilege, I know. But I guess a few people did take notice as this watch was in high demand from the beginning.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

The watch is a fairly regular 42 mm steel case Omega Speedmaster Professional. It does have a graphic black and white dial and ceramic bezel look to it, and a silver medallion on the caseback. Other than that it has the same calibre 1861 on the inside as many other modern Speedmasters.

Soon after the watch hit the market in september 2015, Omega reported a failure to deliver these watches as they had production problems. Well, reported is maybe the wrong word as it was more like rumors. Omega had promised a limited 1.970 pieces to the market. After distribution of only half of the Silver Snoopy watches they suddenly stopped. Rumors started going amongst the serious watch collectors that this was a watch to watch.

Now, the production problems was related to the caseback. Apparently Omega had issues with the sealing of the 925 silver medallion on the caseback, and they were worried about oxidation of the silver. What happened next is watch history.

The secondhand price tag on the Silver Snoopy tripled when Omega halted their production. Even though Omega fixed their issues and released the rest of the production, the prices stayed high. Every watch collector wanted to get their hands on one of the 1.970 watches. A legend was born.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

 

A Week On the Wrist – Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy”:

This winter I got a call from a friend who told me that he had one of the Silver Snoopy watches and that he would lend it to me for a week to review. I did not know then that I would fall in love with the watch, so I picked it up thinking all this Hello Kitty crap.

Watches is like good art. They need to make you feel something. For me both art and watches need to be provocative and stir something deep. Most of the watches I fall in love with I need to wear for at least a week or two to make them grow on me. My favorite watch I had to wear on and off for 6 months before I even started liking it. Usually at first it is a feeling of design hate. I hate the dial, or the case design or the childish cartoon.

The Silver Snoopy I wore for three days before I really got beyond the Snoopy thing. The Speedmaster itself is a classic. A beautiful and comfortable one. So no surprises there. It was really all about the Snoopy.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

On the Silver Snoopy the dial design is great. With Snoopy being so small I could bare it after a few days. Some does not like the color of the dial, but the dial being white does not bother me at all. It enhances the graphic feel of the watch in my opinion.

The text and comic strip covering the first 14 seconds is just mind blowing when you put into perspective the history behind this idea. The domed sapphire crystal is flawless and the new nylon fabric strap with clasp is ridiculously comfortable.

But the pièce de résistance is the enamel and sterling silver Snoopy medallion on the caseback. It is delicate and radiant. It is gorgeous. Not one of the 1.970 medallions are alike. The weight of the watch is heavily influenced by the caseback.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

With the watch starting to grow on me I had to research the whole Snoopy thing. And man, how I misjudged that Omega – NASA – Snoopy business. Read more on that topic at the excellent WatchTime Magazine. And please watch the story on Omegas YouTube channel.

All in all this watch blew me away. I had not really planned to fall in love with this watch, but is that not always the case with great watches? The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy has everything. Heritage, a story, great design, great workmanship and status as a legendary watch.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards


Read more on the watch at Omega.