This is the story of a #hashtag that became a watch.
In 2004, Dutchman Robert-Jan Broer was fed up with his day job. So, he quit and started Fratello Watches – one of the first watch blogs in the world at the time. What started as a hobby went on to become one of the most popular haute horology resources in the world.
Many years later, in 2012, while on holiday in Cannes, Broer took a photograph of the Omega Speedmaster he was wearing at the time and posted it on Facebook with the description, ‘It’s Speedy Tuesday’, since, well, he was wearing his Speedy and it happened to be a Tuesday.
Broer – a fan of the Speedmaster – posted his watch on impulse and would have had no way of knowing just what this innocent post would lead to. In the immediate aftermath, it led to a series of articles on Speedmasters in the ‘Speedy Tuesday’ section of Fratello Watches. A half-dozen or so years later it’s safe to say that the #speedytuesday hashtag – which has been used more than 55,000 times by the Speedmaster community on Instagram – has done more to keep the Speedmaster legend alive and grow its fan base than any initiative ever undertaken by Omega themselves.
For those of you who’ve been living under a rock since 1964, you should know that the Omega Speedmaster is the only watch that’s ever been certified by NASA for use in its manned space missions.
In 2016, at a Speedy Tuesday event at Omega headquarters in Switzerland, the idea of creating a watch to celebrate the five year anniversary of the #speedytuesday hashtag was born. Instead of a commemorative coffee mug or t-shirt, Broer and Omega decided to develop a watch instead – and so the watch you see here, the Speedmaster ‘Speedy Tuesday’ Limited Edition, was born.
Only 2,012 watches were made – to celebrate the year that Broer made his original post – and this was the first time that Omega has ever offered a watch for sale via its website.
The Speedy Tuesday watch is inspired by Omega’s Speedmaster ‘Alaska Project III,’ a model created for NASA in 1978 with an anti-reflective case and a highly legible radial dial. The current watch retains the Speedmaster’s 42mm Professional case, brushed stainless steel case inspired by the ‘Alaska Project III,’ and a hand-wound calibre 1861 – which is a direct descendent of the calibre 861 that’s been to the moon.
In this case, it comes with a reverse panda dial – a black dial with white opaline-silvery luminescent sub-dials that have enlarged numerals in keeping with the radial dial from 1978. The dial, crown and strap buckle all sport vintage Omega logos. It has a domed hesalite crystal like the original moonwatch, as opposed to sapphire crystal. The caseback has the iconic seahorse medallion and the words, ‘Speedy Tuesday Anniversary – a Tribute to the Alaska Project III,’ as well as the limited edition number of the watch. The watch comes with a leather watch roll, as well as a black and white NATO strap and a strap-changing tool.
It was offered for sale for about Rs.4.3 lakh, but the Speedy Tuesday order book was completely full within just four hours and fifteen minutes of the watch going on sale in early 2017. So, if you want one now you’ll have to scour the secondary market and be willing to pay a hefty premium.
What can we say, that’s the power of a #hashtag!