After graduating from college, I took a sales job for an internet software company. I stopped driving my 1965 MGB to the office. I didn’t sell the old British roadster but my daily driver was now a BMW. The lucrative nature of my job allowed me to indulge in more tasteful clothes, as did my desire to put an appropriate timepiece on my wrist. I remembered having read a piece in a magazine about how a gentleman should dress. The most memorable point was that a gentleman does not wear a plastic watch with a suit. And then I remembered Jimmy’s luxury fake Omega Speedmaster.
In 1992, with some of the proceeds from my next commission check, I drove to a local Omega dealer and bought a Omega Speedmaster ref.3590.50 replica with black bezel on the spot. I did no research, knew nothing about the version, its movement, or anything about the watch other than the fact that it was a derivation of the first and only watch suitable for manned space flight.
Nearly 30 years of ownership
For almost two decades it was the only watch I wore, and I wore it daily. As an avid collector of vintage motorcycles and cars, I didn’t have the energy (or disposable income) to build a watch collection and thus didn’t pay much attention to them. My wife gave me a Pepsi GMT Master-II, and I acquired a Heuer Carrera Panamericana Edition, but my watch collection remained small, and always anchored by the best quality copy Omega Speedmaster 3590.50.
After years of wearing it with the original stainless bracelet, I decided to wear it on a black leather strap made by Hirsch. The watch was serviced several times over the decades, but a few years back it stopped working. The local Omega dealer sent it to the Omega Service Center in Southern California with the verdict that in addition to a few internal failures, the case was corroded and would need to be replaced.
Servicing and replacement parts
I was certainly not willing to accept the dealer’s offer of a trade on a new Swiss made fake Omega Speedmaster. As such, I decided to go ahead with the full service. I requested that the original case be returned to me. However, I was disappointed when in addition to the case and case back coming back, so too did the hands and crown! I’m still not an expert watch observer/collector, but I know originality matters, and I love patina. The watch has changed a lot in the nearly 30 years that I’ve owned it, but then so have I, and regardless of the fact that it’s got some new parts, it still has the same heart and soul and remains my favorite watch in my collection.
I’ve added a few more watches to my collection. A Chopard Mille Miglia GMT/Chrono and a couple of Hamilton khaki models have joined the stable. But one thing remains constant. I still find myself coming home to the one that fits me like an old pair of boots. That’s my cheap fake Speedmaster 3590.50. And oh yeah, I still have my Gruen Curvex.