Clocks and watches have always been a part of my life. Growing up in Dubai, every room in the house had a clock and both my parents wore watches, so time was always something I was aware of and it seems that I was destined to start collecting watches once I started earning money for myself. Some might say I have lost the plot and gone too far but what do they know right? With that said, if I had to let go of everything but two watches, I would keep these ones:
Casio Yacht Timer TRW-31
I know what you’re thinking: what the heck is a vintage Casio doing here?! I don’t blame you - WatchTime Middle East covers dozens of mechanical watches each month, and previous collectors who have taken up this challenge have listed some fantastic mechanical pieces. Allow me to explain.
This used and abused Casio Yacht Timer TRW-31 is the oldest fully functioning watch in my collection but it was also a gift from my parents. I don’t remember when it was gifted to me (neither do my parents), but I’m quite certain it was prior to one of the annual family vacation at some point in the early 90s.
This is a watch that has been to school with me, been my companion to dozens of cities and, believe-it-or not, is still original (yes, even the strap). Apart from the odd battery change, this watch has stood the test of time and, every time I glance at it, I’m reminded about one of a million different experiences I’ve had with it. Sometimes I’m taken back to my living room in the 90s - watching a TV show on Channel 33 with my parents, other times I remember having a laugh with my classmates during recess at school or even walking my dog in the evenings.
I wear it sparingly these days - I feel a strong need to preserve it because without knowing it, my parents not only gave me a watch, they also gave me the world’s most compact time travel machine.
Omega Speedmaster Snoopy Award 3578.51
I’m lucky to have both the 2003 and 2015 Speedmaster Snoopy watches in my collection. They were both no-brainers (though acquired years apart) because I’m a space buff, I love hand-wound Speedmasters and as a dog lover, Snoopy was and still is one of my favorite fictional dogs.
Choosing between these two for this challenge was exceedingly difficult because they are both unique and appeal to me in different ways. Ultimately, I chose the 2003 Speedmaster Snoopy Award 3578.51 because it mirrors the classic moonwatch more closely in terms of its overall aesthetic. It even uses hesalite crystal, which gives the dial a lovely warmth that you don’t get on sapphire crystal Speedies.
I think I also chose this watch because while demand for the 2015 Snoopy is through the roof, this one seems to have largely escaped the eyes of flippers and dealers. In fact, when Omega released this piece in 2003, it wasn’t a success at all and sat in boutiques and authorized dealers for years. I guess I should be thankful because it meant I was able to find a new old stock piece several years after the launch.
I recently changed straps and now wear it on a blue rubber number. The move was controversial to say the least - loads of love and hate for it in real life and on Instagram but I’m happy with it, and ready to take on the summer months.
Jason Saundalkar is a Dubai-based collector. Find him on @maxtor71 on Instagram.