For a long time, I have flirted on and off with the idea of getting a Speedmaster Moonwatch, but I've never been able to get over the hurdle of the fact that, at least insofar as the 1861 Speedmasters were concerned, Omega wanted over $5,000.00 for a hand-wind only, non-hacking, cam-driven, no-date Chronograph beating at 21600vph. Omega has since rectified this issue somewhat with the issuance of sapphire models and the fact that the 3861 now hacks, but with those changes, the price has also gone up to over $6,500.00. Now, I'm no stranger to expensive Swiss luxury pieces, but I picked up a Tudor BB GMT earlier this year, and my budget won't stretch to the Omega for a while -- plus, I've got a GS Spring Drive in my sights to pick up first. Also, the asking price still represents an awful lot of cash to me to plunk down for a watch that has what I consider to be less than desirable attributes (I can't bring myself to call them flaws though) and that I'm not sure that I can live with on a daily basis.
Now, one could argue that the Moonswatch allows you to test drive the Moonwatch to see if you like it...and I liked the idea of the Moonswatch in theory — essentially, it allows you to test drive the case of the Speedmaster to confirm that it’s your kind of watch before spending thousands of dollars. But then I realized that the Moonswatch only lets you test out the shape of the case, which isn’t really the whole story with the Speedmaster. See, I’ve never lived with a non-hacking, no-date manual wind watch before, and whether I would like such a piece has been on my mind for some time. So, as a holiday gift to myself, I took a chance and went and ordered this Phylida homage to the Moonwatch (in fact, the last one in stock) during the Ali 11.11 sale.
Personally, I think that the Phylida offers a better "test-drive" so to speak, than the Moonswatch. Not only was it $100 cheaper than a Moonswatch, but it's also made of significantly better materials (i.e. 316L Stainless Steel v. Bioceramic, Sapphire Crystal v. Plastic). It even operates essentially the same way as the older 1861 models, as a manual wind, non-hacking, no-date Chronograph beating at 21600vph. There are really only 4 differences between the real Speedy and the Phylida. The first is that the Phylida is a column wheel chronograph (which I’ve never had before) as opposed to a cam-lever, like the Speedmaster with an hour-hand clone at 6:00 instead of a true hours counter. The second is that the 3861 model Speedys are now co-axial escapement chronometers with hacking. The third is the name on the dial and the last is the originality of the design. For ~$6300 less, I can live without the originality of the name on the dial and the originality of the design. In the meantime, I will get to try out 95% of the functionality of an actual Moonwatch before taking the plunge on the real deal, if I even decide it’s ultimately for me.
I also think that this is a better Speedy alternative/test drive article than the Moonswatch. While the case may not be an exact match for the Moonwatch, it's pretty close in shape, and far closer in materials than the Moonswatch will ever be. To boot, it's running at about +5-6 sec/day, which, given that it's technically within COSC standards, is outstanding. I'm looking forward to seeing how the ST19 manages over the long haul.
I guess the real question at this point is -- can you participate in Speedy Tuesday with an homage to the Speedy? Or rather, will tomatoes be thrown at me when I do? I promised myself that I wouldn't start wearing it until after Hanukkah starts on 12/18, so my first Speedy Tuesday post with it will be on 12/20.
My problem isn't that I want a watch....it's that I want ALL the watches.