Health & Welfare Manager
Andy is a US-based watch collector from Chicago. His passion for watches began in the mid-2000s while reading the work of the late Chuck Maddox, a prolific blogger and collector and fellow Chicago native. His collection is mainly focused on Omega’s earliest automatic chronographs, powered by the Lemania-based 1040 and 1041 movements.
Although an HR professional by trade, in his spare time he runs the website Calibre1040.com which catalogs and studies the minutiae of these big, bold 1970s chronographs. In addition to the 1040s, his current collection also includes a variety of Speedmasters as well as a handful of non-OMEGAs.
1. Do you remember your first watch?
My aunt gave me a SWATCH watch when I was 10 or 11. They were THE must have item in elementary school. A couple of decades later I learned how those weird little throwaway quartz fashion watches helped rescue the Swiss watch industry from extinction, and now I wish I would have kept it.
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
OMEGA Speedmaster, ROLEX Submariner, and OMEGA Constellation. All three have great history and look great on any wrist.
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
While searching for an OMEGA Seamaster Chronograph 176.007 from the 1970s, I spent what I thought was a lot of time coming up with a checklist of parts to make sure I was getting a correct example and eventually found one that met all of my criteria at a fair price. A few weeks later, I realized that my watch had a different order of text on the dial than most examples I could see online: the text was ‘Seamaster’ above ‘AUTOMATIC’, while most others were the opposite. I was shocked that I had missed something so obvious, and briefly terrified that despite my research I had purchased a total dog. I eventually determined that it wasn’t a fake or a redial, but just a less-common variant. That experience taught me that I need to step up the level of detail and patience that I was operating with if I wanted to continue collecting vintage watches. It also started my obsession for researching and documenting OMEGA cal. 1040 chronographs, which are the main focus of my collection.
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
A mix of both, with the ratio changing over time. Lately I’ve been more heavily focused on vintage with interesting patina and signs of careful wear. However, I will never be without something modern and water resistant that can take more abuse than my older pieces.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
I appreciate the versatility. It’s an all-business watch that wears well on everyone’s wrist whether on steel or a strap. It’s legible, purpose-built, and rugged. The history is a nice bonus too.
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
My favorite to admire from afar would be the 2998 -1 or -2. The BASE 1000 bezel really sets it apart. My favorite that I currently own is the Speedmaster 125. It’s endlessly fascinating to me, and its “official” history is filled with big gaps and unanswered questions that add to its mystique.
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
Surprisingly for a collector, I’m not very sentimental when it comes to objects. I suppose my iPad so I can have access to books.
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
I’m too tall to fit in most sports cars, so I’ll call the financial advisor.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
Only a day? Then I’d spend it eating my way through New Orleans.
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
Too many to count. Sometimes I even take note of the time.
11. The last watch you bought?
I have a reservation for the 60th Anniversary Speedmaster, and one for the Speedy Tuesday, both of which will help balance the vintage/modern ratio.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
A nice 3590.50 from the early nineties with a slightly faded bezel (which I purchased from The Master of Speed!). I love this era Speedmaster because the tritium is usually intact but is in the process of changing color.