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Watch Collector

Neil Bonza is a 37 years old American guy, living in Italy.
He has an eclectic formation, and acts as a trader for oil companies. Prior to that, he has been a DJ and a journalist for many radios in Milan.
He has always been interested in antique markets and watch collection. His passion for Speedmasters has led him to collect many models and to build up a nice collection of rare references.

1. Do you remember your first watch?

Oh, yes! I do. My first watch was a gift from my Grandpa, an OMEGA Constellation Quartz in Gold. After that I also remember when I “accidentally” bought an OMEGA Speedmaster Automatic in 2008, thinking of buying a Speedmaster Professional, just because I wanted to copy my cousins – they  were already involved into vintage watches. So those two were the beginning of the story.

2. The 3 most iconic watch models?

OMEGA Speedmaster, ROLEX Daytona, HEUER Autavia.

3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?

In 2009, probably during one of my Speedmaster chasing and buying session on eBay, I came across a very nice example of 145.022-69 and won the auction; I had it shipped to the US where my dad was, and then he came back from Florida with the watch. Watching it closely under the light I had the pleasure to find out that it was “my first tropical dial Speedmaster” and it was love at first sight.

4. Are you more modern or vintage?

I love them all. For instance, my two last Speedmasters are new.

5. I love Speedmasters because …

Iconic 42 mm Chronograph, so many models with charming and unique dials that could unexpectedly turn and fade in to tropical (my obsession), charismatic and unique in taste and not to forget that was the watch that went on The MOON. I mean c’mon…no way there is another chrono with a more fascinating story than the OMEGA Speedmaster.

6. Your favorite Speedmaster?

Really hard choice, but I will go with my radial dial Alaska Project III 1978.

7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?

You know what? I don’t know. Probably a camera.

8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?

Probably a Ford Mustang 1969 Fastback and a Dodge Challenger, and after I will call the advisor.

9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?

Daytona Beach Florida and Kennedy Space Center!

10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?

I usually forget to wear them… but I love to collect them.

11. The last watch you bought?

Actually I bought two. Speedmaster 60th Anniversary and Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday.

12. What’s on your wrist today?

OMEGA Speedmaster 105.003-64 Tropical Dial U.S. Air Force.

Thank you Neil.

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