Omega Omega stronger than the Alpha
“Omega is a complete, continuous and strong brand that understands everything”. Meeting with Roy Davidoff.
Roy Davidoff is a passionate collector. In addition to acquiring watches for years, he has also worked in the watchmaking field: he specialized in watch design, sales and sales training for companies such as Bovet Fleurier, Jacob & Co and IWC Schaffhausen. In addition, his passion for Omega timepieces led him to write. He helped his brother, Sacha, to write a book called "The Ultimate Speedmaster Exhibition".
Sacha and Roy Davidoff © Roy Davidoff
The beginning of his journey as a collector began just before his 13th birthday in the summer of 1989, when his father gave him an Omega Speedmaster Mark II Racing Dial. As a kid, he already was fan of watches: “My aunt tells me that when I was in Crans-Montana, when I was 4-5 years old, I was in front of toy and watch shops and I said I would buy everything.” The passion for Omega came when he and his brother decided to start their own business: “After making a list of the most sought-after iconic models and putting aside the Patek Philippe Calatrava reference 96 and the Rolex Daytona because they were not appreciated enough or unaffordable, we turned to the Omega Speedmasters, which we already liked and which were sought-after by the large community of lovers.”
Speedmaster Mark II Racing Dial © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido
Even if modern Omega watches are interesting because of the technicality of their movement and their finish, among other things, Roy prefers vintage timepieces because they have a history given their experience. In addition, their basic function as a tool watch makes them all the more attractive to him: “For example, before entering the water, a diver puts on his diving suit, takes his mask, fins, depth gauge and his diving watch. This was the case for submarine bombers in the armies, who needed a watch that could be immersed at significant depths, such as the Seamaster Ploprof, which would descend to 1200 metres. The same is true for the fighter pilot […], the climber who climbs Mt. Everest, the speleologist or the astronaut.” For everyone, owning such a timepiece is a way of being part of its history, which is why Roy Davidoff always leaves the engravings: “They are part of the DNA of the person who has worn [the watch] for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years.” Unlike modern Omegas, which can be found anywhere, the rarity of vintage models—in perfect condition—is also one of the reasons why collectors are interested in older models.
A few pieces of Roy Davidoff's collection of Omega watches © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido
Even if he likes each of the timepieces he owns, because of their modernity or their specificities of the past, some have a particular value for him, which is why these are the ones he would keep if he had to make a choice: “My white Snoopy [Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award], my Speedmaster 76, offered by my brother for my 40th birthday, and my Speedmaster Racing [Speedmaster Mark II Cadran Racing], that my father gave me in 1989.”
Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award and Speedmaster 76 © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido
Assuming that transmission is essential and being aware of the difficulties that must be faced when deciding to collect watches, Roy Davidoff would have three tips for a new collector: “The first, always buy in their budget[...]. Then, it is better to buy a watch in good condition. I advise never to make aesthetic compromises; we do it very very rarely but only on ultra-rare watches because there is no choice. I think that making an aesthetic compromise is a mistake because a very beautiful watch will normally remain beautiful over time and will increase in value, but an ugly watch will remain ugly [...]. Finally, it is important to buy from people you trust or who have a good reputation in case something happens with the watch.”
About the future, Roy has a very precise idea of how he would like to expand his Omega collection—or rather his collections. “As for the one I share with my brother, we are looking for rare dials, whether it is waterproof chronographs from the 1940s, the second series of Speedmasters or all the dials released in the 1960s and 1970s—especially 1960s—with red racing, grey racing, grey dials or blue-grey dials. We like these dials which have been made in 10-15 copies and of which there are currently 3-4 left.” On the other hand, for his personal collection, he favours heritage models—which have evolved over time but are not reissues. “I am currently waiting for the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, the Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 "Rising Sun" and, if I have any money left, I would like a Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 but not in a platinum case. If next year Omega releases a Snoopy for the Apollo 13 anniversary, it would hurt my wallet.”
Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition © Omega
With the great success that Omega has recently had with its reissues of historical collectible watches such as the #SpeedyTuesday limited models, Roy would like a specific timepiece to be revisited. Indeed, if he had to expand his collection with a historical timepiece not revisited yet, he would choose “the penultimate Alaska Project, neither automatic nor quartz [thus manual winding], in a satin-brushed Speedmaster case, with a 60-minute bezel—no tachometer—, a white radial dial with hands and light points.”
Alaska II Prototype © Omega
Even if he evolved, from the boy in front of toy and watch shops to the collector he is today, Roy Davidoff's passion has remained intact. Through his journey, he has built an important collection of Omega watches, which he spent many years collecting, but this time spent searching for rare vintage models is his story and the legacy he will leave behind.
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