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Time to go hiking with the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch!
Happy Speedy Tuesday! We are all familiar with the legendary Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and the numerous stories of its NASA-approved durability; however as someone who owns a Speedmaster, rarely do I ever treat it like a proper sports watch. By no means do I baby my Speedmaster ; however given that I own roughly a dozen other watches that would be less expensive to replace and significantly more difficult for me to irreparably damage, rarely do I wear my Speedmaster for anything remotely active — which is a shame.
So, for a change of pace, I decided to wear my Moonwatch hiking. Why not use it as one?
Subscribe for the latest Rolex news. For all intents and purposes, it is the exact same, manually-wound Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch that we all know and love, just with a sapphire exhibition caseback.
Business in the front, party in the back! As my moonwatch normally lives on either a leather strap or on its factory bracelet, I figured I should be bold with my strap choice, go to the the far end of the aesthetic spectrum, and grab a bright orange, nylon one-piece, RAF-style strap for the day.
While certain places like the various waterfalls throughout the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountain ranges are amazing due to the high amount of rainfall that the area has received in the last couple months, other locations that are normally quite spectacular are more-or-less impassable and simply make for a miserable day of fighting your way through various plant-life and wading through impossibly thick mud.
I left my house on foot, and within just a few miles, I was well into the park, and on the precipice of hiking down rather up some not-so-rigorous, but pleasantly-beautiful trails, towards the summit of Mount Hollywood.
For those not familiar with the geography, Mount Hollywood is a modest 1,foot summit that offers excellent degree views of the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains.
Instead, all I had was my dog, a water bottle, and my phone, so unfortunately the photos may be a cut below what you are normally accustomed to here — my apologies. Whether you are hiking in Griffith Park or traversing the lunar surface, the Omega Speedmaster is highly legible from any angle.
There are numerous individuals who wear them through everything — including swimming and deployment in the armed forces. The Speedmaster is often regarded as one of the most legible chronographs in existence, and I found this to be entirely true, even throughout all the mixed lighting I experienced that day.
The Hesalite crystal actually aids in visibility, as there is no sharp glare or blue tint like you get with sapphire; all you see is clear white numerals against a black background.
Despite its relatively meager water resistance, my Speedmaster did not leak or fog when it got wet while attempting to give my dog some water at the summit. Despite the lack of maintenance, the watch keeps proper time, and has obviously still retained some degree of water resistance — at least enough for an afternoon of hiking.
Along part of the trail are signs with mile markers, and using them in conjunction with the chronograph, I was able to roughly calculate an average mile time for the ascent and descent. My Garmin does this automatically, and although this sort of data is entirely irrelevant when on a leisurely afternoon hike with my dog, I can still say that I managed to use the chronograph for at least something that day — and it performed exactly like it should.
Not my normal choice in timepiece for this type of use, but an ideal timekeeping companion for an afternoon of hiking. There is something beautifully simple, almost romantic about owning a single watch, making it a part of yourself, and wearing it through everything.
For me, there have been a decent number of watches that — at one point or another — have been the timepiece that I would choose if I were a one-watch guy; however most of these are time-only watches with screw-down crowns, ample water resistance, and sapphire crystals.
That's a really cool one.
Was wearing my Omega Speedmaster on a hike arguably useless? Was choosing to take photos of it and write about the experience even more useless?
Quite possibly. However, it did remind me that many watches — especially the Omega Speedmaster — were originally designed to be legitimate tools worn and used every day.
Whether you use it as a sports watch or a dress watch, the Omega Speedmaster is a fantastic timekeeping companion, and I highly recommend that you switch up the strap or bracelet and try wearing it in a different way than you normally do in your day-to-day life.
Given that the Omega Speedmaster has been to the moon, the summit of Mount Hollywood is hardly the highest point that the watch has reached.