Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Part of my grandfather's legacy

[I posted this to Watchuseek - so the language is going to be much more tuned to watch aficionados than my friends & family. My grandfather, John J. Bubbers, passed away in May. The watch I'm referencing, an Omega Speedmaster Pro, is also known as "the moon watch" because it was worn by Apollo astronauts and tuned to being in space in several ways.]

My grandfather was a product of the great depression. He was born in the US, moved to Germany during the 1930s during the Great Depression, and moved back to the United States after the outbreak of war with his family. His family had almost nothing, from what I understand leaving it behind to flee Germany.

A self made man, he put himself through college while holding down a full time job and raising my mother, my aunt, and my uncle. He started his own businesses, and traveled the world for them. He said he picked up this watch in Switzerland the week after the moon landing. From, I believe this is a ST145.012, a caliber 321 Speedmaster.

Over the past few years, I've been flying to Boston (from San Francisco) every other or every third month for a weekend to get to know my grandfather as an adult, get to hear the stories he was too quiet to tell in front of many people. (He wasn't a quiet man with his opinions, but he never told old stories with a group.) He remained heavily involved in HAM radio and his community until the end. He was heavily into the details of everything he did and was engaged in a way that's sadly rare.

I've been wearing this in very heavy rotation since his memorial service, and today sent it to Nesbit's for service. The Hesalite is pretty heavily scratched, and I believe it wasn't regularly serviced before. If I turn the crown backwards with the crown out, the movement can stop and I'm noticing significantly diminished reserve when the chronograph is running. But all in all, she's a beauty for a 42-ish year old watch.

I can think of no better way to remember my grandfather than to wear his old watch, to look at it and think of him every day I wear the watch.

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