Today, we start a new installment called 'Watch Stories', because every vintage watch, passed down family heirloom or preowned watch comes with a little bit of history. Unlike the rest of our content, these stories are shared and written by the actual watch collectors owning these watches. For these new section, our involvement will be limited to photographing the watches in their full glory and to editing, proofreading and style correcting the write-ups.
To kick-off this new section, we've decided to invite Matt Jackson —a prominent attorney that recently relocated to Dallas all the way from California— a.k.a @mattesq1 on Instagram, to share the moving story on his dad's Omega Speedmaster Professional MK IV. This particular watch —amongst the others that his Dad owned and wore— went missing for several years after the death of his father in 2015. Finally, a little bit over a month ago, the watch was found by Matt's sister and handed over to him for safekeeping. The opening picture shows Matt's Dad checking the time as well as him pointing at the Porsche with the watch on his wrist.
'Dad's Missing Watch' by Matt Jackson
My fascination with watches started with my father. My dad’s name was Dennis Jackson and he was the coolest guy I knew. My dad raced motocross back in the seventies riding a Husqvarna 400 Cross with a red tank with the chrome teardrop. He managed IMSA racing teams in the 80’s including running a Porsche RSR in the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona. He worked his entire career in the automobile industry, including 20+ years for Porsche. He was absolutely passionate about cars, racing and everything in between. When I was a kid he would wake me up in the middle of the night to go out and test drive the latest cool car he brought home. He and some friends built a registered Porsche 930 chassis into a full blown 934 race car. I remember my dad and me screaming through the neighborhood at 11 o'clock at night and jumping on the freeway with that particular beast. Like I said, he was the coolest guy I knew.
Other crazy amazing stories about my dad include the one about the 1948 Porsche 356 Roadster that was photographed on our front lawn and that graced the cover of Porsche Panorama magazine. Below is the article that was published about it.
But his sense of style, and what was cool, was no exception when it came to watches. He was a trendsetter and a super cool man. The first watch I remember him wearing, was his 1970 Seiko Yachtsman ref. 6138-0019 —a cool chunky chronograph. That was his everyday watch during the 70s and I dig that watch. But arguable, the most identifiable watch my dad owned was his absolute pride and joy, his Omega Mark IV ref. 176.009. Despite our proximity to luxury automobiles and the wealthy man’s sport of IMSA racing, we were a very much middle class family of moderate means. I was very young when my dad got this watch, so I don’t know the circumstances, but it would have been a real luxury item back then and a real treat. I can accurately recall how he simply stated, he loved that watch.
My dad died the day before his 74th birthday in 2015. Somewhere after about 20 years or so after purchasing the watch, he stopped wearing it. Later, he told me it didn’t run anymore. In the years before his death, I kept pestering him about his watches, specifically the Seiko and the Omega —he also owned a Tudor Submariner ref. 9411/0 that he barely wore. I wanted to have them all serviced so he could enjoy them again. He told me that he couldn’t find them and that maybe they had been lost in his recent move. By then, my stepmother had passed and we had moved him to a smaller place. Despite my encouragement, he never found his watches.
The morning of Super Bowl Sunday 2015, I found out that my dad had passed and jumped on a plane to head to Los Angeles. I spent the next week at my dad’s place packing everything up and going through boxes that he hadn’t unpacked from years earlier when he moved. Sometime in the first day I found the Seiko and the Tudor. With a couple of turns to the crown and a little shake, they both started running —a tribute to the endurance of mechanical watches. However, dad's Omega was never found. Despite combing through box after box, the Omega never revealed itself. My sister and I speculated that someone had stolen it in his last move. Nevertheless, my sister never gave up hope that it would be found. I mourned the fact that it was gone and never considered it could ever be found.
Three and a half years went by and then, last March 2018, as we were in California visiting my sister to take my grandmother out to celebrate her 90th Birthday, the unexpected happened. As I was sitting on my sister’s couch, she asked me to close my eyes and put my hands out with my palms up. As she placed a small box in my hands, I opened my eyes. It was a vintage Omega watch box. As I opened the box, my tears welled up in our eyes, my sister then said: “It’s daddy’s watch. I found it”. As it turns out, my dad had opened a safety deposit box at the bank and stored his very special watch in there. After my sister found the key, it struck her that she had forgotten about dad's safety box. She went to the bank, opened the box and there it was. The only thing of value in that box was this watch.
When I went to wear the watch, that night my sister said: “but I thought dad said it didn’t work”. But, I knew better. Sure enough, I took the watch out of the box, wounded the crown and shook the case and it started running right up. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for having my dad's watch on my wrist. This is a piece of living history and I’m so proud to take care of it for the next generation. Because watch collecting is about more than just watches. It’s about the ties that bind us.