Since I have the memory of my childhood, I remember seeing that big watch on my father’s wrist, it is something impossible to go unnoticed, not only because it was a great presence on the wrist, but also because it had some kind of complexity that fascinated me.
He got his Omega before I was born and so all the memories I have of him were with that watch, after he passed away I asked my mom where he bought it because he was never a person who worried about having expensive things like as there was never a person who was very concerned with taking care of his things, if something was expensive or not, it was to be used on the limit, so my mother told me that it was one of his students who was a flight crew and used to fly frequently to Geneva, who kindly offered to bring the watch from Switzerland, until today we do not know who chose the model, whether it was my father or if he let him choose it for him, however, we are sure that my father asked for the watch to come with the chronograph function because he always loved speed and always used a lot to measure times and so the watch chosen was an Omega Flightmaster.
On the watch itself, it is an Omega Flightmaster that was produced between 1969 and 1972, was created for pilots and was used by some Soviet cosmonauts like Alexey Leonov, this watch came first with the Caliber 910 with a 24-hour subdial and then came a second variant with Caliber 911 with a subdial of seconds replacing the previous subdial of 24 hours. My father’s Flightmaster was the first model with Caliber 910 with the 24-hour subdial and one of the coolest things about it is the DC-8 super 61 jet engraved on the caseback. If you want to know more about the specifications of this watch we leave it at the end, or if you want to read more about the watch, I found a very interesting article from Monochrome which I leave the link here.
The memories I have of my father and his watch were mainly on weekends or holidays, where my twin sister and I spent more time with him, first in our childhood and then me in adulthood without the presence my sister’s constant and more in a normal complicity relationship between father and son.
So in my childhood, my sister and I kept great memories of my father with his watch, he often took us for a walk in the parks of Lisbon, and I remember several episodes perfectly, like the one that on a winter day we decided to take a walk in the green areas near the Torre de Belém, one of the historical monuments of the city of Lisbon, and like any child, we would like to run and my father challenged us to see who ran the fastest and timed our times, however, that day we didn’t realize that the area was full of puddles and as you can imagine it didn’t end well, my sister and I fell in a puddle and were covered in mud, we had to go back home and hear from our mother.
Other good memories we have of him and his watch were when we went to the plane park as we called it, it was at Alvito Children’s Park in Monsanto on the outskirts of Lisbon, a big park with lots of swings and slides, but what was really cool for us at that time it was the existence of a tram carriage and an aeroplane, where we could get in and play and it was what we most liked to do there, but in addition, there was still a big race track that we also liked to go and that we normally left for the end of the tour and that was when we tested our athlete skills and ran on an obstacle course while our father used the watch to time our times and despite all our efforts none of us became athlete professional but it was a lot of fun.
In the summer holidays we also have great memories when we went to the beach, we used to have an inflatable boat that we used with our father to go along the coast visiting beaches and caves, and sometimes we dived and he always timed the time we managed to stay underwater.
My father was never a person who took care of his belongings and with his Omega, it was no different, he dropped that watch several times on the floor, but it never went bad it was a real fortress, so he is covered in scratches and other marks, which they keep many stories and which I decided to let them stay.
He used to spend most of his time in the car, teaching people how to drive, and in the summer it was common whenever he took his watch off to see a large white mass on his tanned arm from spending so much time with him.
On the 25th anniversary of my parents’ wedding, my mother presented him with a new watch, a classic and much lighter piece and from then on, he started using the Flightmaster less often. I remember when he occasionally left home early to go to work and left it on the table next to the bed, I would go there to keep an eye on that watch and try to understand.
In my adulthood, the memories I have with him are more related to sport, since it was something we both liked, especially motorsports and football. My father’s whole life was related to cars, motorcycles and speed, he even participated in some auto races and won at least one because I remember seeing the cool trophy left in the garage and also a nice picture of him with his helmet driving an Austin Mini in one of those races, which unfortunately must have been lost because more than once I looked for it everywhere and still can’t find it. We watched Formula 1 racing together on TV in the 90s, I remember that the podium at the time was played between Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen and Nigel Mansell but also with the intrusion of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet these three excellent drivers at the end of their careers. They were moments of emotion where the victories were decided at the start of the race or at the pit stops, I often see my father timing the time of entering and leaving the pits, although the television was already giving the times live, I loved it these moments because we rarely agreed and discussed what seemed to us to have gone well or badly.
Another passion we shared was Rally, one of the biggest and most admired motorsport competitions in Portugal, Rally de Portugal was a totally different race from Formula 1, but where adrenaline dominated everything and seeing it live was like living on the razor edge as you can see in the video that I leave below. It was one of the most glorious moments with incredible drivers like Carlos Sainz, Tommi Makinen and Colin McRae, who will remain forever in our memory.
For many years we went to football together to see our beloved Sporting and it was all around him, before, during and after the games, only those who lived know what I am talking about, they were such good moments and like many other sports we saw together we rarely agreed whether it was about players, coach or tactics, but that was the fun of it all, and I remember perfectly well my dad pushing the count button on his watch as soon as the referee whistles and the match start as if it were it was a religious act and then he only used it again when things were not going well, using it again to control the discount time, it was exciting moments and sometimes we won, sometimes we didn’t, but it was our time together and that it really was what mattered.
So, for me, being with him is the chance to be able to remember all these incredible moments that we lived together and eternalize them in our memories because the good things always stay. We never had the opportunity to talk about the possibility that this watch would one day pass to me because we were not very emotional people, nor did we talk much about feelings, which did not mean that we did not feel the natural love between father and son, however, I believe that he would be happy if I stayed with him and used it, so I will continue to use it from time to time and one day maybe it will pass to a son or someone special.
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Dimensions: 43.50 mm diameter, 15 mm thickness
Crystal: Mineral glass
Case Back: Stainless steel
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, diving bezel, 24 hours local time, dual time zone
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Power Reserve: 44 Hours