When Roger Cooper was a boy in the British Merchant Navy, he bought a Speedmaster for ₤45 in Hong Kong. That was in 1968 and he used the watch sailing for the next 15 years. The Speedmaster was water resistant approximately 200 feet, so why not? If Cooper knew the future worth of his watch, I make sure he wouldn’t have actually taken it anywhere near the water, however of course, the Speedmaster wasn’t an investment strategy or a rare collectible by any methods. It was simply a watch to Cooper, and it needed to inform the appropriate time regardless of what he was doing. It was unique since he invested an entire month’s salary on it and purchased it in Hong Kong, which, in 1968, was still held by the British. In 1983 he switched to a Casio and tucked the Rapid away.
This wasn’t any old Speedmaster, however. Unknowingly, Cooper had acquired the Speedmaster “Ultraman”– you know, the one the Speedy Tuesday folks drew inspiration from when designing this watch The separating design point is the inclusion of an orange chronograph hand, aesthetically similar to the one found on the Speedmaster MK II. It made the Ultraman label from its TELEVISION screen debut on the popular TV program The Return Of Ultraman, in1971
Now, in 2019, the Ultraman is once again a TV star, however this time it appeared on the popular BBC program Antiques Roadshow Cooper brought the watch in for appraisal on air, and specialist Richard Rate surprised him when he pegged the worth of the watch at ₤30,000-40,000 Naturally, it wouldn’t be Antiques Roadshow without a collective gasp from the crowd. Naturally, Cooper was floored. And to believe he was wearing this thing sailing around on dinghies serving in the British Merchant Navy!
A Quick deep-cut attract the watch geek in all of us, however the larger theme of having something so valuable and not understanding about it is what sent this story out of the watch world and helped it make headlines in the British tabloid world. A formerly modest watch making an affable 71- year-old grandpa’s day is exactly the kind of heartwarming story suitable for mass usage.
Cooper ended up selling the look for ₤31,000 at Gardiner Houlgate auction home. The basic origin of the “Ultraman” is cloudy, however the story goes that there are approximately 50 examples floating around. Not all have emerged so far.
It might be time to give your grandfather a call.