Watch with a story: Seamaster

22 February 2021

The watch discussed in this blog has seen much of the world. The owner of the watch was a world traveller, his story was told years later by his widow. The pictures and stories in this blog mainly date back to the 1960’s. THe owner of the watch lived in Vietnam and Greenland, he served the Amercian military, though he was a civilian.

-The man behind the watch, Gerrit.

Gerrit was born in 1929 in Deventer, in the Netherlands. He followed hotelschool in Switzerland in the 1950’s. Afterwards he emigrated to the United States, he only went back to the Netherlands after his retirement. A lot is unknown about large parts of his life. However, it is clear that he worked large parts of his life in remote places in the world that were often considered chaotic. After working in Vietnam, he went to the Middle East and Congo followed after the Middle East.

During his travels he had access to a lot of classified intel. For example, there are pictures of him with army projects that were highly classified back then.

-BMEWS Radars in Thule, a large project to stop enemy missiles.
-Secret ”NIKE” rockets

Gerrit lived as a civilian on an army basis in Greenland. As a result of his work for the army, he had access to army supplies and stores. In the army stores, also called the ”base exchange”, some luxury goods were also sold. Omega watches were sometimes sold at these bases.

-The army store
-His parka, knife and watch.

My favourite part of this story, as a vintage watch lover, is obviously the watch itself. The watch in question is a golden Omega Seamaster that was purchased at the army store in 1963.

The vintage Omega Seamaster.

-The Omega, apparently in very good condition.
-The radars in the background, eskimo’s with dog sleds on the foreground.

After his travels in Greenland, Gerrit also went to Vietnam. He also collected watches in Vietnam.

The vintage Rolex Datejust

The Datejust was a gift to himself for his birthday in 1967. Based on the pictures, it seems to be a Rolex Datejust 1601, or perhaps a Datejust 1603 with an engine turned bezel.

These blogs were inspired by a acquantaince of Gerrit who wrote about him years after his travels. The link to the first blog can be found here. The second blog can be found here.

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