The Story Behind the Watch
Mrs. Bazamu doesn’t know a thing about watches. She’s learned the difference between a chronograph and a dive watch over the three years that I’ve been building my collection, but it doesn’t run a whole lot deeper than that. The Mrs. has always appreciated the watches that I’ve bought, but whenever I asked her about one that could become her own, she became a little shy. “I don’t know enough” or “I don’t need a nice watch” was typically the response that I received whenever I asked about potential pairings for her wrist. That was, at least, until she finally said “I like panda dials.” I had something to work with, at least.
The big issue with her requiring a panda dial was fairly obvious: panda dials are on fire (for good reason) and are the most highly sought-after configurations of most high-end chronographs. I didn’t need to buy her a 6239 Daytona, but I wanted to find her a watch that would be unique and from a reputable watchmaker. After quite a bit of research, I found the perfect target – a 39mm Speedy Reduced that was made in a limited edition of 2,000 pieces for a Japanese department store (Marui) in the 1990’s. It checked all the boxes – it wasn’t easy to find one, it was from one of my favorite brands, and it’s looks were quite timeless. Oh, and it was cheap. I was able to pick up my Marui for a little over $2,000, which I considered to be highway robbery given all of the pro’s that I listed previously.
When I gave her the watch for Christmas, it was clear that I’d caught her by complete surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect when as I was wrapping it up, but as soon as I saw the tears in her eyes, I knew I’d made the right decision. Even more fulfilling, however, has been the sight of it on her wrist almost every single day since that Christmas. I’m envious of her ability to live out the “one watch collection” and am proud that she’s able to don a badass chronograph every day.
The Nitty Gritty
The Speedy Reduced, in general, will not win any horological awards. It utilizes a modified ETA automatic movement, was produced in large numbers, and comes in a smaller case size than the Moonwatches that preceded it. The Marui version of the Reduced, however, hits a lot of the right notes for me. I find the 39mm case to be very well proportioned, the panda dial is well executed, and it retains a similar black tachymeter bezel to its older brethren. It will never be the next Nina Rindt in terms of price appreciation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the value of these Maruis continues to steadily rise over time.