In the world of luxury watches, Omega is making headlines. In the past week, the company has announced the opening of a new boutique, as well as the revamping of one of its most famous watches. Currently, Omega has 75 flagship stores located throughout the world. The new store, established in Vancouver, Canada is the company’s fourth in North America; the others are in Beverley Hills, Mexico City and New York City.
The move behind this new store is that Omega will, once again, be the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games; this time sponsoring the Winter Games in Vancouver that commence on February 12. Omega continues to seek out this opportunity because it not only gets to promote its watch collections, but also allows it to create limited edition pieces that commemorate the event. The 2010 Winter Games marks the 24th time that Omega Watches is the official timekeeper for an Olympic event.
The new 500 square foot Omega boutique opened last Friday, December 5, in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel, and features watches from $2,000 to as much as $400,000. Gregory Swift, Omega’s brand president, expects the “heart” of the collection to be in the $5,000-to-$10,000 price range. Included in this selection of Omega men’s watches and Omega women’s watches will be the limited edition Vancouver 2010 watches.
Omega hopes to generate millions of dollars in the four months that this new retail location will be open; it will close at the end of March 2010. The company is putting all sorts of resources into facilitating watch sales, including a multilingual staff of about six people before the Olympics kicks off, and double its staff during the Games. There will even be an on-site Omega watchmaker with a fully outfitted bench in the store, allowing visitors to see the detailed and precise work that goes into creating each and every Omega watch.
Selecting from the roster of Omega Ambassadors, some of the following are sure to be seen at the Vancouver store at one point or another: George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford, Michael Phelps, Sergio Garcia and Michelle Wie.
In addition to this new storefront, Omega is also thinking about Valentine’s Day, timing the release of one of its revamped watches around this date. The new Omega De Ville 4-Counters Co-Axial Chronograph watch may be the perfect gift for that special someone. The De Ville collection is not new, but this enhancement brings it new light with its compelling four-counter chronograph readout that stretches horizontally across the dark metallic grey dial. Although some watch connoisseurs may think it too closely resembles the limited edition Speedmaster Chronograph 5-Counter watch that Omega released during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the new De Ville is not to be mistaken for the former. This De Ville 4-Counters Co-Axial will feature finely brushed stainless steel, which will be used for almost every surface of the 41 mm sized case, bezel and bracelet. The bracelet also features four slender links that are done in an elegant high polish as well.
The dial deserves special mention too; there are four subdials which are recessed below the primary surface. The indices and hands capture the light of the red accents on the dial, which give off their own sporty, yet sophisticated, look and feel. There are two windows; one located below the Omega logo, and the other at 6 o’clock which displays the day of the week and the date. “The chronograph mechanism records elapsed minutes, hours, and even days (up to 7), as well as continuously running small seconds; the latter is clearly demarcated from the other chronograph functions by a skeletonized dagger-shaped hand.”
The watch runs on the self-winding Omega Calibre 3890, which itself presents a number of horologically desirable elements, including the well-known Omega Co-Axial Escapement and a freely sprung balance that optimizes isochronism and resistance to shocks. A power reserve of 52 hours is respectable and the rapid balance beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour enables the chronograph to record elapsed time to the nearest 1/8th second. This Calibre includes a Cotes de Geneve patterns on the bridges and central winding mass. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters and the triple-folding clasp on the stainless steel bracelet displays the world famous Omega symbol in 18-karat red gold.
No matter where you are, it’s hard to ignore the noise that surrounds Omega watches these days.