Talking With Omega About Weathering The Storm, James Bond, And More

Talking With Omega About Weathering The Storm, James Bond, And More

Martin Green
By Martin Green June 18, 2020

Covid-19 is still having a profound impact on the day to day life of many of us. Its impact is felt around the world, also in Switzerland, where many manufactures have carefully increased their operations again and among them Omega. We talk with them to find out how they are coping with this challenging situation, but also look further and discuss the importance of partnerships and what makes the brand so strong.

The Covid-19 pandemic is holding the world in its grasp. How is Omega coping with this situation?

OMEGA has been able to maintain a steady level of manufacturing and deliveries to customers in Switzerland, while abiding by government guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our employees. We are continuing to monitor the situation and although we are not yet back to full capacity, we are on a positive trajectory. In the meantime, we are still providing customers with a full sales service through our e-commerce platforms.

Daniel Craig @gregwilliamsphotographyPhoto Credit: Greg Williams Photography

Unfortunately, this year, there is no ‘Time to Move’ after the highly successful 2019 edition, but also the Olympic Games, as well as the latest James Bond movie, has been postponed. How does this, if at all, affect your product launches?

The events of this year have had a significant impact on product launches, especially as we had already planned 2020 releases well in advance to coincide with these events.  However, unforeseen events have presented challenges many times over the decades. We never take anything for granted and we have a skilled team of people who can respond quickly and efficiently, so we have been able to adapt to the circumstances. Of course, the internet is an invaluable tool. Product launches have still been possible thanks to our rapidly growing social media channels and the use of e-commerce.

Omega’s model families are each iconic and have a long history. How do you balance them in relation to each other, and decide where to focus your R&D?

Each family of watches has a very specific customer base, although they can overlap. The balancing happens naturally, as we are customer focused, so the degree of emphasis placed on a particular family of watches is based on market feedback and comments from passionate collectors and loyal customers. In regards to R&D this can depend on the circumstances. For instance, our latest James Bond watch has an innovative titanium mesh bracelet, so it was important to focus on producing it in time for the launch. It’s not always time specific. Often the introduction of exciting new watch materials drives our developments. The watchmaking process excites us, so we are always experimenting.

Omega America's Cup

You just released a new Omega Seamaster dedicated to the 36th America’s Cup. How important are partnerships for the brand?

Hugely important. Our partnerships allow us to interact with dynamic individuals and to play a role in exciting global events, such as the America’s Cup. It is also very exciting to produce watches for specific disciplines and events as it challenges our approach to materials and design. In addition, we get to tell our story in a compelling way and on the global stage. In the case of sailing, there is an obvious synergy between watchmaking and the design of racing boats, as both require finding exciting and innovative ways to achieve desired results.

The watch world is a very competitive environment. What do you consider the most vital elements of Omega, that make it such a competitive brand?

It’s a mix of watchmaking innovation and pioneering spirit. We make extraordinary timepieces, but we also have incredible stories to tell. Such as being the first watch worn on the moon, the watch worn by James Bond, and our role as Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games. No other brand has such a rich and exciting legacy. This is the true essence of OMEGA and the things that customers really connect with.