Omega has been involved in sports in one way or another almost since its inception. The brand is all about creating watches, and even timing instruments, for a variety of sports – including the Olympics.
In fact, Omega has been the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games 28 times since 1932, and regularly creates special watches in honor of the Olympics, as well as developing timing equipment for sports such as tennis, swimming, archery, bobsledding, cycling, running, and so much more.
Omega is also committed to the sports of golf, sailing and bobsledding outside of the Olympics —sponsoring events and even bringing brand ambassadors on board from these fields. Here we take a look at how Omega is bringing sport watches and timing to new heights in three important realms.
While the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 have been postponed due to the global pandemic, Omega continues to plan its artfully precise timing of the Games. When it embarks on the next timing of the Olympics, Omega will most likely bring the timing materials – more than 200 tons of it -- for more than 300 timekeepers, more than 100 scoreboards and more. Omega’s sports timing division has been on the cutting edge of technology for decades – ever since Omega became the first to use revolutionary photoelectric cells at the 1948 Games to ensure they had the exact winning moment of an event precisely timed.
Seamaster Aqua Terra Tokyo 2020 Edition limitée © Omega
Today, the brand uses state-of-the-art light beams, wands, Scan’O’Vision MYRIA cameras that capture 10,000 digital images per second, and more for timing – all developed by the brand’s engineers. Omega brings hundreds of timing experts with it to the Olympics and hires hundreds more on site that it trains as needed.
As mentioned, Omega also releases special edition Olympic watches, and this year, the brand unveiled two new timepieces: the $6,300 Seamaster Aqua Terra Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition Master Chronometer powered by the brand’s Caliber 8900 (the first watch to feature a ceramic dial), and the $7,450 Seamaster Planet Ocean Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition in white with ceramic bezel ring and diving scale made with the brand’s proprietary Liquidmetal™. Each watch is each being built in a limited edition of 2,020 pieces.
While many of the famed golf tournaments are on hold due to Covid-19, some smaller tournaments are being held around the world – albeit without spectators. Golf has always been considered the “gentleman’s sport,” and so it makes sense for a luxury watch brand to align itself with the challenging game that requires not only excellence but precision. Omega recognized this early on and has been globally involved in golf for years.
In the United States alone, it is the title sponsor of four events, two in the Middle East and of the Omega Masters tournament – the longest running golf tournament -- in Europe. In some instances, such as the PGA Professional Championship and the Ryder Cup, Omega is the Official Timekeeper, while in other events it is the title sponsor. At all of these events, Omega clocks and scoreboard timing is highly visible. Omega also has a roster of brand ambassadors from the golf world, including Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Michelle Wei and others.
Rory McIlroy © Omega
To celebrate its involvement with golf, Omega creates the Seamaster Aqua Terra Golf collection of watches. The 41mm stainless steel pieces feature dials with distinctive horizonal line motif that emulates teak. The watches are clean in design and boast luminescent hands and markers, outer chapter ring for the seconds indication with a brightly colored seconds hand. Each watch houses the Master Chronometer caliber 8900 and are certified at the industry’s highest level by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). This newest version, the Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light that retails for $48,600, is crafted of two kinds of titanium and aluminium to make it light and comfortable. It features a blackstrap with red stitching that complements the red seconds hand and dial accents. This newest version in rich gray features a blackstrap with red stitching that complements the red seconds hand and dial accents.
Because of its superb timing of sailing events in the Olympic Games, branching out into sailing events on a bigger scope makes perfect sense for Omega. In fact, the brand has been a sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race for years, and this year, takes it sails even further as the Official Timekeeper of The America’s Cup. The oldest international sporting trophy event, begun in 1851, the America’s Cup is also known as the Auld Mug, and features teams that vie for spots as the final two yachts in competition.
The 36th edition is slated to take place in 2021. In addition to being the Official Timekeeper of the America’s Cup, Omega has also signed on to support Team Alinghi, a two-time America’s Cup winner.
Seamaster Planet Ocean Tokyo 2020 Edition limitée © Omega
To honor these alliances, Omega has created a special-edition America’s Cup watch and a special Alinghi watch. The $7,050 Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition watch is a 43mm steel watch with blue ceramic diving bezel with red and white liquid ceramic to create the 5-minute countdown for racing. This is the final critical time-frame when boats must be in position and getting ready for the start of the race. An America’s Cup logo is seen on the counterweight of the central seconds hand and on the sapphire caseback. Just 2021 pieces will be made.