From the athletic track to the pool, from cycling to sailing, the world wide glare of success will be fully focused on the time measures of the officials and the events’ dependency and trust in Omega.
In a world of often swinging and erratic corporate sponsorship it is somewhat warming, as well as impressive, that Omega’s executive management has maintained their long ‘DNA’ association with the Olympics fending off major challenges from Minerva and Seiko who in their own right brought innovations to their Olympic timing.
What the monetary value of the sponsorship deal is not clear with both Omega and the International Olympic Committee are not disclosing or commenting on. Given the total investment of sponsors is reported at $2bn, Omega’s investment is up there.
Clearly the long investment of the brand association of Omega with the Olympics cuts through, with Omega clearly recognised worldwide as ‘timekeeper of excellence’. Indeed Omega brand attributes of ‘seriousness, reliability and quality’ are implicitly re-enforced by the association.
The Rio Olympics represents the 27th occasions since 1932, that OMEGA has fulfilled the role of Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games as Omega proudly state ‘From the start line to the scoreboard, in charge of every second in every event’.
Omega’s Olympic association is a massive business operation for the famous luxury watch brand involving more than 250 on-site professionals, hundreds of volunteers and brings in more than 200 tons of cutting-edge equipment.
Supported by an army of marketing and commercial teams ensuring the brand maximises the attention of the world on the remarkable Olympic phenomena.
Certainly a contrast to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics where thirty 30 chronometer certified mechanical chronographs, providing timekeeping precise to a fifth of a second, were distributed by one watch technician who turned up to tackle 117 events in 14 sports contested by 37 nations.
Omega was of course up to the challenge.
Occasional challenges have come from other brands, but the Omega machine has continued to develop the cutting edge of time-keeping.
For the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, OMEGA introduced a new proprietary technology, ‘the cellular photoelectric eye’ popularly known as the “Magic Eye” or “Photosprint”. For the first time camera technology recorded the exact time at which athletes crossed the finish line, rather than a timekeeper purely with a stop watch and reaction time. OMEGA improved its timing accuracy from a fifth of a second, to the famous ‘1/100th of a second’.
Further notable developments included in 1956, the Swim-O-Matic: an automatic timing system that recognised the force of a swimmer touching the ends of a swimming pool to record times; and in 2012 Olympics in London OMEGA introduced pressure-sensitive starting blocks using hidden sensors to detect false starts and unfair advantages advantage, specifically the beginning of a race such as the ultimate 100m sprint.
One of our personal favourites given our love of digital technology was in 1964 when the ‘Omegascope’ superimposed numbers onto TV screens, giving for the first time viewers around the world real time results.
Innovation to ‘watch’ out for from Omega at the Rio Olympics is the Myria photofinish camera, which takes an incredible 10,000 digital images per second to record all finish lines and in Golf, Omega will record this with their new radar technology that measures and displays the height, speed and estimated distance of swings.
So, as you watch over the coming weeks and are enthralled by the close margin of Olympic success and failure, appreciate the contribution, efforts and long standing support Omega have given the Olympic games. Today Omega is the world’s largest watch manufacturer and has developed long standing and high impact marketing alliances with sports such as the Olympics, Sailing and Golf, aspirational brands such as James Bond and even NASA’s Lunar Landings.
Well done Omega we say. Best of all, a reason for three stunning Olympic special edition watches from Omega.
The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M beautifully celebrates Omega’s role as the Official Timekeeper of Rio 2016. On the black dial, a transferred wave pattern inspired by the sidewalks of Copacabana beach. The polished black ceramic bezel ring includes a diving scale filled with white Super-LumiNova and numerals filled with red, blue, yellow and green lacquer – the colours of the Olympic rings. As you would expect with the Seamaster Diver 300M, there is a date window at 3H, a helium escape valve at 10H and polished facetted skeleton hour-minute hands.
The OMEGA Seamaster Bullhead Rio is a sporty timepiece that uses the iconic colours of the five Olympic rings. Only 316 pieces have been produced, feature a white dial with a blue 60-minute scale on an inner rotating bezel, a 30-minute recorder at 12 o’clock, a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock.
The screw-in caseback is stamped with the logo of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This eye-catcher is presented on a blue leather strap with black, yellow, green and red stitching. Beating at the heart of the Seamaster Bullhead Rio is the OMEGA calibre 3113.
Inspired by the 1969 model of the OMEGA Speedmaster Mark II the Speedmaster Mark II “Rio 2016” evokes the feelings of Olympic glory and triumph that come with a place on the podium.
Only 2,016 pieces have been produced, features a matt black dial with a 30-minute recorder, 12-hour recorder and a small seconds subdial at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock which are decorated with a bronze, 18K yellow gold and 925 silver ring respectively. The transparent tachymeter scale on the sapphire crystal is illuminated from beneath by a fluorescent orange ring filled with Super-LumiNova. The 42.40 mm stainless steel case is presented on a matching bracelet. At the heart of this chronograph is the exclusive OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 3330.
If you’ve been inspired by the winning association of Omega, check out the latest Omega watches from major retailers and independent specialists on LuxSeeker.com.
Enjoy the Olympics.