Omega President and CEO, Raynald Aeschlimann on moon landing, Olympics timekeeping, and James Bond.
Can You Tell Us A Bit About Omega’s Participation In Baselworld 2018?
Baselworld is a very busy time for us. It’s also a very important moment in the evolution of Omega because we are launching two collections during this event. One is the very famous Seamaster, which everybody knows. Everyone is inspired by the Seamaster 300m which has been called the James Bond watch because it’s been featured in eight lms of the franchise. We are not only creating a new Seamaster, but also bringing a new technology with it. The watch you will buy has been tested by an independent Swiss confederation institute and will be precise, waterproof and anti-magnetic. The 21st century is one where we’re all connected but it also includes a lot of changes. We don’t want Omega to be late to the party. This is why having new technology is important. And the second one is the Tresor, which is a very high-end ladies watch that only comes with diamonds.
In Your Opinion, What Sets Omega Apart From Other Watch Brands?
A lot of things! It’s not for nothing that we are leaders in the watchmaking industry. Omega is universal. It’s about aspirations. Every young man wants a Speedmaster, for example. Every young lady wants a Constellation. The DNA of Omega is to have different lines so that the brand would be strong everywhere: our pioneering spirit, quality, value for money, and our ambassadors.
What Would You Say Are The Company’s Major Strengths At This Point?
One of our incredible strengths is that we are everywhere in the world. Another strength would be our innovation. We are always creating new technology. We were the rst to make the ceramic Dark Side of the Moon watch. This year, we’re introducing a new movement. Everything is new. The brand also has a current image and products. A0l1l of these strengths make Omega a trusted band.
What Do You Like The Most About The New Olympic Collection?
What I like the most is that it reminds me of the history of our Olympic Collections. It’s not easy for me to talk about the Olympic Games because we are the of cial timekeepers for the whole equipment. Omega has the spirit of the Olympics. I like all the colors in this new collection, but the red one is my favorite. It shows Omega is not a boring company. We don’t just do black watches!
What Has Been The Most Successful Watch In Omega’s History So Far?
That’s de nitely the Moonwatch. It’s the same Speedmaster that was worn by astronauts on the moon and you can still buy it today. It has been an incredible asset for the brand through the years. It’s very special that you can buy a watch that has been to the moon. And it also has a very strong look.
What Challenges Is The Watch Industry Facing These Days?
We have noticed a drop in participation in Baselworld this year, so it’s important that we talk about what’s facing the industry. I believe that the biggest challenge is arrogance. Sometimes, the ones in Switzerland think they know everything. I think it’s more important to be closer to the consumer. It’s the same as your magazine. You can’t create it without thinking about who will read it. With Omega, we have the advantage of gaining market share because we are close to the people. We work with them and ensure we remain faithful to them. They trust us. That arrogance may be the biggest challenge some of our competitors have, but we don’t have it because we know our success depends on the success of our customers.
Do You Prefer The Seamaster Or The Speedmaster?
I compare it to having a big family. Having four lines is like having four kids. I love them all!
What Should We Expect From Omega In The Future?
We will continue doing the same things we have done. We will keep using new technology and creating incredible aspiring projects. We plan to form an even closer connection between the brand and our customers, the same as we have done with e-commerce, such as the Speedy Tuesday watch which we sold exclusively on Instagram. This brand is magical. It’s not old-fashioned. It’s future-oriented.