Stephen Urquart, CEO of Omega, was delighted to recently announce that his company will continue timing the performance of the athletes. Urquart also emphasized that Omega are extremely proud of being an integral part of the Olympics.
by Britta Rossander
Omega will celebrate 84 years of timing the Olympic Games with the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. It will be the 27th event with Omega as official timekeeper since 1932.
Naturally, limited series of “Olympic watches” are produced in connection with the games. The last example was at the winter games in Sochi in February where a special Seamaster Planet Ocean was presented in sizes for the ladies as well as the gentlemen. WTM gives you a cavalcade of Omega watches designed for various Olympic games throughout history.
These games were celebrated with a Deluxe version of the Seamaster Polaris Chronograph. There were two different models; one for collectors and another for VIP’s involved in the event. The watch had a quartz movement capable of measuring 1/10th of a second.
To celebrate the 1988 games in both Calgary and Seoul 1988 – the 20th time with only Omega and no one else as official timekeeper – a high-tech Seamaster was designed which was well in tune with the times. The movement had a vastness of functions like lap times, stopwatch, digital displays, analog chronograph etc.
To celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, there were two limited series of Seamaster models based on professional divers’ watches. The white face and the red bezel ring are chosen to honor the colors of the Canadian flag.
For the 2006 winter games in Torino, Omega chose a classic Speedmaster chronograph with a split-second function and the five Olympic rings as a counterweight on the second hand.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) was introduced in the 1970’s and Omega soon recognized the benefits of an LCD timing watch. With its dual-display movement that could measure 1/100th of a second, this watch definitely was one advanced piece of technology.
Cortina d’Ampezzo/Melbourne 1956
The watch produced for the 1956 Olympic Games didn’t only emphasize Omega’s participation but was also a confirmation that Omega had been awarded the Olympic Cross of Merit for “outstanding services to the world of sports”. The Seamaster model was chosen, and these watches were made in very small numbers and only in gold.
Moscow and Lake Placid 1980
Omega pulled out all the stops and produced a skeleton chronograph movement with split-second, inspired by the watch used in 1930. The hand-engraved gold case had sapphire glass in both front and back to let the owner admire the motion of the entire movement.