In line with its legacy, Omega releases limited edition timepieces only when the occasion warrants it, writes Kasmiah Mustapha
A HIGH-END designer watch is a status symbol... more so if it’s a limited edition model. It means you are among the lucky few to own something that boasts of exclusive design and style.
This year, watch brand Omega is introducing several limited edition timepieces. The first occasion is in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond movie.
There’s also a remake of the watch that joined the last mission to the moon. And in conjunction with the London Olympics, it has also made a similar design to the one released in 1948, the last time the city hosted the Games.
To celebrate the release of the first James Bond movie, Dr No, 50 years ago, Omega introduced an updated version of the Seamaster Diver 300m, which had been part of Bond’s accessories since Golden Eye in 1995.
The men’s version has 11 applied indexes while for the women, there are 10 with a diamond index at the 7 o'clock position, a reminder that this watch is created to honour the film history. Featuring the 007 monogram, there are only 11,007 pieces made for men and 3,007 for women.
Omega has also come out with a limited edition to celebrate the release of the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, in November. The Seamaster Planet Ocean, limited to 5,007 pieces, has the word Skyfall on the watch.
Unfortunately, the limited edition James Bond Skyfall watches have been sold out, according to Omega Southeast Asia vice president David Ponzo.
“The demand is very high. Sometimes they do not even reach the shops and we are talking about watches that cost between RM13,000 and RM15,000. People just love anything to do with James Bond.”
GOING INTO SPACE
If you are a fan of space programmes and know the names of every mission ever launched, Omega is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, with a limited edition Speedmaster in only 1,972 pieces. Apollo 17 mission was launched in 1972 and Omega released a replica of the watch worn by the astronauts then.
Ponzo said since 1965, Omega is the official watch for US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) programmes. However, before the official relationship was sealed, US astronaut Wally Schirra wore his own Speedmaster on his Mercury Atlas 8 mission in October 1962.
As a tribute to Schirra, Omega is releasing a replica of the watch Schirra wore with the word First Omega In Space and October 3, 1962 engraved on the back. “We want to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the last man mission to the moon. Since 1972, Nasa no longer sends people to the moon. We also wanted to honour Schirra as the first astronaut who wore this watch in space.”
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
For the Olympic Games in London, Ponzo said Omega is the official timekeeper for the 25th time. Omega’s first timekeeping assignment was for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1932.
“We are not merely a Games sponsor. We are talking about providing a service. We are also trying to improve the Games with new innovations. Omega invented the swimming touch pad as well as the starting block. This is our technology and not something borrowed from others.”
To make the Olympic Games more memorable, Omega introduced the Seamaster 1948 Co-Axial London 2012 limited edition. It is a replica of the Seamaster that was launched in 1948, the last time London had hosted. The Seamaster is produced at a limited edition of 1,948 pieces and is housed in a London 2012 presentation box.
As for future limited editions models, Ponzo said Omega will only come out with such timepieces when the occasion warrants it. “We want to release watches that users are proud to wear. If an occasion deserves to be celebrated, we will come up with something.”
Ponzo said Omega has introduced 250 designs under its four product lines — Constellation, Seamaster, Speedmaster and De Ville — at the BaselWorld 2012 exhibition, Switzerland, in March this year.
“We are not sure how many models we will come out with next year but Omega has been very consistent throughout the years. What is important to us is not the number of new models but the consistency of the collection,” says Ponzo.
“We make sure that what we release this year is in line with what we have been doing all this while. Otherwise, consumers won’t understand where we are going and why we are coming out with new models. It is important to be relevant and consistent.
“We also do not want to be opportunistic and follow the trend of the year. We don't like that. We have history and legacy behind our name, so we have to uphold that. When we come out with new models, we have to focus on protecting our name.
“Each line has its own designs and attributes that we constantly upgrade, modernise and enhance. But they are clearly separated from each other.”