We can’t time our openings around economic conditions. We had been looking for a prime location in New York City for a long time. This address on Fifth Avenue is a unique opportunity and now that we’ve found it, we have every confidence that it will give us a fantastic boost.
What are OMEGA’s most important product releases for 2009?
This year we are launching a total re-design of our popular Constellation line, which represents an upgrade of the entire family. The mechanical watches in the collection feature our state-of-the-art Co-Axial technology. There are also some striking diamond-paved watches in the Constellation Luxury Edition.
You mentioned “Co-Axial technology” – could you give us a short course in what this means?
The Co-Axial escapement, which was invented by the English watchmaker George Daniels, is the first practical watch escapement to be created in the last couple of centuries. In simple terms, the escapement is the heart of the mechanical watch, as it maintains the oscillations of the balance, the watch’s regulating mechanism. The OMEGA Co-Axial escapement reduces the friction among the parts that transmit energy to the other components. The most important results for consumers are a reduced need for servicing for the movement and, above all, greater stability of the watch’s precision over time.
Is the popularity of your watch lines similar from country to country or do certain lines perform better in particular markets? If the latter is the case, how will it be reflected in the product selection in New York City?
While consumer tastes may vary somewhat from market to market, New York is the most cosmopolitan city in the world so it makes sense to offer our entire product selection at the OMEGA Boutique there.
The 40th Anniversary of Moon Landing is coming up. Can you tell us a little about Omega’s involvement in the space program? Will you be doing anything at the store around this partnership?
In 1963, OMEGA Speedmaster chronographs became the only watches qualified by NASA for all manned flights and they have been part of every mission since astronaut Gordon Cooper wore one on his Faith 7 flight in the Mercury program. With the rest of the world, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing on the 21st of July, 1969, the day the Speedmaster became the Moonwatch.
To commemorate this important historic event, we are launching the Speedmaster Apollo 11 “40th Anniversary” watches. One version, in platinum, will be released in an edition of 69 pieces which, initially, will be available only at the OMEGA Boutique in New York City.