New York (USA) – Monday 06 April 2009
On April 4th, OMEGA comes to New York City. Its new flagship store at 711 Fifth will be the 51st OMEGA Boutique. The company’s entire product palette will be on offer.
The flagship store is an important part of OMEGA’s retail strategy. In December of 2000, Nicolas Hayek, the Chairman of the Swatch Group, made a bold announcement at the grand opening of the first OMEGA Boutique in Zurich. OMEGA’s ambitious goal, he said, was to extend the corporate boutique network to include 50 retail shops devoted exclusively to OMEGA products within ten years. OMEGA met that target in 2008.
A piece of history – JFK’s inaugural watch
On display will be the OMEGA Ultra-Thin watch, which was worn by John F. Kennedy during his inaugural address in January of 1961. The watch now belongs to the OMEGA Museum at the company’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland. Stephen Urquhart, the president of OMEGA, pointed out, “Given the watch’s history and provenance, it is an ideal piece to share with the visitors to our New York City Boutique It was on President Kennedy’s wrist when he urged Americans to ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.’ We’re pleased to have this opportunity to share it with our American friends.”
A platinum Moonwatch – available exclusively in New York City
It was also President Kennedy who set the goal for Americans to land a man on the Moon and return him safely before the end of the 1960s. When the Apollo 11 Lunar Module landed on the Moon’s surface in July of 1969, the astronauts were wearing OMEGA Speedmaster watches (as has every NASA astronaut since 1963’s Mercury Faith 7 mission). On July 21st, 1969, the Moonwatch was born.
This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, OMEGA is releasing limited editions of the Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 “40th Anniversary” Moonwatch in stainless steel (7,969 pieces) and platinum (69 pieces).
The platinum version of the watch, which features an 18 Ct gold Apollo 11 patch on the caseback with a reduced version below the small seconds hand on the dial, will initially be available exclusively at the OMEGA Boutique in New York City.
Inside the OMEGA Boutique
When visitors enter the OMEGA Boutique, they will be warmly greeted by a staff whose members are specialists in the 161-year-old watchmaker’s product line. Display and sales areas are on each side of the ground floor towards the front of the store.
There is also an enclosed area where VIP guests can view the products undisturbed and at an unhurried pace.
Beyond the sales areas are special displays with showcases featuring OMEGA’s brand ambassadors on one side of the hall and selections from the Fine Jewellery and Fine Leather collections on the other. Many of these products are available exclusively at OMEGA Boutiques. There are also presentations dedicated to special launches and to seasonal products.
Expert after-sales service
At the back of the shop, a staircase leads to the second floor where the after-sales service department is located. Here it is possible to receive expert consultation and warranty servicing on all OMEGA products.
The members of the specially-trained staff at OMEGA’s Boutique in New York City are enthusiastic about sharing their unparalleled knowledge of one of the world’s most respected watch brands.
The concept for the OMEGA Boutique was created by Kazuo Adachi of design Fresco designed by Adachi and his colleague Hiroshi Yamashita. The façade has been conceived around the themes of the sun, water, the earth and, of course, time. Brilliant lighting illuminating the products in the show window represents the sun’s energetic light rays.
A stroke pattern above the displays casts shadows and reflects light – a perfect depiction of clouds, which gather water to generate the rain. Vertical tracks express rainfall. The rain, in turn, symbolizes time which is never still and which never returns in exactly the same form.
Finally, below the displays, chiselled and silvered glass represents an exposed cross section of the earth which conveys a history of time.