Friday 04 December 2009 – OMEGA, the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, celebrated the opening of its Boutique in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver today. The breakfast event and ribbon cutting ceremony featured Caroline Faivet, CEO of Swatch Group North America, OMEGA Brand Manager North America Gregory Swift, Dave Cobb, Executive Vice-President and Deputy CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), 1980 Bronze Medallist Olympian Steve Podborski, and six time Paralympian medallist Karolina Wisniewska.
The OMEGA Boutique will remain open throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and will host all of the events featuring the brand’s family of ambassadors scheduled to take place throughout the Games. The Boutique occupies a space of nearly 50 square metres on the ground floor of the Fairmont and showcases a full range of OMEGA’s timepieces, including the Olympic Games-themed Timeless Collection and the Seamaster Diver 300M “Vancouver 2010” Limited Edition watch created to commemorate the 24th time that OMEGA has served as Official Timekeeper for the Olympic Games.
The Boutique is the first retailer in Canada to offer OMEGA’s completely redesigned Constellation line. The popular, instantly recognizable Constellation will be presented with the brand’s three other main watch families, De Ville, Seamaster and Speedmaster. In addition to the timepieces on which OMEGA has built its reputation since 1848, the Boutique at the Fairmont will feature OMEGA’s Fine Leather Collections as well as the new Aqua Terra Eau de Toilette pour Homme, OMEGA’s first fragrance.
The OMEGA Boutique’s façade has been designed 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 intended to convey a history of time.
The OMEGA Boutique has a multilingual international staff selected from the brand’s headquarters in Switzerland and from other OMEGA Boutiques around the world. The staff will also include a watchmaker who will have a fully outfitted bench in the Boutique, allowing visitors a chance to see how the horologists do their detailed, precision work on OMEGA’s legendary watches.
The Vancouver Boutique is one of just four exclusive OMEGA Boutiques in North America. The other three are located in Beverley Hills, Mexico City and New York City, which opened in April of this year.
About OMEGA and the Olympic Games
OMEGA, as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, is not only responsible for timing every Olympic event, but also for data handling, the display of the results at the venues, and the distribution of the results to the world’s media.
At OMEGA’s first timekeeping assignment for the Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 1936, a lone OMEGA technician brought 27 stopwatches that were used to time each event at the Games.
Seventy years later in Turin, OMEGA deployed 208 professionals – 127 timekeepers and 81 data handlers – armed with 220 tons of equipment.
Those numbers will be exceeded at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games as OMEGA mobilizes the largest timekeeping contingent in the history of winter sport.
OMEGA began its Olympic Games timekeeping tradition at the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games. In addition to its prominent role at the Olympic Games, OMEGA has been behind many of the most important technological developments in all of sports timekeeping.
The Games in Vancouver will take place over a 17-day period beginning on the 12th of February. More than 5,500 athletes and officials from more than 80 countries will make it the largest Olympic Winter Games ever. The Paralympic Winter Games, for which OMEGA is also Official Timekeeper, start on the 12th of March and will continue for ten days. The Games’ organizers anticipate that the Paralympic Winter Games will attract 1,350 athletes and officials from more than forty countries.