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ROLEX BLOG

Omega Signs On for a Century as Official Timekeeper of the Olympics

May 16, 2017

BY Paul Altieri

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Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympic games since 1932, has just announced the extension of its global partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through 2032, making the 100th anniversary of the prestigious partnership.

official timekeeper

Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympic games since 1932.

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The Official Timekeeper of the Olympics

At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles one man equipped with 30 Omega split-second stopwatches did the honors while today the Swiss watchmaker employs all kinds of state-of-the-art technologies, many of which it was the first to develop, including the starting pistol, touchpads for swimming and the latest photofinish camera, which made its Olympic Games debut in Rio and can capture 10,000 digital images per second. Omega watches have great technology compared to their stopwatches in the 30’s.

official timekeeper

Omega was the first to develop the starting pistol.

The announcement was made at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, by Nick Hayek, CEO of Omega parent company Swatch Group; Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega; and IOC President Thomas Bach.

official timekeeper

“OMEGA is the world’s leader in sports timekeeping”

Perfect Timing

“OMEGA is the world’s leader in sports timekeeping, and the extension of our agreement through to 2032 means Olympic athletes will continue to be able to rely on Omega’s expertise,” Bach says. “2032 is an important milestone, as it will mark 100 years since the Olympic Movement was first able to count on Omega’s timekeeping solutions.” Timekeeping is, of course, a crucial part of the Olympics, with fractions of seconds sometimes deciding who gets the gold, silver or bronze. Let’s not forget to mention Omega’s homage to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang.

official timekeeper

“… the caseback is engraved with the five iconic rings of the Olympic Games”

Replaced

In 1948, Omega first replaced human timers with automated ones using photoelectric cell technology at both the winter and summer Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland and London, England. One could argue that the technological advancements since have each taken the process further away from traditional watchmaking. Omega keeps the tradition alive however with the Olympic Official Timekeeper collection, a range of vintage-inspired watches. The Olympic Official Timekeeper Co-Axial Chronographs feature lacquered white dials and blue steel hands, and only 188 units of each watch in the collection are produced. And last but not least the caseback is engraved with the five iconic rings of the Olympic Games, encircled with the words “Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games.”

official timekeeper

Stopwatches were armed by humans which left room for error.

The Olympic Official Timekeeper Co-Axial Chronographs feature lacquered white dials and blue steel hands, and only 188 units of each watch in the collection are produced. And last but not least the caseback is engraved with the five iconic rings of the Olympic Games, encircled with the words “Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games.” Here’s to the extended contract with Omega and the Olympic Games.

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