Industry Interview With Omega Watches CEO Raynald Aeschlimann
I interviewed Omega Watches CEO Raynald Aeschlimann about the brand of Bond, The Olympics & NASA
How does Omega select its athlete spokespersons?
In much the same way as all ambassadors. We look for a person who shares our values and has a sincere appreciation of the brand. We admire true individuals who excel in their chosen fields, while maintaining personal integrity and respect for fans. Of course, in sport, they must be involved in the sports that OMEGA supports, such as golf, athletics and sailing.
Is the brand planning any special promotions or media campaigns in 2020 as a Summer Olympics year?
As Official Timekeeper, we are working a fantastic advertising campaign for Tokyo 2020, which has a very creative concept and involves some of our sports ambassadors.
During the event, we will have our own OMEGA HOUSE in Tokyo, where we host elegant events with very special celebrity guests – and of course, we release special commemorative timepieces for collectors. It’s going to be a very exciting year.
Could you briefly describe Omega Watches’ relationship with the 007 franchise?
It started with GoldenEye in 1995. The latest Bond film No Time To Die is the 25th 007 film and represents our 25th year as the watch worn by Bond. We are extremely proud of this relationship, as the Bond character is truly iconic, known and loved all over the world. He is of course associated with many classic brands, so it’s a huge thrill to be on that list. It’s also a huge amount of fun, because we get to be an integral part of this explosive big-screen experience. 007’s watch is even a part of his spy kit and on-screen, houses gadgets that save his life. These devices do not come as standard obviously, but we love seeing our timepieces used in this dramatic context. So do our customers. Our Bond watches are very popular with collectors and snapped up upon release.
What would surprise most readers about the skills or training of factory employees (manufacturers)?
I think they would be surprised how often our employees have watchmaking in their DNA. In the Swiss city where OMEGA has its HQ, it’s a watchmaking town and many of our employees have parents or grandparents who worked in the industry. I include myself in this. I think people would be amazed at their level of dedication and passion for the brand. They are proud of what they do – and it shows.
Who was the most recent athlete to come to Switzerland for an exhibition/performance? I was there for the McIlroy tee shot?
Not one athlete but three. At the 2019 OMEGA Masters in Crans Montana we were thrilled to welcome three of our friends to the Swiss mountains: Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood. They love the course and it was a great pleasure to have them compete and to enjoy some OMEGA hospitality.
In movies about the U.S. space program, are the astronauts depicted accurately such that moviegoers can see their Omega watches or devices?
Yes, I think filmmakers exploring this territory are very vigilant about being authentic and as the astronauts’ watches are worn on the outside of their suits, they are usually very visible. In the film Apollo 13, our Speedmaster was well and truly in focus, as the astronauts used the watch to time bursts which helped save their lives.
Thank you for your time