“This is a rather business, so to speak. We’re selling a product that isn’t based on any rational need”
following before and after COSC’s approval. METAS (the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology) emphasized a lot that we need to keep this quality through until the end. All of this surely means more interventions done by a watchmaker. It gives us more work, yes, but over time we’ll be able to incorporate that into our general production. More importantly, what it does is it gives consumers a better product. That’s the aim. Not just creating a new label, what goes on behind the label is very important. DA: As more products will be utilizing the Master Chronometer movement, does this mean Omega will increase the general pricing point? SU: No. We are going to incorporate it into the whole collection eventually, but we’re not going to increase the brand’s price positioning. DA: Considering the slowdown of the global economy this year, how’s the business going on? SU: It’s very difficult to measure that right away. This is a rather emotional business, so to speak. We’re selling a product that isn’t based on any rational need. It’s really all about emotion, and I think that sometimes when things are difficult, people would buy a watch to reward themselves with some satisfaction. That’s why it’s not easy to put a figure on the business progress. Indonesia is a new market that has everything to do well in the future. I was reading a magazine a while ago that says Indonesia in 2040 will be a leading nation in the world. So, there’s big potential there. DA: Globally, how do you want people to perceive Omega today? SU: Omega is a brand that people would want to wear, more than have to wear. There’s a big difference. It’s not a flashy watch. People who are wearing Omega don’t go on like when they are wearing other brands. There’s also a sort of esoteric feeling about it. The brand offers great value. Understandably, an Omega watch is not cheap, but you don’t have to win a lottery to buy one. You can save up—even a middle class person can buy an Omega that can last twenty up to fifty years. It’ll become an investment—not necessarily a financial one but very much an emotional investment. And you can pass it on to the next generation. DA: Do you think that other brands will also attain that Master Chronometer certification? Especially those under the Swatch Group? SU: I hope they do, but there’s little chance they’ll do so. For brands under the Swatch group, it’s something we did talk about. Within the group, we let Omega do this for the time being. But it’s not a definite no. It’s good for the value of authenticity of the Master Chronometer certification if another brand would also attain it. But, it’d be too difficult. Firstly, no one would want to look like they’re following Omega. Secondly, they’d have much trouble in meeting the 15,000-gauss anti-magnetic criteria without the material and the know-how we have. It’s very difficult. Maybe some Japanese brands can do it. It’s possible. The technology exists; it’s not rocket science. However, it’s a big investment.