Bridg­ing Gen­er­a­tions

Joezer Mandagi chats with oMega ceo ray­nald aeschli­Mann about the at­tain­ing new stan­dards and reach­ing new gen­er­a­tions

DA MAN - Caliber - - INSIDERS -

ack in mid-2016, Omega saw a ma­jor shift in its top man­age­ment as Stephen Urquhart stepped down as CEO and pres­i­dent. It goes without say­ing that he left some very big shoes to fill. But it also goes without say­ing that Ray­nald Aeschli­mann, the new top guy at Omega, is more than up to the chal­lenge. For one, he seems to em­brace Gen­er­a­tion Y’s fix­a­tion with so­cial me­dia, as seen in the suc­cess of the Speed­mas­ter “Speedy Tues­day” Lim­ited Edi­tion which was made avail­able ex­clu­sively through In­sta­gram. At the same time, Omega pushes ever for­ward with the new Mas­ter Chronome­ter stan­dard while still hold­ing firm to its his­tory and lin­eage. It is, in­deed, an ex­cit­ing time to be an Omega fan. DA MAN: What are the high­lights from Basel­world 2017 which will re­ally rep­re­sent Omega through the year? Ray­nald Aeschli­mann: It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this ques­tion here, but I al­ways say the same thing. This is one of those years where you show the rich­ness of Omega. It’s like hav­ing kids. As the CEO, I have four fam­i­lies and they’re do­ing very good. So, it’s dif­fi­cult to talk good about one. But two things are def­i­nitely very im­por­tant, and that goes back to the DNA of the brand. I start with the tril­ogy [The 1957 Tril­ogy Lim­ited Edi­tion]. Ev­ery­body talks about the tril­ogy. You start with three watches and then you do this whole evo­lu­tion of th­ese three key watches. But more im­por­tantly—and I think it’s a high­light for a lot of peo­ple—I want to in­sist on this one: 60 years of Speed­mas­ter. There’s no lux­ury in to­day’s world without roots, without tra­di­tion, without his­tory. If you have a bad his­tory, and you try to make one, it wouldn’t be cred­i­ble. So, I’m very much in­sist­ing on the cred­i­bil­ity and the his­tory of Speed­mas­ter—a watch that made his­tory on the moon while still fea­tur­ing the same shape. So, that’s one of the high­lights.

The other high­light is ob­vi­ously the Aqua Terra line, where we’re com­ing very strongly with the Seamaster. Talk­ing about this is talk­ing about the tech­nol­ogy: the Mas­ter Chronome­ter. That’s also some­thing to cel­e­brate. So, that’s why it’s dif­fi­cult to talk about one high­light. But th­ese are my high­lights. DA: Speed­mas­ter seems to be the real “hero” of 2017, so to speak. Es­pe­cially with the suc­cess of, say, Speedy Tues­day... RA: We reached to this con­nected com­mu­nity with a Speed­mas­ter. Ev­ery­body asked me about con­nected watches and now I have the an­swer. I’m go­ing to tell

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