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As the world awaits the official opening of the Olympic Games, Omega has been preparing to time the world’s most prestigious international sports competition. The 2016 Olympics will be Omega’s 26th as the official timekeeper. In 1932, its first year as official timekeeper, Omega created precision stopwatches to time the event – a lot has changed since those early days.
“Our new Omega Scan’O’Vision cameras have the capability of taking 10,000 photos in one second,” said Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann in a recent interview. “Our mission is to help the athletes. We will collect timing data in 28 sports, it will be 41 world championships at the same time.” Swiss-based Omega crews have been on the ground in Brazil for months, with a dedicated team at its headquarters providing support and continuing to hone Omega’s ever-evolving timing prowess. “We want to be in the forefront,” said Aeschlimann.
Omega has released three limited-edition commemorative timepieces for this year’s games: a Seamaster Diver 300M, a Seamaster Bullhead, and a Speedmaster Mark II.
The Seamaster Diver 300M “Rio 2016” has all of the Olympic colors in the numerals on its unidirectional bezel: yellow, blue, green and red. The bezel itself is made of black ceramic, the fifth “color” in the rings. The Rio 2016 logo is stamped onto the stainless steel caseback, and each piece in the edition of 3016 pieces is individually numbered. As with all of the Seamaster Diver 300M timepieces, it features a date window at 3 o’clock, and helium escape valve at 10 o’clock. Water resistant to 300 meters (1000 feet), the watch is powered by the Omega 2500 automatic movement.
The Seamaster Bullhead’s distinctive shape hails from 1969 when the style was first released. It was nicknamed “bullhead” by early collectors who compared the shape of the watch to a bull’s head. With its crown and pushers at 12 o’clock, the sides of the timepiece have clean lines that further emphasize its distinctive shape. Its perforated blue leather strap is stitched on each side with the Olympic colors of green, yellow, red, and black to echo the colors of the Olympic rings. The white dial further adds to the vintage style of the watch, and it is encircled with a rotating inner bezel also decorated with the Olympic colors. Powered by the Omega co-axial caliber 3113, the watch also features the Rio 2016 logo on its caseback.
Omega is also celebrating the return of golf to the Olympic games after 112 years. Sergio Garcia, a brand ambassador for Omega currently ranked 11th in the world, will be going for the gold in Rio, and joined Aeischlimann at the opening of the PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ. Garcia, a brand ambassador since 2003, will join Omega’s other sponsored athletes, including Michael Phelps, at the games.