This November, Omega bridges the gap between the old world’s charm and the dynamic pulse of New York City by bringing a slice of its iconic museum to the Chelsea Factory. “Planet Omega”, an exquisite exhibition, unfolds a narrative encapsulating sports, the Olympic Games, the ocean, James Bond, and the uncharted territories of space, painting a comprehensive picture of the brand’s prestigious legacy.
Omega’s storied legacy began in 1848 with its establishment by Swiss craftsman Louis Brandt. The brand unveiled its innovation in 1894 with the 19-ligne calibre, a Francois Chevillat masterpiece, featuring revolutionary interchangeable components, heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency in watch repairs.
Omega boasts the world’s premier brand-specific watch museum. Nestled in Biel, this institution offers an in-depth journey through the brand’s evolution. With over 4,000 exhibits including watches, instruments, and artifacts, it’s a haven for horology aficionados globally. The archives reveal not just the evolution of impeccable craftsmanship but also the brand’s monumental contributions to significant global events.
The “Planet Omega” exhibition, arriving at the Chelsea Factory in New York from November 9th to 19th, is set to immerse visitors in the world of Omega. Chief Executive Officer Raynald Aeschlimann expresses the brand’s deep-rooted connections with the USA, reminiscing the pivotal role Omega played with NASA. “Omega has a very close connection with the USA,” shares Aeschlimann. The exhibition, carefully curated to encapsulate the brand’s DNA, stands testament to this enduring relationship.
The exhibition presents pivotal moments in Omega‘s chronology of watchmaking. Visitors will have the opportunity to admire significant pieces, including the first Ladymatic from 1955, marking a transformative era in women’s timepieces. Another centerpiece is the Omega watch adorned by Elvis Presley, a masterpiece encrusted with 44 brilliant-cut diamonds, echoing the king of rock’s grandeur. Additionally, history enthusiasts will be drawn to the Omega Slimline, the very piece that graced the wrist of John F. Kennedy during his 1961 presidential inauguration, offering a tangible connection to a momentous historical event.
The exhibition also invites guests to explore five integral elements of Omega’s legacy: Sports, Olympic Games, Ocean, James Bond, and Space, providing an in-depth look into the brand’s multifaceted history.
Exhibits will include coveted Omega timepieces that have seldom ventured beyond the Swiss borders. In the realm of Sports and the Olympic Games, Omega revels in its history as the Official Timekeeper, a role enriched by its association with diverse events like the America’s Cup sailing, professional golf, swimming, and athletics. The exhibition boasts the display of a historic split-seconds chronograph, an emblem of precision that graced the Olympic Games in 1932, underscoring Omega’s unwavering commitment to accuracy. Inspired by this vintage masterpiece, the brand birthed the innovative Chrono Chime watch, a testament to evolution, embodying Omega’s most sophisticated movement yet.
The Ocean segment of the exhibition illuminates Omega’s mastery in crafting marine timepieces and their profound history in sea exploration. Among the showcased artifacts is the 1932 Marine, often heralded as the first diver’s watch tailored for civilians. Its innovative double case architecture marked a revolutionary epoch for underwater exploration. However, Omega’s journey didn’t halt there; the exhibition unveils the evolution to the Seamaster “Ultra Deep.” A testament to Omega’s continued innovation, this modern masterpiece, introduced in 2019, conquered the ocean’s deepest known point. Guests will behold an adapted model, boasting an astounding water resistance up to 6,000 meters (20,000 ft.).
The exhibit’s James Bond enclave pays tribute to the iconic spy, initiated in 1995 when the world’s most famous secret agent first donned the brand. Featured pieces include the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, famously worn by Daniel Craig in “No Time To Die,” and two special editions commemorating the franchise’s 60th anniversary. A highlight for enthusiasts will be the intricate animations gracing the casebacks, echoing the legendary opening sequences of Bond films.
The Space segment is an integral part of any Omega showcase, illuminating the brand’s significant contributions to space exploration. Omega’s journey into the cosmos was marked when NASA endorsed the Speedmaster Moonwatch for all manned space missions in 1965. This recognition underscored Omega’s participation in monumental events, including the iconic 1969 moon landing. The exhibition presents the CK2998 model, adorned by astronaut Wally Schirra during the 1962 Sigma 7 mission of the Mercury program, marking Omega’s inaugural venture into space. Visitors will also encounter the renowned Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” and unique models adorned with authentic meteorite fragments, each narrating Omega’s continuing space odyssey.
Aeschlimann aptly encapsulates the essence of the exhibition, stating, “It’s a celebration, not only of the timepieces we’ve made – but of the people who have worn them.”
Visitors are afforded the unique opportunity to witness these renowned Omega timepieces. The exhibition, a blend of history, innovation, and cinematic glamour, is open from November 9th to 19th, from 11am to 7pm, at the Chelsea Factory, 547 W 26th Street, promising a journey through time and achievement under the banner of Omega.