During OMEGA Days 2022, we caught up with Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA Watches and talked about the novelties released by the brand, his favourite timepieces from the new models, the talked about Ultra Deep timepiece and much more.
Join us as we get up close and personal with the man behind the tremendous success of one of the most popular brands in the world. Excerpts below:
MW: From the 2022 novelties, which one would you say is your favourite?
RA: This question is like asking me which market or child or cousin I prefer. (Laughs) I am definitely going to talk about the Ultra Deep which for me is like an icon. Although I don’t like the word icon because everybody talks about this word, but the whole story about the Seamaster which began back in 1948 or atleast 1942 is an important watch. It was also very important for us to create a new watch in the Seamaster collection because it is a big line for OMEGA. Like other industries who have their bestsellers in their own kind of departments, the Ultra Deep would be the one for the Seamaster Planet Ocean. We wanted to create something that could be considered an icon, the pinnacle or the “Omega” of the Seamaster and the Ultra Deep is the one for us. Why? Not because of its design but because it is a revolution. The Ultra Deep is a watch that looks like an OMEGA, has a role as a king in the collection, features new technology and has set a new standard or a milestone.
We are in one of the biggest markets for watches of all time. There are a lot of watch brands which are consistently sold out, OMEGA also has some watches that are extremely hard to get. But for you it is extremely important to make sure that the consumer can still have access to your watches. Tell me why that is important and why that is the tradition of OMEGA?
We are a universal brand and our biggest success is our tradition. At OMEGA, we love the consumers and are very close to them. As the biggest watchmaker retailer in the world and stores in every part of the world, we like to have this personal contact with our consumers. They are what made us today and we want them to be proud of us and to find what they are looking for in us. This is what I call customer orientation and customer centricity and that is how it has always been done at OMEGA. This strategy has worked well and I am quite happy about it.
What is the next quest for OMEGA?
What is amazing about this brand is that our success comes from our vision that was set for a long time. It is to concentrate on our DNA and to reach out to our customers and the media. So, for me the quest as the CEO of OMEGA is not just to ride the history but to manage, clear and structure it. We want to work on icons that push the brand to its legacy. If the brand was only known in terms of designing watches, then we might have done a lot of design watches. But our DNA is technology and being a part of an experience.
Can you tell us the idea behind creating O-MEGASTEEL?
It was very clear for us from the beginning while creating the O-MEGASTEEL that the goal for us was customer satisfaction. When it comes to the O-MEGASTEEL, it isn’t about using the best material or making the watches in Switzerland or working on the durability of the material. It was something that was linked to the technology of the watch and we wanted to make sure it was innovative as well as affordable. Because, while it is all good to create the best products but if we start selling it for ten times the usual price, then we will lose out on our connection with the customer. So, we had been working on upgrading the steel and exploring new possibilities.
Regarding the innovative O-MEGASTEEL material, will this be applied to other collections of OMEGA in the future?
Yes, it is a part of our duty to continue with this. We have done that before with the Bronze Gold and will be continuing with O-MEGASTEEL. With this new material, it is very interesting to see that we have reached this level. We are at the forefront of this technology by creating a generation of timepieces and if we commit to it, it’s because we truly believe in it and it will not be a one-time thing.
What was the idea behind creating timepieces in such varied colours? What made you feel the need to create them now?
We were looking to create these colourful dials and we got the opportunity at the right time. If you look at the AquaTerra pieces, it is not just about the colours but the metallisation. So, it was not only about creating colourful dials but it was about adding a spirit of modernity. We have also been receiving a lot of requests from our consumers to create some out of the box watches (in this case, colourful). Adding colours to the Constellation and AquaTerra lines is interesting cause it makes it an even more luxurious accessory. It is also a nice way to create attraction for people that are looking for a bit trendier and more fashionable product. Having said that, rest assured that these are not capsule collections, which means that it will not be available for just a few months, we are far from that.
Image Courtesy: OMEGA