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CORDER’S COLUMN: Could Omega close in on Rolex in the next two years?

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Omega retailers usually tell me that any year with a James Bond movie is a good one for Omega. That ought to have made 2019 a huge opportunity, but ‘creative differences’ have seen the film franchise’s 25th outing postponed from fall this year to spring of 2020.

That could turn out to be a blessing in disguise because there is already so much else to talk about when it comes to Omega in 2019 and it will build momentum into 2020, when the brand has another Olympic Games to look forward to as official timekeeper.

First this year, it is the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon when Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong (not wearing his Omega Speedmaster) was followed onto the lunar surface by Buzz Aldrin (who was).

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If you think there is already plenty of hype about this anniversary today, just wait until we get closer to July 20, the date 50 years ago when mankind’s giant leap was made.

Secondly, Omega has extended its warranty to five years for all new watches, thanks in part to advances in its manufacturing at a new facility in Bienne, Switzerland. This is an important statement about Omega’s confidence in the quality and longevity of its products. The same move from Rolex and Breitling a few years ago gave them both a substantial boost.

Thirdly, I liked the news this week that Omega is re-making its legendary Calibre 321 movement. Hodinkee editor Jack Forster called this “probably the single most exciting piece of movement-related information I’ve seen in over 20 years of reading and writing about watches”.

He may have been at the Kool-Aid, but if, as expected, Omega launches a new Speedmaster collection in the 50th anniversary year of the lunar landings backed by a five year warranty, it will be one of the hottest watches of the year and likely to rival even Rolex’s most popular models.

Fast forward to 2020 with James Bond followed by the Tokyo Olympics, and you will understand why Omega retailers are licking their lips about the coming two years.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

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