Swatch Group’s biggest brand, Omega, hopes that global coverage of the Olympic Games will translate into rising sales and profits for the business.
Omega’s CEO Raynald Aeschlimann says that the decision to remain official Olympics timekeeper for the 27th time beams the watch brand’s association with precision timing into billions of homes around the world.
“This whole inspiration of the Olympic games is going to pay off. Having seen our brand on television and in real life, people will remember the watch. Whenever they buy it they remember this tremendous company that was the witness of all these Olympic successes,” Mr Aeschlimann told business news broadcaster CNBC.
“We have the DNA of being the best in time keeping. You can see it here already, we have had world records, even more Olympic records, and we have been the one’s timing for all of these athletes,” Aeschlimann added.
The Omega boss also used the interview to brush off the impact of smart watches, which he dismissively calls “smart instruments” on high end Swiss watchmakers like Omega.
“I don’t compare the smart instruments with the beautiful Swiss-made Omega watches that we’re producing. We are quite known for our bringing beauty, precision, and some soul to our watches. Smart instruments have no soul; they are like phones,” he told CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin.
Omega goes well beyond brand building during Olympics years. It also builds considerable collections of watches directly linked to the Games. In 2016, it has created a trio of special Rio Olympics Seamasters (pictured). “To celebrate the excitement of this global event, three timepieces are topping the podium, inspired by the glory, triumph and unbreakable unity that brings the world together,” the company says.