Omega Experience in Bienne This 2 days visit at the Omega headquarters in Switzerland weren’t the usual fancy bloggers event. I actually enjoyed the experience of getting to know the history of a brand better and get to learn more technical aspects of the world of watches. Apart from visiting the museum in Bienne, I had the chance to take a watchmaking class which was one the best experiences I’ve had since opening this blog. To me this was special because my family has been in the watch business for 6 generations. Men in my family are watchmakers, and I’ve never really understood why they have never though of teaching us girls as well. So apart from watching my grandfather working in his laboratory, I had never had such an experience before.
I had been curious to see the Omega museum since I learned it existed back when I was in Vienna for the Omega Ladymatic event ‘La Nuit Enchantée’ . While during that experience I had the chance to view some pieces in the Vienna Omega Store, getting to see the whole collection of watches from the funding of the company in 1848 till the latest creations was a whole different thing. First of all because the Omega Museum in Bienne is the oldest mono-brand watch museum in the world, and second it was my first time having lunch in a museum surrounded by history. Having Mr. Jean Claude Monachon, VP of product development, taking us through the development of the brand during the years gave an understanding of what time-keeping means in the 21 century. For sure we don’t need a watch to tell us time anymore, we have got our smartphones for that, but still the watch has remained that status piece that we all have and that we need to be beautifully made on the outside and meticulously build on the inside.
The museum itself shows how the world of Omega watches has through the years, from when Louis Brandt assembled his first precision pocket watches in 1848. Since its creation Omega has gone on being the official time-keeping for the Olympic Games since 1932, the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon in 1969, and our favorite secret agent James Bond wears Omega. The curious thing is that many of the achievements Omega has done in the years have not been a product placement strategy. It has been the extreme precision of the watches, the quality and the design that has made NASA choose the Omega Speedmaster for their different Apollo missions.
But watches aren’t just a time-keeping piece, they have been and will always be a beautiful object that will show status. With status I don’t mean how expensive your watch is but what it tells about your personality. Maybe I’m putting to much meaning in a small accessory, but why would people keep buying an accessory that has lost its primary function of telling time. It is because we love beautiful design, we love complicated mechanisms we don’t understand and we love historical significance just like the king and queens, presidents and other important personalities whose watches are displayed at the Omega museum.
Omega Museum is located in Rue Jakob-Stämpfli 96, 2502 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland and it is opened to the public.