Beijing, August 6, 2007. Omega got off to a flying start in Beijing today as extensive celebrations marking the one-year countdown to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games began. The Swiss luxury watchmaker and Official Timekeeper opened its first three flagship stores in the Olympic Host City, all on the same day and all in highly visible shopping areas: Oriental Plaza, Shin Kong Place and The Place. The Oriental Plaza store is the largest Omega flagship store in the world, underlining the importance to the brand of the rapidly developing China market. Commenting on the occasion, Omega President Stephen Urquhart said, “Today marks a special occasion for Omega and the people of China as we celebrate the one-year countdown to what is certain to be one of the most successful and inspirational Olympics ever.”
Press and media attention focused today on Chinese and visiting VIPS, world-class athletes and performers participating in the festivities, including Mr. Wang Wei, Executive Vice President & Secretary General of BOCOG, Omega Ambassador and world-champion swimmer Ian Thorpe, and Yang Yang, the Chinese speed skater and Olympic gold medalist who recently joined the Omega Ambassador family. Also attending were Omega Ambassadors Richie Jen and Simon Yam, both noted artists, fellow Omega Ambassador and renowned international model Qi Qi, as well as the first-ever Chinese Olympic gold medalist, Xu Hai Feng.
Today’s grand opening of the prestigious Oriental Plaza Omega Flagship Store was celebrated with an Olympic theme that paid unique tribute to Chinese culture with a lion dance featuring five lions, each representing one of the five colours of the famed Olympic Rings. Designed by leading Japanese designer Kazuo Adachi, the store carries a nature concept with representations of Time, Sun, Water and Earth, complemented by elegantly designed merchandise and store furnishings. Oriental Plaza marks a groundbreaking design concept for Omega’s flagship stores internationally and offers an elegant and comfortable shopping environment for Beijing’s watch aficionados.
The three new Omega flagship stores in Beijing are the latest evidence of the growing importance of the Chinese market, and the watchmaker’s high-profile association with the Olympic Games is expected to fuel intense and growing interest in the brand over the coming months. By no means a newcomer to China—the first Omega watches in China were produced for the country’s National Railway in 1895—the company has chosen to celebrate the occasion of its 23rd appearance as Official Timekeeper with a limited-edition Beijing Olympic Collection. Today’s launch of the Constellation ’95 Limited Edition is the first of six limited edition OMEGA watch launches, each timed to coincide with a special date in the run-up to the Beijing Games. Every watch in the six collections is presented in a special box with certificate and carries the official logo of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games stamped on the caseback. Further marking the special relationship between OMEGA and the Olympic Games, each model features either the Olympic Rings on the seconds hand or coloured gemstones representing the famed five rings. The year-long Olympic Collection launch that began today will continue at “lucky 8” intervals throughout the run-up to the Olympic Games, set to begin August 8th, 2008 at 8.00 p.m.
Today also marked the launch at the Oriental Plaza store of a new Omega Exhibition celebrating “Great Olympic Moments in Time”. Open to the public in Beijing from August 6 to 26, the exhibition will move on to Shanghai’s Sogo Flagship Store in October and subsequently to other cities in China before returning to Beijing in August 2008 for the Olympic Games. The Omega Exhibition Tour presents a variety of historic Omega stopwatches and sports timekeeping systems, with a focus on athletics and swimming, along with iconic Omega timepieces documenting the brand’s relationship to the Olympic Movement and the Modern Olympic Games.
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