The OMEGA Museum in Biel will open its doors to the public on May 3rd following several months of extensive renovations.
The Museum, which opened in January of 1984, is the oldest museum dedicated to a single watch brand. Located just opposite OMEGA’s headquarters in Biel, it features items representing the brand’s entire history, including the watchmaker’s bench used by Louis Brandt when he began to make watches more than 160 years ago.
OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart likened the period of renovation to an archaeological dig. “Not only did we renovate the whole Museum but we also restored many of the period features of this listed building. The project gave us a chance to review our entire collection. Some of the objects displayed are being presented to the public for the first time, including things which we didn’t even know were hidden in the archives.”
One of these is a pocket watch used by Albert Einstein, a man whose work is closely identified with time.
OMEGA’s history is vividly recreated with displays presenting all the brand’s most important stories. Visitors will have a chance to examine the equipment OMEGA has developed and used in its timekeeping role at the Olympic Games since 1932.
The brand has been closely involved in NASA’s manned space programme for more than 45 years and OMEGA Speedmasters were worn on all six lunar landings. The Museum exhibit highlighting the role of the Speedmaster in space features four watches which were worn on or near the Moon.
One of the new sections of the Museum is dedicated to prototypes – watches which were developed by OMEGA but, for various reasons, never introduced into commercial production.
Some of the timepieces on display have been long time favourites of visitors to the OMEGA Museum, including the wristwatch worn by author/adventurer/spy T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and the watch worn by John F. Kennedy at his inauguration when he became 35th President of the United States.
The renovated OMEGA Museum will be open Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. except on public holidays. Entrance is free of charge and guided visits are available in English, French or German.
Additional information is available from the Museum at +41(0)32 343 9211 or visiting the website: www.omegawatches.com/spirit/history/museum
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