Reflecting its strong belief in the resilience of the American economy, Swiss watchmaker OMEGA has announced that it will invest substantially in the USA, opening nine new boutiques in the fourth quarter of 2010 to be followed by around twenty more.
Founded in 1848, OMEGA has been dedicated to innovative watchmaking from its beginning – a commitment which has led to the creation of its Co-Axial caliber, generally acknowledged to be one of the world’s best series-produced mechanical watch movements.
Creating new jobs in America
OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart said that the new Boutiques will support OMEGA’s existing retail network in the US and added that in 2010 alone, the new stores would represent “an eight-figure investment and create many new workplaces in the U.S. retail environment.”
OMEGA’s long history in America
The brand has had strong American connections for a century. OMEGA was the timepiece of choice of aviatrix Amelia Earhart and first served in its long, ongoing role as Official Olympic Timekeeper in Los Angeles in 1932. President Kennedy wore an OMEGA watch at his inauguration in 1961 and the timepieces have long been seen on the wrists of celebrities and world leaders.
A spirit of adventure
And then, of course, there’s the space program. The OMEGA Speedmaster was chosen by NASA to be worn by its astronauts in 1965 and it has been part of every NASA piloted mission since, including all six lunar landings. Speedmasters continue to be worn by the astronauts and scientists on the International Space Station.
More recently, OMEGA became a Main Partner in Solar Impulse, a project which aims to circle the globe in an airplane powered only by energy from the sun. The brand’s contributions have included an instrument which indicates the plane’s flight path and lateral drift as well as a lightweight landing light system. OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart said, “In the sixties, our energies were concentrated on getting to the Moon. Now, with our Solar Impulse partners, we are focused on harnessing the enormous power of the sun to help find viable ways to reduce the planet’s dependency on non-renewable resources."
A global distribution strategy
OMEGA has been developing its sales network around its corporate flagship stores; the decision to open the new boutiques in the United States is a logical continuation of the strategy. OMEGA’s boutique network already includes more than 60 stores at the world’s best retail locations.
OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart said that the reception enjoyed by the brand’s boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York City was one of the factors that suggested that the time was right for the company to expand its network in the United States. “There are a number of reasons for us to build up our network in the U.S.A. We are in a strong position thanks to our global success and we believe in America. We are confident that it is an ideal time to make this major commitment there.”
OMEGA’s entire product palette on display
Each of the new boutiques in the United States will, naturally, feature OMEGA’s entire product range, including the four iconic watch lines Speedmaster, Seamaster, Constellation and De Ville as well as the company’s selection of fine jewellery and leather goods.
The first of the new Boutiques will open on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in mid-November. It will be followed by stores in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, White Plains, Hackensack, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Seattle and Nashville.
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