News detail

27 April 2015

OMEGA supports Solar Impulse round-the-world journey


Solar Impulse 2 finally landed safely in Nanjing, China, one of the destinations in its round-the-world journey. As a main partner, the world-renowned Swiss watch brand OMEGA held an exclusive event at Nanjing Lukou International Airport to celebrate the successful landing of Solar Impulse 2. OMEGA Vice President of Product and Customer Service Jean-Claude Monachon and Wilson Yang, Vice President of OMEGA China, were on hand to extend their best wishes to Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, Solar Impulse’s founders and pilots. Mr. Yang welcomed the guests and expressed his brand’s pride in its partnership with Solar Impulse.

Facing the challenges to sustainability of natural resources, the Solar Impulse project, founded by Piccard and Borschberg, set the ambitious goal of circumnavigating the globe in an airplane powered only by energy from the sun.  Nanjing is the sixth stop on the voyage, and along with Chongqing, one of the only Chinese cities included in the itinerary. Following the short stop in Nanjing, the Solar Impulse airplane will begin one of the most ambitious legs of its journey: the crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

OMEGA has partnered with Solar Impulse since 2006, and has been able to provide key technical support including the OMEGA Instrument that helps the pilots on approach and landing, a lightweight landing light system and an innovative device that transfers energy from one engine to the other. OMEGA has also used the power of its global communications platform to raise awareness of the Solar Impulse project and its incredible goals.

During the press conference, pilots Borschberg and Piccard shared their passion and described the significance of the project both in terms of its practical applications and its potential influence on technologies in the future. André Borschberg said, “We hope this project will enhance people’s knowledge and expectation of solar energy. It should serve as an indication that we really can reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources and fossil fuels.” Bertrand Piccard added, “Improving the environment and maintaining sustainable development should be primary goals for everyone on our planet; we truly appreciate OMEGA’s long and continuous support to this project”.

Mr. Yang said, “OMEGA is gratified to have made some important contributions that helped the Solar Impulse project to get off the ground . . . literally. Our brand has long been defined by its pioneering spirit and it is clearly a value that we share with Bertrand, André and the entire Solar Impulse team”.

After the conference, a grand gala dinner was held under the enormous wings of the solar-powered airplane. It was an excellent way to celebrate what can truly be defined as a new era in aviation.

OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg wore their OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 chronographs at the press conference. This outstanding wristwatch is another expression of OMEGA’s pioneer spirit. It also reflects the close partnership between Solar Impulse and the Swiss watchmaker. The wristwatch is powered by the multi-functional quartz chronograph movement, OMEGA calibre 5619, with a thermo-compensated integrated circuit. In addition to its analogue and digital displays, this timepiece has two functions that will prove useful for the pilots: mission elapsed time (MET) and phase elapsed time (PET). Affirming its reliability, precision and ability to withstand challenging environments, this new X-33 model has been tested and qualified by the ESA and was developed under an ESA patent license based on an invention by ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. Presented on a blue and green-bordered polyamide “NATO” strap, this timepiece has been produced in an edition limited to 1,924 pieces.

You can find more information about the Solar Impulse project here.