Omega is celebrating three important dates this year: the 60th anniversary of the classic Seamaster 300, Railmaster and Speedmaster. And Reynald Eshlimann will celebrate 12 years with Omega next year - he has held the highest position for the last year and a half.
- You became President of Omega in 2016. How do you assess the work of the company under your leadership?
- My predecessor, Stephen Urquhart, held office for 17 years. When I replaced him, there was no revolution in the company. I want to express my deep gratitude to our team: we maintain the high level set by Stephen, while still making some changes that take time. For example, I strive to change the general mood of the company's top management - I know how important it is for them to be more involved in the work of all departments, so that they are more energetic and easier to climb. And I know this because before my appointment to the current position, I was in charge of sales and dealt with real work, not just decision making. In general, I can safely call the short time that I spent as president productive, which is confirmed by the figures in our annual report. I would even use the word breakthroughto better describe the last couple of years.
- What is the breakthrough?
- I have never worked for my own pride in the result - all the company's successes are the result of the work of a large team. If we talk about specific achievements over the past 18 months, then first of all I want to say about the introduction of new products to the market, such as the Seamaster Aqua Terra and Speedmaster 38 mm collections, the Commander's Watch and a limited collection dedicated to the 60th anniversary of our three classic models The 1957 Trilogy. I also want to mention the interesting project Speedy Tuesday, which we did not launch and do not support financially in any way, but we strongly encourage it, because it unites loyal fans of Omega (the project involves the publication of online materials containing historical facts about Omega watches, reviews of owners of different models, etc. similar. - Ed.).We even released a limited edition Speedy Tuesday this year to pay our respects to fans around the world. Just a couple of weeks ago we started selling our watches online - this is a huge step forward and certainly an achievement to be proud of.
- Do you believe in the promise of online watch retail?
- I believe that with the generation of millennials it is necessary to speak their language. Today people are actively using computers and smartphones, and it is foolish to ignore it. We cannot cover the entire globe with our stores, but, say, if someone from a remote region of the Urals wants to buy an Omega watch, he can do it online. But to summarize, then, of course, I believe that the main channel for distributing watches is specialty stores, and online shopping is simply a modern addition.
- You mentioned millennials. How is Omega responding to the needs of the next generation?
- Omega is a luxury brand, but at the same time it is very dynamically developing. If you wish, you can buy an Omega watch through our official Instagram page. We are proud of our heritage, but we keep our finger on the pulse and want to stay modern. We have over 30 representatives all over the world, and they are often young people who gather at round tables and express their ideas and suggestions. Omega is not a watch company that once released a certain number of models and then simply re-releases them. We always strive to create something new, responding to the needs of people. Our watches are not bought just to show off to friends. The brand's philosophy is based on how highly you value yourself and what you inspire yourself to do. You have to be a broad-minded and open-minded person to wear an Omega, which I think isis what makes the millennial generation different.
© press service Omega
- Omega is known for its research into new materials …
- Research work is part of our DNA. And we continue to make discoveries - every year the Swatch Group, which includes our company, shares its developments with the world. It is important for us to constantly look for new materials and technologies in order to create the right balance between emotions and rational reasons to buy expensive products. I'll explain. When you buy any luxury product, your emotions usually outpace your mind. If you need, say, a suit, you can buy any, but if possible, you will go to the store of a particular brand, because you are close to its philosophy and history, you like the design and quality of products. The dichotomy of any luxury purchase is the juxtaposition of emotion and reasonable reasons to buy. Many of our competitors mistakenly rely only on the emotionality of the purchase.Omega conveys not only emotions, but also the value of its brand. That is why now we are certifying watches according to the METAS regulation - only after successfully passing this process, the watch can be called a master chronometer.
- What specific tasks are the scientists working on at the Omega research centers?
- The question of how much your watch weighs is always interesting: the mechanism in it is complex, but it should not be heavy - how to achieve this, our experts think. They are also continually working to improve the quality and performance of products. For example, we have launched on the market a watch made using our patented 18-carat Sedna gold instead of the classic rose gold, which after 10-15 years loses some of its qualities (Sedna gold is an alloy of gold, copper and palladium. - Ed.).
- Will mechanical watches be popular in 30 years?
- Yes of course! Do you know what I call the workshops where our watches are assembled? I call them the delivery room. Because as soon as the arrows start moving, a new life begins - and this is a very emotional moment. If we do our job well, there will be even more sales of mechanical watches in the future, because people love to observe the beauty of a tiny mechanism and share the stories that this mechanism has witnessed. Quartz is convenient, but the mechanics are personal.>