Where the dazzling white of the architecture of the Cyclades meets the deep blue of the Aegean. A sea rich in stories, myth and legend. One of these legends is a collection of timepieces that have become cult objects for many luxury watch enthusiasts, so what better place than Greece, and Mykonos in particular, to serve as the setting for the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the Seamaster. (Here all our posts about Omega)
Seamaster e Omega
There are many reasons for this choice, starting with the Greek letter Omega, the name of the Bienne-based luxury watch. The brand has played a crucial role in shaping a new horological language. Then there is the company’s link with the sea, an inexhaustible source of inspiration that has given rise to a family of timepieces that over the 75 years of its existence have written important pages of watchmaking history. We met Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, and he granted us an exclusive interview at the Mykonos event, which saw the participation of a truly special group of movie stars, including George Clooney, Naomie Harris, Jesse Williams and Paul Wesley.
The Seamaster collection is celebrating its 75th anniversary. What does this landmark represent for the brand?
What a story! Seventy-five years of unique design, ground-breaking technology and ever-improving water resistance, all accompanied by the stories of the people who have worn the watch – seafarers, explorers, adventurers, pioneers and even James Bond. And above all, this is only a beginning. Our Seamaster boasts not only a successful past but also an incredible present and future.
What is the most important innovation that Seamaster has introduced into the luxury watchmaking sector?
Not just one, but a whole series, from the O-ring seal on the first models to the monobloc case of the Ploprof and the helium escape valve. I think all these innovations have defined the concept of water resistance. And the Seamaster has helped raise standards for watches built to cope with the marine depths. This approach is summed up perfectly by the claim chosen for this event – Precision at Every Level.
What are the most significant landmarks in this 75-year story?
After the launch in 1948, I’d say the arrival of the Seamaster 300 in 1957 was a very important moment. It was the first professional diver’s watch that displayed all the information clearly, and as its name implies, was water-resistant down to 300 metres. Another significant stage was the exceptional performance of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, which went down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth.
The sea is not simply a research lab for developing new solutions. Do you agree that it’s also an incredible source of emotion, one that the Seamaster evokes on the wrist?
Yes, absolutely! The sea inspires emotions and a sense of wonder. We keep this in mind when we develop new models for the collection. It’s not just a watch but an instrument for exploration, clothed in the colours of the sea, from its surface to the most remote depths. Our Seamaster has always played an important role in the great stories of the sea.
The special Seamaster in Summer Blue edition has been launched for the 75th anniversary. Can you tell us how this collection came into being?
We knew the anniversary was on the horizon and we wanted to celebrate the occasion in a very special way, not with a new watch but rather an entire collection that would reflect the trajectory of the Seamaster story and include all the crucial stages. The shared motif was the colour blue. There are so many marvellous Seamaster watches. It didn’t seem right to choose just one.
What’s your favourite Seamaster?
That’s always a tough question. It’s like choosing your favourite child! However, I’d say it’s the Seamaster Diver 300M, because it’s the quintessence of the diver’s watch and if it’s OK for James Bond it’s OK with me.
The next America’s Cup is due to take place in less than a year. How are you preparing for this event, where you are in partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand and are official timekeeper for the event?
I’m afraid I can’t reveal too much at this stage, but you can be sure we’ll create a watch worthy of this extraordinary occasion. I’d like your readers to remain tuned in. Especially sail enthusiasts.