Omega has concluded its 50-year anniversary celebration of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission (at least for now) and has now moved on with an event that is just as important with the Swiss watch brand’s heritage.
Wednesday, July 24, is exactly one year till the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and to mark this occasion Omega, the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, has unveiled two limited edition watches: the Seamaster Aqua Terra Tokyo 2020 and the Seamaster Planet Ocean Tokyo 2020.
Seamaster Aqua Terra Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition
For this sporty Tokyo 2020 model, Omega has introduced the collection’s first ceramic dial crafted with a polished blue finish laser engraved with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem. The 41mm stainless steel timepiece includes a sapphire crystal caseback with a transferred Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem.
Limited to just 2,020 pieces, the watch comes with a structured blue rubber strap and includes an additional stainless steel bracelet in its special presentation box. The watch is powered by the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8900, which the watch brand says delivers the Swiss industry’s highest standard of precision and magnetic-resistance.
Omega designed this watch as a “patriotic Seamaster with a true Japanese touch.” The 39.5mm stainless steel case has a white ceramic bezel ring with its diving scale in Omega’s trademarked Liquidmetal. In tribute to the year of Tokyo 2020, the number 20 on the bezel is filled with red liquid ceramic.
The polished white ceramic dial continues the Tokyo theme with a “lollipop” central seconds hand—with the round end is in red varnish, which represents the flag of Japan.
Also limited to just 2,020 models, this timepiece is driven by the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 and features a sapphire crystal caseback with a transferred Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games emblem. It has a white leather strap and includes a stainless steel bracelet and additional NATO strap in its presentation box.
Omega has had a long association with the Olympics Games as the Official Timekeeper 28 times since 1932. This association will continue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Over the years Omega’s timekeeping technology has significantly improved. For example, in its first stint as official timekeeper for the Los Angeles Games in 1932, Omega arrived with 30 split-second chronograph pocket watches. For the 2020 Games, the watch brand will bring a team of timekeepers hauling up to 450 tons of equipment. During this time Omega introduced several milestones in timekeeping. They include the following:
* A photoelectric cell was used for the first time at the 1948 Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Also known as an electric eye, it works by having the two photo cells aligned with the finish line. As a runner crosses the line, the beam is blocked, and the electric eye sends a signal to the timing console to record the runner’s time.
* The Omegascope introduced the concept of real time in televised sport by superimposing numbers on the bottom of a screen. It was first used at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
* The touchpad for swimmers was introduced at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. This allowed a swimmer’s hands to stop the clock.
* Omega Scan-O-Vision was introduced at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. It was used for speed skating and could measure time to the nearest thousandth of a second as the skaters crossed the finish line.
* An electronic start system, consisting of a red flash gun and sound generation box, replaced the traditional starting gun during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
* In 2012 Omega introduced the Quantum Timer, which can measure time up to one millionth of a second. There is a maximum variation of only one second for every ten million seconds.
In addition, Omega serves as the Official Timekeeper for the Paralympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.
In a previous life I was an award-winning daily newspaper reporter who moved to business and trade magazines and who now specializes in high jewelry and watches for publications around the world. My first magazine job was with a design and architecture trade publication where I received a first-hand education and appreciation of how good, innovative design can make the world a better place. It’s something I take with me while traveling the world and writing about the finer things in life. In addition to this blog, you can find me at my “Jewelry News Network” blog and facebook page, on Instagram @jewelrynewsnetwork and on Twitter @jewelrynewsnet.