Omega Timepiece VIP Workshop
As the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection sails into international boutiques, there is perhaps no better herald to announce the arrival than British actor Eddie Redmayne. On land or at sea, he seems perfectly at home with Omega’s newest watches. Befitting his role as an Aqua Terra ambassador, Redmayne embodies a dashing edge of classic style.
It was Redmayne’s multi-faceted portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’ that earned him the 2015 Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award. For ‘The Danish Girl,’ he received best actor nominations at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Redmayne is equally admired as an actor often gracing the top of the global best-dressed lists, thanks to his sharp sense of style and sophistication. As with the Aqua Terra, he favours timeless design, while embracing fine tailoring, bold colours, and slick combinations.
In addition to Eddie Redmayne, Omega employs a roster of ambassadors which include screen legends George Clooney who favours the Speedmaster ’57 Omega Co-Axial Chronograph 41.5 mm, Nicole Kidman who is divine in her Ladymatic Omega Co-Axial 34 mm, and Daniel Craig who effortlessly sports his Hour Vision Omega Co-Axial 41 mm.
The Aqua Terra timepieces are known to blend city chic with ocean ingenuity to create pieces with features that are reminiscent of the Omega designs of the 1960s. These pure lines give the Aqua Terra a distinctively timeless feel, while the crisp, clean dial with its triangular hour markers, is modern yet traditionally comfortable.
With 40 models offered in four different sizes (41 mm, 38 mm, 35 mm and 28 mm), the first Aqua Terra line delivered a contrast of style and innovation that fit an active lifestyle yet worked perfectly for daytime business all the way through to night-time socializing.
As the singular Omega location on the west coast, the Fairmont Vancouver boutique is where you will find the stunning new collection. Initially launched as an 800 square foot pop-up (which became permanent), the boutique celebrated it’s December 2009 opening with a breakfast and ribbon cutting ceremony featuring members of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games organizing committee with special guests Olympian Steven Podborski and Paralympian medallist Karolina Wisniewska.
The boutique blossomed to 2,400 square feet in 2011 and is home to an annual Watchmakers event. Recently held and hosted by boutique manager Calvin Pow and Assistant Manager and Marketing Specialist Jorge Luna, the two-day event welcomed VIP Hospitality members with warmth and familiarity as all members of the invite-only club are considered part of the Omega family.
Alongside the workstation and video screen was a delicious array of fresh fruits, artisanal pastries, and beverages. Each attendee engaged with Victor Garcia, Omega Senior Watchmaker for Canada, over a three-hour appointment which had them carefully deconstruct and reconstruct a watch movement using an Omega Kit which included a loupe, brush, and cleaning cloth.
Being invited to attend the any of the sessions held worldwide is indeed an honour and one of the perks of being part of the Omega family. Depending on where loyal collectors live, other advantages of the VIP Hospitality Club may include attending The PGA Tour, the Riders Cup & Golf Tournament, the America’s Cup, James Bond-themed parties, and future Olympic events.
As a brand, Omega did not set out to be a luxury watch worn by celebrities and lauded by timepiece aficionados. Scroll back through Omega’s 148-year proud history and one will find examples of industry-leading innovations and world-first achievements. The brand, founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, has a proven pioneering spirit and desire for perfection which has continually set it apart from works of other watchmakers.
Omega began their lengthy relationship with the Olympic Games in 1932 and has supplied timing services beginning that year and 26 additional times since, including the 2016 Rio Olympics. Today the brands signing of athletes as ambassadors has paved the way for this decades champion golfers such as Michelle Wie, Sergio Garcia, and Rory McIlroy to represent the brand internationally.
On account of its precision and reliability, in 1965 NASA chose Omega’s Speedmaster as its official chronometer and four years later, on the surface of the moon, Neil Armstrong took his giant leap for mankind with the wristwatch strapped to his spacesuit. Fellow astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin has been an Omega ambassador since 2009. Omega watches have been on countless missions, six lunar landings and are even the popular choice for astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station.
For collectors of Omega timepieces, the experience within and outside of its stunning boutique walls is surpassed by none in the industry. Omega prides itself on providing the top boutique experience in the luxury horlogie market which is exemplified by the personalization of services, the extensive and historical knowledge of staff, remarkable annual events, and an unparalleled VIP Hospitality Program.
(This article was originally published in Vancouver Boulevard INDULGE Magazine).