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The Olympic Timekeeper

by Jordan Ficklin

Normally, I’m a Rolex guy. My schooling was paid for by Rolex, I service them day in and day out, and as of this Christmas I wear one on my wrist. My personal opinion is that they are among the most robust and well-built watch among all the high-end mechanical timepieces on the market.

During the Olympics, however its hard not to be an Omega fan. First, I cheer for the United States, Second I cheer for fine watches (Omega). For the 24th time, Omega is the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games.

My first exposure to mechanical timepieces was an old stopwatch that my father stored in his office desk. As a young child, I would pick it up, wind it, and time all kinds of stuff. I didn’t have any idea that mechanical timepieces would be my future, but I clearly was drawn to this machine which was powered by my own energy which I could store in a spring. — Later on, one of my first watches was an Omega pocketwatch which I acquired in Peru. It bears these lovely images of all the medals Omega had earned over the years.

At the Olympics, Omega’s timing capabilities are unparalleled. They are the only firm in the world capable of providing the equipment to time all the olympic events, keep track of scores, and communicate them to the public and the media. The only time in my life where I can think that the timing results were questioned was Michael Phelps in the pool two years ago in Beijing, and even that wasn’t serious. Their systems are amazing and accurate.

This spring I will be heading to Omega’s training facility for their Co-Axial Escapement course and you bet I’ll let you know all about it.

10 Comments

  1. Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m an Omega guy and it’s nice to see people who can appreciate both. What’s your favorite Omega? What Rolex did you get for xmas?

    Thanks,
    -Mathew

  2. Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I too love Rolex. In my opinion, Rolex makes the finest watches, then Omega, then Tag Heuer.

    I little while ago I asked you about getting started in watchmaking, since then I’ve bought all the necessary tools and have been reading quite a bit on watch repair. Do you know of a place where I could buy unassembled watch movements to put together?

  3. W. Philip
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear you finally got that Rolex!

  4. J.Peter
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Mathew, From Omega: I like their dressier watches like the De Ville, although the Speedmaster Broad Arrow is also very nice. My Christmas gift was an Air-king with white arabic 3-6-9 dial and smooth bezel.

  5. Posted February 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Soooo… no comment on my question? :)

  6. J.Peter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Sorry Brennon,

    If you are looking for complete movements not in the case try ofrei.com, if you are looking for movements totally taken apart, I don’t know. Otto Frei also sells kits for assembly with movement dial and case, etc.

  7. asdfjkl
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Petey you surprise me. I didn’t think there was a Lititz guy out there that liked Omega.

  8. J.Peter
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I can appreciate brands that aren’t green, can’t I?

  9. Posted February 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    The vintage Omegas are an admirable lot for their era. I found the quality of their calibres devolved after they were acquired by Swatch Group back in the 80s. Their new 8500 calibre shows promise, though, and I hope that it not only proves itself well, but also proves to be a good sign of things to come.

    My grandfather’s pocket watches left a lasting impression on me as a young boy, too, and I’m sure they played a key role in my eventual decision to become a watchmaker as well.

  10. Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Omega, is in my opinion poised at the brink of being an even greater brand that it ever was. George Daniels’ technology has made inroads into a bastion that Omega never thought one day it would achieve. The high-end market.
    I have visited their Olympic boutique in Vancouver, to be regaled by Swiss watchmaker Geraldine Neglia, who by the by, works in Bienne. Jp, Jon, at the Cs level, she has done a superb job!
    She took apart (In my presence) the cal.8500A and 8500B in order to demonstrate the ability of the brand to be able to re-define it’s own parameters for success. I personally think, that with the intense technological advances that they have now made, again, thanks in large part to the lovely George Daniels, the Omega dream of a workhorse calibre in the high-end is now a reality.
    They are poised at the brink, if I may be allowed to call this transition, of higher success.
    With the many magnificent surprises in store, in the calibre 8500- including an 8-day movement, double barrel intelligent release system, the movement is never without a sustained power release, coupled with the low 28 degree lift angle, minute oiling is required for it to perform. Also, multiple possibilities exist, within the realm of high-end finishing and decoration for them to play around with both product and inherited technology.
    Jon, I totally agree with you as far as the calibres 550 series go, Omega at this time were the world’s best. I still have calibre 565 movements, and marvel at their Horological aesthetics and beauty. But with the future looking 8500, they have a hands down winner in sight!
    Prem C.
    Vancouver island B.C.

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