OMEGA’s new Museum at “La Cité du Temps”

An ultra-modern home for a long and distinguished history is opened. It is a new Museum at “La Cité du Temps”, the Swatch Group/OMEGA campus in Biel/Bienne

Text: Press Photo: Omega

Located in a beautiful light-filled building designed by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban, OMEGA’s stunning new Museum is a space worthy of a brand with extraordinary stories to share. The OMEGA Museum in Biel/Bienne Switzerland was the first museum to be dedicated to a single Swiss watchmaker and has long been the guardian of OMEGA’s history. However, given the length and depth of the brand’s legacy, it was inevitable that a new Museum would eventually be required, as illustrated by this brief snapshot of history.

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History made new OMEGA’s new Museum tells the compelling story of the global watchmaker through immersive movies, compelling showcases and fun interactive experiences. A walk across the world The journey to the heart of OMEGA starts with a stroll across the continents. A large world map on the floor embedded with digital readouts of exact times from numerous locations across the globe.

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History of time Before guests proceed, they take a trip back in time. OMEGA’s “History of Time” is an immersive, 360° video that tracks humankind’s quest for precision, from the earliest clocks to the most modern movements.

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Official Timekeeper At OMEGA’s new Museum, visitors can unleash their inner Olympian on a 9m running track equipped with authentic Official Timekeeper technology, including the famous starting blocks and red electronic starting pistol. Budding track stars will even receive a print out of their photo finish, captured by OMEGA’s Scan ‘o’ vision MYRIA, which can record up to 10,000 digital images a second.

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Her Time For more than 100 years, OMEGA has shown a deep commitment to producing exceptional watches for women, which are both aesthetically pleasing on the outside and technologically exceptional within. The new Museum’s “Her Time” exhibition tells the story beautifully, tracing the evolution of OMEGA’s ladies’ watches from early Lépine pendants and the iconic Ladymatic, through to “secret jewellery watches” and today’s latest creations.

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Destination Moon At this stage of the journey, visitors to the Museum are encouraged to launch their imaginations into orbit. With a lunar surface underfoot and a Lunar Rover parked nearby, guests can explore OMEGA’s fascinating space story, through videos, photos, NASA technology and the many historically-significant versions of OMEGA’s “Moonwatch”. Flight qualified by NASA in 1965, the Speedmaster became the first watch worn on the lunar surface.

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The name’s Bond, James Bond An OMEGA has reliably served 007 on every dangerous mission since 1995’s “GoldenEye”. As well as complementing his style, Bond’s OMEGA has often been called upon to help him out of a tough spot. Of course the life-saving functions are fictional – and certainly do not come as standard. However, the watches on display are genuinely cool.

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Walk-in Speedmaster At OMEGA’s new Museum, guests can journey inside the movement of a watch – without getting caught-up in the cogs. The giant walk-in Speedmaster regularly screens a magical animated film revealing the inner-workings of the famous Co-Axial Escapement. A story with many chapters Those wishing to delve into the details of OMEGA’s past, present and future, will not be disappointed. The brand’s long and distinguished history unfolds in the most appropriate way – through a 50m steel bracelet, with 64 treasury windows.

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The latest In addition to the permanent exhibitions, OMEGA Museum has set aside a special place to display the brand’s latest achievements.

Opening hours Tuesday to Friday: 11:00 – 18:00 Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00 Monday Closed

Address and contact details Cité du Temps SA Nicolas G. Hayek Strasse 2 2502 Biel/Bienne Switzerland +41 32 343 89 00

Key dates in OMEGA’s history

1848 Watchmaker Louis Brandt opens a small workshop in the Swiss village of La Chaux-deFonds.

1894 The Brandt brothers release the “19-ligne calibre”. This revolutionary watch movement is named “OMEGA”, a word that soon becomes the company’s name.

1932 OMEGA becomes the first watchmaker to time an entire Olympic Games.

1948 Marking 100 years of innovative watchmaking, OMEGA introduces the iconic Seamaster.

1952 OMEGA introduces the Constellation – a family of chronometers world famous for excellence and precision.

1955 The Ladymatic, OMEGA’s first ladies’ automatic wristwatch, is launched. It is revolutionary for combining compact size with elegant good looks.

1957 OMEGA introduces its Professional line of watches: the Speedmaster, the Seamaster 300 and the Railmaster.

1965 The OMEGA Speedmaster becomes the only watch flight-qualified by NASA for all manned missions.

1969 The OMEGA Speedmaster becomes the first watch ever worn on the lunar surface.

1982 OMEGA launches the Constellation “Manhattan” an exciting redesign of the 1952 original.

1983 Nicolas G. Hayek plays a vital role in the recovery of the mechanical watch industry, by merging the two largest watchmaking groups in Switzerland to form what would eventually become the Swatch Group.

1999 OMEGA releases the revolutionary Co-Axial, the first new watch escapement in 250 years.

2015 OMEGA establishes the Master Chronometer certification, the toughest level of testing in the watch industry, set down by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).

2019 The OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean “Ultra Deep” achieves a world record-breaking dive of 10,928m.

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