Prestige Swiss watchmaker Omega was named the official timekeeper for the London Olympic Games in 2012. Thursday’s announcement was made by IOC president Jacques Rogge and Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek at the Omega boutique at the Royal Exchange in London.
Omega’s Olympic history dates back to the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, when the company was the first to be given the responsibility for timing all Olympic disciplines. The London 2012 Olympic Games will be the 25th time Omega serves as Official Timekeeper, and the second time at an Olympic Games in London, with the first time being in 1948.
“We are delighted to return to London as official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. London represents a wealth of tradition and a confident vision of the future,” said Omega president Stephen Urquhart, who also attended the ceremony. “We are pleased to bring our own valued traditions and confidence to London 2012 and look forward to helping the city prepare to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Rogge welcomed the announcement and Omega’s commitment and contribution to the Olympic movement. “Our relationship with Omega goes back to 1932, when the IOC turned to a single company to provide official timekeeping at the Olympic Games. Today, Omega works closely with all our technology partners to provide seamless technology support to the Organizing Committee.”
Urquhart presented Sebastian Coe and the 2012 team with an Omega bronze bell used today in a number of Olympic disciplines to signal the start of the final lap of a race, and can be heard in cycling, athletics, biathlon, and speed skating competitions. Coe, a middle-distance runner for Great Briton who won four Olympic gold medals, led the British Olympic Association efforts to host the games in London.
Urquhart also unveiled a poster commemorating the London 1948 Olympic Games, one of a series representing “Great Moments in Time” and marking Omega’s role as Official Timekeeper at 22 Olympic Games.
OMEGA is a company of the Swatch Group.