The Swatch Group announced Oct. 8 that its upscale Omega brand will once again assume the position of Official Timekeeper for the Olympic Games. That includes responsibilities for timing and scoring systems and services, plus on-site results management at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy (2006), Vancouver, Canada (2010), and the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China (2008).
Previously, the Swiss conglomerate’s Swatch brand was the Official Timekeeper for three Games (1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens).
Omega underscored its return as official timekeeper with the Oct. 8 unveiling of a special “countdown” clock in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. It will count down the time remaining until Aug. 8, 2008, when the Games of the XXIXth Olympiad will open there.
More than 300 Swatch Group timekeeping experts attended this year’s Olympic Games in Athens, and used more than 350 tons of material. Nick Hayek, the Swatch Group’s CEO, noted “the Swatch Group’s companies, and Omega in particular, have developed almost all time measurement technology used during the Olympic Games. Swatch has been highly visible during the last decade. Now we’re looking forward to the coming Olympic Games with Omega.”
Omega was the very first watchmaker appointed as timekeeper at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, and was official timekeeper at 21 Olympic Games during the last century.