A few blocks from where I originally started aBlogtoWatch in San Francisco, I found myself enjoying the hospitality of Omega's newest store near the popular Union Square shopping district. Omega invited a legion of press partners, customers, retailers, ambassadors and special friends to celebrate not only replica watches the new store opening, but also Omega's symbolic return to full operations now towards the end of the pandemic - just weeks before I met Omega in Los Angeles to finally celebrate the release of James Bond 007: No Time To Die.
Indeed, Omega was among the rare brands that more or less maintained watch production from its facility in Switzerland during the pandemic. This means that many of the product shortages and supply chain issues known to affect the watch industry did not hit the Swatch Group's jewel very seriously. It's not entirely surprising given that if there is a core strength for the Swatch Group, it is excellence in industrialization. According to Omega, the purpose of the event in San Francisco was actually less about the new store opening and more an opportunity for Omega to say "thank you" to its colleagues and constituents. One of the important things much of the watch industry learned during the pandemic is the value of connections and the crucial warmth of personal relationships. While "virtual" meeting efforts can be applauded for their "can do" attitude, the consensus among most in the luxury watch business is that very little can replace the power of physical connections. As such, in-person events are back.
A cornerstone of Omega's corporate strategy is to use events — like the one in San Francisco — to express what it calls "brand values." This practice is less about what each product has inside and more about what the people who make up the brand value. These values are essential to making connections and friends – who omega replica together make up the people who work at or with Omega. It is especially important to convey these values because as the next era of luxury watches unfolds, professionals and customers will increasingly align themselves with the brands they see as friends.