Swiss watchmaker and retailer Omega has officially released nearly 40 new watches in 2022, covering three series including the Seamaster series, Speedmaster series and Constellation series.
After experiencing the impact of the epidemic in 2020 and adjusting and adapting in 2021, Omega will continue to release new products independently in 2022, and plan new product release strategies according to specific market conditions.
The Chinese market is currently one of Omega’s most important overseas markets. At the Chinese media meeting, Omega President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann told Jiemian News, “2021 is a very good year, and the Chinese market has set a record.”
Omega currently has more than 200 points of sale in mainland China, including brand-operated flagship stores and dealers opening exclusive stores. In Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and other first-tier luxury cities, Omega has opened 5, 6 and 4 directly-operated flagship stores respectively. An Shiwen told Jiemian News that Omega will continue to open stores in the Chinese market in 2022, but the outstanding performance last year was not mainly due to the increase in the number of stores, but because of the increase in the demand for watches in the entire market. He said Omega had “high sales at every point of sale” in China.
According to the data of the Swiss Watch Industry Federation, in 2021, the growth of Swiss watches to mainland China will be the first in the global market, recording a year-on-year increase of 48.8% compared with 2019, although the total export volume is smaller than the strong recovery of the US market, ranking first in the world second.
Omega is also benefiting from strong watch demand in China and the United States. According to the latest report released by investment bank Morgan Stanley and a Swiss consulting agency, Omega is expected to achieve retail sales growth of more than 30% to 3.135 billion Swiss francs in 2021, accounting for 7.5% of the global market share, second only to Rolex in the world. Omega’s core position in the Swiss watch group has also been further consolidated; the report predicts that in 2021, more than half of the Swiss watch group’s operating profits will be created by the Omega brand.
An Shiwen does not think the growth of China’s high-end watch market will slow down next. During the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics held in February, An Shiwen told Jiemian News that he believes that the strong market demand will continue in 2022 and 2023.
Omega’s continuous investment in the Chinese market also supports this confidence. In less than a month, the executives of Omega’s Swiss headquarters and the Chinese team held a number of activities around the official timer status of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the release of new products in 2022. The ongoing marketing fever peaked on the evening of March 10: Omega hosted a massive, hours-long musical party at the China Baowu Steel Expo Center in Shanghai, and the Black Panthers were invited to the scene.
Compared with the production reduction plan and the wait-and-see attitude towards the market in the first two years of the epidemic, Omega is obviously well prepared for the new year. In the face of many blockbuster new products, Omega may be more confident to take intensive and high-profile marketing actions.
Take the new Sea series Aqua Terra watch, Speedmaster series watch, and Constellation series 41mm watch as examples. Brand rejuvenation efforts in product development.
An Shiwen mentioned that there are several keys to Omega’s success in the Chinese market, one of which is to develop products for this market: “I think the groundbreaking dial colors of the new Constellation models, including burgundy red, Gradient green, etc., we learned through consulting young Chinese ladies and fashion people, and the completion is very good.”
Impressing young consumers such as millennials and Generation Z is the key for watch brands to hold on to the market. Omega has the urgency to make it happen. According to the analysis of the above-mentioned Morgan Stanley report, Omega is being strongly impacted by brands including Cartier.
From the perspective of technological breakthroughs, the most eye-catching among Omega’s new products is the Seamaster series Ocean Universe Ultra Deep 6000m professional diving watch. The case size of this new Ultra Deep watch is 45.5 mm and the thickness is only 18.12 mm. It can also maintain accurate operation in the deep sea of 6000 meters, breaking the diving watch record created by Omega itself.
In fact, the prototype Ultra Deep watch came out in 2019, three years before Omega launched the commercial model to the public. There are seven new Ultra Deep watches, one of which is made of titanium, while the other six are made of Omega’s newly developed O-MEGASTEEL stainless steel alloy. According to Omega, this self-developed stainless steel alloy has the characteristics of corrosion resistance, non-ferromagnetic and hypoallergenic properties.
The new watch also uses the precious metal material independently developed by Omega, as well as the Speedmaster series moon watch Moonshine 18K gold model. Moonshine 18K Gold is one of the precious metals developed by Omega, which came out in 2019. Moonshine 18K gold is lighter in color and more resistant to corrosion than traditional white 18K gold. In fact, the previously launched Speedmaster series moon watches have been made of stainless steel, Sedna 18K gold and Canopus 18K gold, and the latter two are the traditional 18K rose gold and 18K white gold.