Omega, Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games

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Swatch has now successfully participated at three Olympic Games as the Official Timekeeper (1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens, where the company was also responsible for on-venue results systems and integration services), and Swatch Group Ltd. has now decided that its most traditional timekeeping brand worldwide, Omega Ltd., will assume this responsibility. Omega Ltd. will be responsible for the timing and scoring systems and services as well as the on-venue results management at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. 
Omega underscored this key step for the company with today’s unveiling of a special “countdown” clock in the famous Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The clock will count down the time remaining until August 8, 2008 – when the Games of the XXIXth Olympiad are opened in Beijing.

Official timekeeping and on-venue results management demand an enormous investment in human resources and equipment. More than 300 timekeeping experts attended this year’s Olympic Games in Athens, and more than 350 tons of material were used. Nick Hayek, the Swatch Group’s CEO explained: “Our commitment to the Olympic Games is much more than just a name on a display board or a screen. All of the Swatch Group’s companies share the core philosophy of the Olympic Movement, which celebrates humanity more than anything else. In addition, the Swatch Group’s companies, and Omega in particular, have developed almost all the time measurement technology that is 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.”

The experience of the Swatch Group’s companies – Swiss Timing, Omega, Longines and Swatch – in timekeeping and on-venue results management at the Olympic Games has a major impact on the development of today’s time measurement technology. Omega was the very first watchmaking company to be appointed as timekeeper at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles. In those days, 30 hand-operated chronographs were needed for timekeeping. This historic event laid the foundations for a long-term cooperation: Omega was the Official Timekeeper at 21 Olympic Games during the last century.

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