27 August, 2009

OMEGA - The End...

Many of you would have been noticing something unique on the masthead of the Times of India newspaper all through July & Aug. Swiss watchmaker Omega has been showing two small pictures of its models – Seamaster, Speedmaster, Constellation, DeVille, etc. While advertising on the masthead is not unusual, a brand such as Omega taking this approach in India is quite surprising. In India, the sale of premium and luxury watches picks up from Aug. onwards, especially with the upcoming wedding and festival seasons. Most Brands take either a first page solus or near the business pages, targeting the right set of customers. These ads actually set the mood – I doubt how much of purchase influence do they hold on a prospective buyer. And even more, when the ambassadors endorsing their watches are featured. For example, would someone buy a Tag because King Khan sports it? Are consumers so emotionally attached with the Brands such that their reasoning is impractical and loyal to their stars? Well, that’s a long debate one could have for hours or even days together. For sure, this would create excitement and lead consumers to the Retail Stores. It’s good to have footfalls coming in, isn’t it?

Coming back to Omega – in 1848, Louis Brandt set-up an assembly workshop to assemble precision pocket watches. In 1937, waterproof watches were launched and in 1943, automatic watches. Since 1969, it is the first and the only watch to land in the moon! From Cindy Crawford to Michael Schumacher, George Clooney to Abhishek Bachan, even James Bond uses this time-machine, in reel and real life. Such is the glamour of this particular watch that it is usually identified with its bracelet – with its unique and outstanding design. The Seamaster – a deep diving watch has a second crown (at 10 ‘o’ clock) which is a helium reverse valve, to allow helium out of the watch after diving at great depths. While the blue one has been around for some time, the black one is new in the market.

They say OMEGA means “The End” (the last and the 24th letter in the Greek Alphabet). I am not sure why this Swiss watchmaker named this Brand so. For me, it’s the beginning. My new Omega Seamaster that I got a few days ago and my resignation! Yes, I have resigned from my services today from BIAL after over three years in the Travel Retail Business. My next assignment is back in mainline Retail – shall write about that soon. For now, I am treasuring my new steel toy - when awake and while asleep!

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