November 16, 2023
Swiss watchmaker Omega is unveiling a limited-time activation in New York with the help of some famous faces.
Open from Nov. 9-19, the Planet Omega exhibition at the Chelsea Factory takes visitors through six main sections, each focusing on a different facet of the brand's past. Stars such as American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman, English actor Daniel Craig, American model Cindy Crawford and daughter Kaia Gerber have visited the site so far, embracing the history of the 175-year-old horology label as tenured brand ambassadors.
Space for celebration
Omega states that for the limited-time showing, the DNA of the brand is on display within the six areas.
The first is the “Space” section, which celebrates Omega’s contributions to explorations into the next big frontier. In fact, the brand was involved in the first lunar landing in 1969.
Planet Omega opens in New York
Its “first Omega in Space” timepiece, the CK2998 model, was also worn by American astronaut Wally Schirra in 1962, which is on show in the section.
Multiple other creations are also displayed, including recent items like the latest Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” Moonwatch. The product is forged from real pieces of meteorite.
Delving into the high-profile history of the maison’s clientele is the “Vintage” area, which houses watches worn and owned by famed customers. The late American celebrities, singer Elvis Presley and President John F. Kennedy, are among those included in the space.
There is also a selection of chronographs available for viewing that are sourced from the 1950s onward.
Next up, the “James Bond” part of the exhibition pays tribute to the character’s love of the Omega brand, which began with Irish actor Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye, released in 1995. Although the real-life person who plays him changes relatively frequently, Mr. Bond’s watch pick appears to be more constant.
Mr. Bond visits Planet Omega
Mr. Craig, the longest-tenured Bond thus far, represented this favoritism his character has for the brand by attending the opening of Planet Omega. While at the event, he was able to view the Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition, a timepiece that is quite significant when it comes to his career in the franchise.
It is this watch that he wears on-screen during his final appearance as the super spy in 2021’s No Time to Die.
“We can’t talk about Omega without mentioning James Bond,” said Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, in a statement.
“The spy has been wearing our watches since 1995, so I’m delighted that Daniel could be here today,” Mr. Aeschlimann said. “During his five 007 films, he’s really helped to highlight the precision, style and reliability of Omega, and he’s even been a part of our design process.”
Looking back, moving forward
An area of the event is dedicated exclusively to the “Friends” of the brand, like Ms. Kidman, who was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening night.
This space houses pieces worn and adored by ambassadors, including a version of Ms. Crawford’s beloved Constellation model in 18K Sedna Gold. The model was Omega’s first brand representative, appointed back in 1995, her daughter joining the watchmaker’s family in 2017 (see story).
Nicole Kidman joins the opening of Planet Omega New York
The next section, “Sports and Olympic Games,” celebrates a commitment to athletics.
The brand has been the official timekeeper for the Olympics since 1932, a role that was recently renewed for 2024 (see story). One of the timepieces used to time the first games is on display, and in a nod to future competitions, so is the new Chrono Chime watch.
Continuing this sporting support, Omega welcomed Olympians Noah Lyles, Nathan Chen and Allyson Felix, as well as Paralympian Oksana Masters, to the event.
“The values I share with Omega are all about precision,” said Mr. Chen, in a statement.
“It takes commitment and hard work to get every detail right, and that’s something we both bring to our game,” he said. “I love how this exhibition shows Omega’s dedication to so many areas.”
The last two sections, “Precision” and “Ocean,” showcase a new Speedmaster Super Racing model and deep-water diving watches, respectively, rounding out a celebration of the maison’s past, present and future.
Other labels, such as LVMH-owned German luggage brand Rimowa (see story), French fashion house Louis Vuitton (see story) and Italian fashion label Gucci (see story) have put their own histories in the spotlight with exhibitions this year, the latter even taking it to the metaverse (see story).
While luxury brands will always look back and celebrate their storied histories, the future is always on the horizon, something Omega plays into with Planet Omega.