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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From readings in my travels on the “ information super highway ” I gather that the 55X and 56X movements were the best Omega had produced and back then Omegas were every bit as good and probably better than their Rolex counterparts. Certainly both companies produced watches of an equal quality and both were equally well respected.

Trouble beckoned with the arrival of quartz technology which wreaked havoc among producers in the Swiss industry. In an effort to stem the tide of sales and combat the new technology, Omega went to lengths in creating perhaps what were outlandish designs and indeed too many of them, with the majority using quartz and tuning fork movements. In addition they ceased producing their quality in house movements with the effect of devaluing public perception of the brand.

Like BlancpaiN, Rolex maintained production of their mechanical movements and kudos to them for that. When indeed interest was revived in mechanical movements, apart from a few products like the Speedmaster Professional, Omega had almost to start all over again.

It can take a very short time to ruin a hard-won reputation it seems but faced with competition that had sunk many companies in the 70s, it was perhaps all too easy to judge Omega harshly. With a revitalised industry thanks in no small part to men like Nicholas Hayek, Omega are now heading in the right direction and getting better and better too IMHO. In 1999, they produced the Co-Axial escapement and this year, their first totally in-house calibre, the 8500/8501 so the fightback and climback has certainly begun.

During the time Omega began its’ downward spiral, Rolex was marketed to the point where the person in the street imagines that they produce the best watches in the world. Omega has to compete in an environment where there is a public perception that their competitor is superior. I think it is generally accepted that Omega offers great value given the prestige and quality of their products.

Omega produces a range of watches from upper-middle to haute horology with their central tourbillon which was a world premier in watchmaking. Where Rolex excelled and Omega lagged and lacked for years was in the field of marketing. Rolex was able to get the general public to believe that they are the best of the best but in reality I’m sure many enthusiasts would say they are not and are far from it in terms making a quality movement of the likes of Patek, V&C or possibly IWC.

Omega's new movement if marketed well could change public perception. Going by what I’ve read elsewhere, Omega's new movement is largely considered to be on the same tier as IWC and JLC. The movement is a true piece of horology and not a mass produced product as was the ETA originated but Omega modified movement, excellent though they were if one considers the cal 1120 ( ETA 2892 ).

There are the factors of quality, prestige, value and public perception.

Enthusiasts of the brand would want the company to achieve three of the four and yet maintain the aspect of value. However these factors are not themselves compatible with each other. To raise the quality of the product puts up R&D and tooling costs. You need to market your product as well as Rolex and others did. That doesn’t come cheap and while Omega have been derided for having ambassadors and promoting sporting events, so have other companies and in other industries too. The fact is Omega have not spent nearly as much in marketing as have their other rivals. It just appears so. Perhaps in a way, they have been achieving the exposure they were looking for. Whatever is the case, that foray into electronics back in the 70s cost Omega dear and a hard-won reputation almost disappeared in much less time than it took to achieve it. I for one hold much by this dawn of a brand new age.


Y'all be well pals


ZIN
 

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They seem to be heading in right way now. I guess in 50 or so years (past my lifespan) they will be considered as one of the greatest companies in the world, next to some of the more older companies like, V&C, Blancpain, and Breguet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They seem to be heading in right way now. I guess in 50 or so years (past my lifespan) they will be considered as one of the greatest companies in the world, next to some of the more older companies like, V&C, Blancpain, and Breguet.

Come back my friend - we'll have a party for us enthusiasts anciens :biggrin::biggrin:

I wonder how long before they get up there? Given that it takes time to build up one would normally say perhaps 25 years. I've learned never to underestimate the senior member of the Hayek family. Those bankers didn't.


Enjoy your weekend


ZIN
 

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Hey Zin,

Rolex has done well in convincing the average person that they are the best.

I aggree Omega has come a long way in regaining their previous reputation and I think as soon as all the shopping centre dealers of Omega are removed and the heavy discounting slowed the brand name will gain in recognition as being a premium watch.

Don't get me wrong,I like a discount on a watch as much as the next guy and if you are not aware Omega's new Aussie policy is to close quite a few dealers and select only the ones who are willing to abide with stock and training schedules.This will take a lot of ADs out of the suburbs and tighten up the ship.

At present it is very easy to get at least 20-25% discount and more if pushed.Whilst this great it hurts the used market and in turn pushes the peception of bad resale.

Rolex has little or no discount,with price rises each year and supply less than demand.The dealers are also tightly controlled.The second hand market for Rolex is very much alive and well.Hence the Rolex brand is held with the perception of being exclusive.
 
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