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WATCH TALK FORUMS Interviews Omega President Stephen Urquhart!

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Published on 06-28-2010 05:03 AM

Number of Views: 964

The members of the WATCH TALK FORUMS Omega Forum got the chance to submit questions for us to ask Omega Watch Company President Stephen Urquhart during an phone interview conducted on June 26th (see the questions thread by clicking here).

A big thanks to all of you that provided these questions to ask Mr.Stephen Urquhart.
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He was very accommodating to us yesterday morning and here is how the interview went. Enjoy!

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WTF's John Holbrook with Stephen Urquhart

Interview with Omega President Stephen Urquhart

Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 11:30am pst

Interview Conducted by Brandon "Hockeybrand" - WATCH TALK FORUMS Admin Team

“ Brandon, Mr.Urquhart is ready to answer all the question you have. ”

WTF: Thank you for this opportunity Mr.Urquhart.

SU: My pleasure. Hi Brandon.

************************************************** **********

WTF: The first question from Watch Talk Forums is, Does Omega have any plans to develop an in-house Chronograph movement, in either automatic or manual wind?

SU: Well we normally don’t give out advanced information, but actually since you said it already. I can confirm we are working on an in-house chronograph movement which is in the same family of our 8500 (caliber) that we launched three years ago. Obviously with Co-Axial, with the balance and the column wheel and we will have it predominately in automatic version. But can also be done with a manual but it will be…and the ideal launch will be next year. So I’m giving you free information there okay.

WTF : Will the Planet Ocean eventually receive the Caliber 8500?

SU: Well it will be receiving the new Chronograph version and the 8500. It will be launched next year with those two. Yes, also advanced information, but it doesn’t matter okay.

WTF: Will the Seamaster Professional series have new models to replace the discontinued ones?

SU: We really haven’t discontinued the Seamaster Professionals, we just changed the chronographs. We will make an upgraded version next year or so, in terms of the case…little bit change, but not a big change…a small change. That’s a very popular watch for us and even though it’s not worn in all the Bond films. It is still considered the Bond watch. So I prefer to keep that watch updated and upgraded all the time.

WTF: Are there any plans for new Museum Collection models, possibly like a Dynamic, a Seamaster De Ville or any other Commemorative models?

SU: *laughs* You know we’ve done Museum pieces. We feel if we go on in the same way. Maybe it becomes a little bit boring? So maybe we will look for a new project. Omega history is so rich! You said three models, I could name fifty models that we could revise, you know. There are so many famous models in our history. We are not going to bring out next year, a Museum model, per se. But we are going to revise every year maybe one of our iconic watches of the past. But in a different way, okay. You mention that Dynamic on top of the list, but it’s possible. But we have many other great models from our past, ok?

WTF: Will the models that are currently available only at the Omega Boutiques be offered at Omega authorized Dealers any time in the future?

SU: Well there are not many of the unique models at the Boutiques you know. Maybe we have one or two. Most of the cases, the question is timing. We have them initially in the Boutiques and they will become available for all carriers after a certain period. We may though in the future given the importance of our Boutiques worldwide now today. We have over 60 Boutiques. I just opened one in Rome last Tuesday. Family boutique in Via Condotti. And we opened a month ago the Palace hotel in Shanghai. We have many other Boutiques being open around the world. You know it’s not our aim to deprive others of. There are certain models we believe, that need a special presentation, a certain knowledge, and a certain stock. To be able to give…to give it justice. And only our Boutiques can do that. So that is the real reason behind our decision to have a few boutique models. But it is not general thing we are gonna sort of market apply in the future.

WTF: Is there any new plans for the evolution of the Co-Axial escapement, like possibly with slower Sub 25,200 beat calibers?

SU: Well yeah we are working on… well the 8500 is our in-house movement and we are actually so happy with the results today, though it’s a few years old. But the initial feedback has been incredible especially with the guarantee we have and any problem that we know will come back immediately and its been unbelievable. I mean there is a quality ratio… has been very good. Twenty five hundred (2500) we are improving it constantly. As we did with the first 3313. We’ll introduce a three layer Co-axial escapement and maybe one other change that should be done in three months. And we intend to give the 2500 integration for the foreseeable future, yeah.

WTF: And finally our last question from Watch Talk Forums, Are there any updates related to Omega quality standards you can update with is?

SU: No I think our quality standards have been pretty…Also I think we are obviously becoming much more – mechanical plans. But I think given the fact that we are now setting a higher quality mechanical product, the 8500 & 2500 or even the Chronographs. Obviously we have to increase our quality standards, to be up to it. And you know I think, overall – we are very happy. With what’s been achieved.

You know we have watch making schools in Asia, China, Malaysia. We have in Germany too. You know the big thing right now is to train the right people. Not just to make the watch but to service them. You know I mean, so 350 to 400 thousand mechanical watches a year. With most of them Co-Axial you know that means a lot of watches out there in the market and have to be serviced, sometime. Maybe not the first 4 to 5 years or so, but we are really preparing for the future. Since the Omega Mania Auction. We have an incredible interest from people who possess many Genève’s. Which are predominately mechanical costs. So there we have constant inflow. And we have to keep on…I think we have a pretty good overall. Always room for improvement and people are happy with our quality control and customer service!

WTF : Thank you Mr.Urquhart. Enjoy your stay in California.

SU: No problem, thank you. Bye bye!

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WATCH TALK FORUMS Interviews Omega President Stephen Urquhart!
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