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July 2, 2024     |    

A Legacy of Timing Excellence: OMEGA & the Olympic Games

Beyond Precision, OMEGA's Enduring Partnership Shapes Olympic History

The roar of the crowd crescendos, a blur of motion streaks across the finish line. Every fraction of a second counts, separating triumph from defeat. Behind the scenes, ensuring the precision that underpins these iconic moments, stands OMEGA, the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games.

This remarkable partnership stretches back an incredible 92 years, a testament to OMEGA’s unwavering dedication to excellence. It all began in 1932, at the Los Angeles Games. For the first time ever, a single company was entrusted with the monumental task of timing every event. OMEGA rose to the challenge, sending a lone watchmaker armed with just 30 high-precision stopwatches, accurate to the nearest tenth of a second.

This marked the dawn of a new era in Olympic timekeeping. Gone were the days of inconsistency and human error. OMEGA embraced the march of technology, continuously innovating to deliver ever-greater precision. The 1948 Games saw the arrival of the electronic age, with OMEGA introducing the first photofinish camera and photoelectric cells. These early cameras, while revolutionary for their time, captured images on film. The process was cumbersome; the film had to be developed manually, introducing a delay before the results could be confirmed. Additionally, the resolution of these early cameras limited their ability to definitively separate close finishes.

The quest for split-second accuracy continued. In 1956 and 1968, swimming was revolutionized with semi-automated timers and the now-iconic touchpads. Athletics, too, saw a leap forward with the development of starting blocks featuring built-in sensors that could detect false starts with unparalleled accuracy.

“OMEGA embraced the march of technology, continuously innovating to deliver ever-greater precision.”

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Today, the world of Olympic timekeeping has undergone a complete transformation. The trusty stopwatches of yesteryear have been replaced by the ultra-precise Quantum Timer, capable of splitting time down to a millionth of a second. Motion sensor and positioning systems track athletes throughout their events, revealing a wealth of data on speed, position, and even the number of strokes taken by a swimmer.

Paris 2024 promises to be another groundbreaking chapter in this extraordinary partnership. OMEGA will unveil the Scan ‘O’ Vision Ultimate, the next generation of photofinish technology. This marvel of engineering boasts the highest resolution of any photofinish camera ever used at the Games, capturing a staggering 40,000 digital images per second. Gone will be any lingering doubt; the results will be clear and indisputable, even in the closest of finishes.

But OMEGA’s contribution extends far beyond timekeeping. The company is also a leader in TV graphics, providing viewers with real-time information and stunning visuals that enhance the Olympic experience. The upcoming Vionardo system will showcase graphics in stunning 4K UHD, offering a level of clarity and detail never seen before.

Further solidifying their commitment to the Games, OMEGA has unveiled two commemorative timepieces: the Seamaster Diver 300M “Paris 2024” and the Speedmaster Chronoscope Paris 2024. These exceptional watches, crafted from a blend of steel and 18K Moonshine™ Gold, celebrate athletic prowess and pay homage to OMEGA’s enduring legacy as the Official Timekeeper.

The tale of OMEGA and the Olympics transcends mere technology. It’s a saga woven from a shared hunger for greatness, a relentless drive to shatter limitations and chase the impossible. This enduring partnership has been a silent witness to countless records toppled, to the birth of legends forged in the Olympic crucible. As the world sets its sights on Paris 2024, one truth remains unwavering: OMEGA will stand resolute, capturing each heart-stopping moment with unparalleled precision. Their dedication to excellence remains a constant, ensuring every Olympic dream is measured with the most exacting accuracy, forever etching their legacy in the annals of Olympic history.

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