Omega, the brand known for their exquisite timepieces and the watch preferred by NASA in 1969, was recently inducted into the Atlanta club of high end retailers at Phipps Plaza. The Grand Opening event attracted an exclusive crowd of socialites and philanthropists such as co-hosts Laura Turner-Seydel, and Nina Cheney, Porsha Stewart of RHOA and more to celebrate the brands expansion in the Southeast. President of Omega, Stephen Urquhart says a location in the Southeast has always been a priority.
“Atlanta is a big city and when we decided to open doors in New York, Atlanta was on the list. We waited for the right location in Phipps Plaza and we found it, so here we are,” Urquhart explains. “We partnered with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper because it’s good to do something local. All these charities like UNICEF are great, but we wanted to do something for the local community. The Chattahoochee supplies drinking water to four million people.”
Guest tried on the watches ranging in price from $1,900 to more than $29,000. Omega also introduced the Ladymatic , described by Urquhart as an old watch with a updated look.
“Ladymatic is an old name in a new watch. It is the name we had in the 50’s for our first mechanical watch. We wanted to make a new watch with our new mechanical movement,” Urquhart says. “It is a very mechanical watch with a feminine looking design.”
Along with re-introducing the Ladymatic with actress Nicole Kidman as the face of the design, another part of the expansion includes aligning the company with organizations that enhance the name. In 2011, Omega became the official timekeeper of the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament. Omega appointed several ambassadors including Sergio Garcia, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, Michelle Wie, S.Y. Noh and legendary golfer Greg Norman to serve as liaisons between the Swiss based company and its potential American customers. Urquhart says partnering with the PGA was an essential part of opening stores in the U.S.
“The PGA of America is the most important golfing governing body there is. We wanted to get a foothold in the U.S. market in golf. Greg helped to get the introduction,” Urquhart explains. “Not only do we have the Ryder Cup in the U.S. we have a link to the 27,000 people who really make golf here and every day they meet our potential customers. So, we have a team now to further that and keep it going.”
Omega sponsors the European Masters and has stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris London, Switzerland and other locations in Europe and Asia. Norman says as one of the faces of the Omega brand and he is looking forward to playing a key role in building the brand stateside.
“As far as Omega and the game of golf with Ryder Cup and Omega, China and Omega tournaments in Europe I saw a huge opportunity for them here in the United States. I saw an opportunity to introduce them to people in America,” Norman says. “Being an ambassador is the easy part. What I love more about it is growing Omega’s iconic brand and name in places like China and places like India, South America, all throughout Asia. That’s what I love because that’s where I’m building my brand as well. Whereever I go I’ll be going with Omega,”
To see photos of the Omega Grand Opening go to http://scene.skirt.com/galleries/index.php?id=10088