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Omega’s Olympic heroes

By on 23 August 2012 in Watches

Omega’s Olympic heroes
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A Prodigal Guide promotion in partnership with Watches of Switzerland

What was your favourite moment of London 2012? Whatever it was, it was timed by luxury Swiss watch brand Omega, which also works with a number of the biggest stars from this summer’s Olympic Games.

As the country wakes up to a post-Olympic world, blinking in disbelief at the medal table, thoughts have turned to our favourite moments. Mo Farah’s double gold, the look of surprise on Katherine Copeland’s face as she and Sophie Hosking crossed the finish line first, Sir Chris Hoy’s man-hug with Sir Steve Redgrave, Jess Ennis’ gold on Super Saturday… the list is endless.

During the Games, 44 world records were broken, including both the men’s and women’s 4 x 100-metre relays on the track and the women’s team pursuit in the velodrome. Timing for these landmark moments, right down to the thousandth of a second, was provided throughout the Games by Omega, the luxury Swiss watch brand that took the role of official timekeeper at an Olympiad for the 25th time.

Omega’s 450 timekeepers and 850 volunteers installed and operated 420 tonnes of timing equipment across London’s venues. The supercomputer at the heart of it all was Quantum, which can measure times to the nearest one millionth of a second – although such precise information is never released, even in the event of a dead heat, because governing bodies don’t allow it.

Omega also works with a stellar line-up of Olympic stars, which was all the incentive we needed to look back at some of our favourite London 2012 moments, reminisce and admire our heroes’ watches of choice.

  • Olympic hero Jess Ennis
  • Nationality British
  • Discipline Heptathlon
  • London 2012 Poster girl, gold medalist, nation’s sweetheart
  • Watch of choice Omega De Ville Ladymatic, rose gold 34mm case and bracelet, automatic movement, brown diamond-dot dial, water-resistant to 100m, £17,300

How the story unfolded Jess Ennis went into the Olympics carrying the hopes of a nation. With her face splashed on the covers of magazines and on billboards around the country in the run-up to the Games, no one could have blamed her if the pressure had got to her. But she pulled out the performance of a lifetime, scoring 6,955 points in the heptathlon to win gold, notching up a British record and three personal bests along the way, including a 100m hurdles time that would have won gold in the individual at Beijing. Jess was spotted at Omega House, the brand’s private London residence during the Games, modelling an elegant diamond-set Omega De Ville Ladymatic, a watch fit for the queen of the track.

  • Olympic hero Michael Phelps
  • Nationality American
  • Discipline Swimming, multi-discipline
  • London 2012 Quadruple gold medalist, greatest Olympian of all time?
  • Watch of choice Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquidmetal®, titanium 45.5mm case and bracelet, automatic movement, helium escape valve, date aperture at 3 o’clock, water-resistant to 600m, £5,460

How the story unfolded Some were questioning Michael Phelps’s motivation before the Games – having won a record eight gold medals in one Olympics in Beijing, what more could he have to achieve? Initially, he looked short of pace, but he became a story of the Games – again – by winning four gold and two silver medals to secure his status as the most decorated Olympian of all time. The 27-year-old American now has 18 career Olympic gold medals and 22 medals over all. Known as The Flying Fish, Phelps sports Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquidmetal. The watch is cast in titanium and water-resistant to 600 metres, and features a bezel with Liquidmetal numerals and scale markers. Liquidmetal is an amorphous metal that can be moulded like plastic, despite being three times harder than steel.

  • Olympic hero Chad le Clos
  • Nationality South African
  • Discipline Swimming, multi-discipline
  • London 2012 The boy becomes a man, gold medalist
  • Watch of choice Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, steel 45.5mm case and bracelet, automatic chronograph movement, helium escape valve, water-resistant to 600m, £5,240

How the story unfolded Chad le Clos went into London 2012 with a bunch of Youth Olympic and Commonwealth gold medals to his name, telling the world how much he looked up to his hero Michael Phelps. The 20-year-old promptly bumped Phelps into the silver medal position by winning the 200-metre butterfly. The margin of victory could barely have been closer – le Clos won by 0.05 seconds. His moment in the spotlight was made all the more memorable by his father Bert, whose series of heartfelt BBC interviews went viral. Le Clos Snr’s paternal pride and effusive reflections on the greatness of Great Britain earned him a place in national folklore. His son is an Omega ambassador and wears a Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, one of the latest silicon-enhanced models that is so accurate and reliable Omega puts a four-year warranty on it.

  • Olympic hero Pete Reed
  • Nationality British
  • Discipline Men’s four, rowing
  • London 2012 Naval lieutenant, giant, gold medalist
  • Watch of choice Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph London 2012, steel 44mm case and bracelet, automatic chronograph movement, date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock, water-resistant to 150m, £4,860

How the story unfolded Pete Reed was one of the success stories of Beijing in 2008, winning gold with the men’s coxless four, a feat he repeated in London. Reed is a giant, standing six feet, six inches tall, and has a recorded lung capacity of 11.68 litres, almost twice the male average. He won the Boat Race with Oxford in 2005 and is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Fittingly, he wears the navy-dialled special edition Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph London 2012, which features the London 2012 logo on the case back. News eked out earlier this week that he’d got engaged during the closing ceremony. Nice timing.

  • Olympic hero Mark Foster
  • Nationality British
  • Discipline Retired swimmer, BBC pundit
  • London 2012 Foil to Clare Balding, heartthrob
  • Watch of choice Omega Seamaster Ploprof, steel 55mm case and mesh bracelet, automatic movement, helium escape valve, date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock, water-resistant to 1,200m, £6,000

How the story unfolded Mark Foster may have retired from his hugely successful career as a professional swimmer, but the 42-year-old remains a high-profile face in the UK, working as a pundit for the BBC. His swimming career spanned three decades, during which he represented Great Britain at five Olympics and broke eight world records. Since retiring in 2008, he’s taken up a number of media and charity roles, starring in Strictly Come Dancing and taking part in Sport Relief events. He was a regular face on TV during the London Games, sitting alongside Clare Balding in the Aquatics Centre, offering insight into the minds of elite athletes. Strapped to his wrist was the iconic Omega Seamaster Ploprof, a specialist diver’s timepiece that’s water-resistant to 1,200 metres.

  • Olympic hero Louis Smith
  • Nationality British
  • Discipline Men’s artistic gymnastics, team event and pommel horse
  • London 2012 Poster boy, silver medalist
  • Watch of choice Omega De Ville Co-Axial Chronometer, steel 41mm case and bracelet, date aperture at 3 o’clock, water-resistant to 100m (Watches of Switzerland web exclusive – coming soon), £x,xxx

How the story unfolded Louis Smith shot to stardom in Beijing when he won bronze in the men’s pommel horse, becoming the first male British gymnast to win an individual gymnastics medal since 1908, and the first Briton since 1928. Smith was one of the faces of the London Games and the 23-year-old’s performances in the team event helped earn Team GB an unexpected bronze. His tearful reaction to the home crowd’s support is one of the enduring images of the Games. Just under a week later he scooped a silver medal in the men’s pommel horse, narrowly missing out on gold after tying with winner Krisztian Berki. Smith’s choice of watch is the classical Omega De Ville Co-Axial Chronometer, a suitably understated timepiece for a personable young man with a very bright future.

For more, visit the Watches of Switzerland website.

Article

Omega’s Olympic heroes

What was your favourite moment of London 2012? Whatever it was, it was timed by luxury Swiss watch brand Omega, which also works with a number of the biggest stars from this summer’s Olympic Games.

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  • El Guapo

    Ah! The PloProf.
    Given the ubiquity of Submariners…

  • http://www.TheProdigalGuide.com The Prodigal Fool

    You’re tempted by that PloProf, aren’t you? Me too.

    Little Straight-Six isn’t sold.

  • http://gravatar.com/clanfear cal (chris I)

    I had an interview lunch with with a sales director who was wearing a PloProf – it seemed a little cartoonish in a cafeteria. The guy was nice, but the watch seemed to be trying too hard.

    • http://www.TheProdigalGuide.com The Prodigal Fool

      Exactly as I feared: it doesn’t translate to real life very well.

      • El Guapo

        Besides, when “in real life” would you expect to be anywhere near 1200m below anything?

        Re: Straight-Six, well, where Cal (Chris I) uses a kettlebell, Six could use the PloProf.

    • El Guapo

      Indeed, it does fail the “If you only had one watch…” test. But. Who among us…?

      I find the current edition Deepsea Seadweller is no less cartoonish up close. Well, fine. It is a *tad* less cartoonish. But from a distance it looks like a bog-standard Sub. Pass.

      Note that the PloProf 1200 has the added feature of an independently adjustable hour hand, which makes it an ideal holiday watch.

      Advantage: PloProf.