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The NEW OMEGA Museum

  1. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    Today I've been driving through Biel and decided to take the Jakob-Stämpfli street and check how does the new building progress. To my greatest surprise, I saw a group of people exiting the new building with some OMEGA goodies in hands.

    - Wait a minute, is it open now? I decided to stop by and have a look.

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    Behind the old building, is now located the new "La Cité du Temps" - literally the City of Time - building :

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    To my greatest surprise, the ladies at the reception desk told the floors 1-2-3 are open and they recommend to visit all three - the third floor currently hosts an exhibition dedicated to the story of time in partnership with the Art School of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

    - Maybe next time. I can't wait to see what does the new Museum of OMEGA look like !

    Photo 12.07.19 14 23 37.jpg Untitled-1.jpg

    The lobby is nice, super nice. A beautiful reception desk and a great decor with different time zones of the globe on the floor as well as two big globes to play with : Earth and its time zones / Moon and its missions' landings.

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    The tour starts with an immersive experience : a spectacular 360° movie about the history of time followed by the history of OMEGA. No more spoiler here, still a picture is mandatory :)

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    From the 360° cinema room, entering the new museum. The first thing you see is this beautiful old watchmakers' desk.

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    On the right, the entire history of OMEGA watchmaking represented as a timeline, including the milestones and watches related to those milestones.

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    No more spoilers of the timeline content here - go visit the museum and find out by yourself ;)

    What I can say is, I found the overall quality of the showcased watches much better than in the old Museum. Both, in terms of originality as well as conservation condition. Also having the watches presented in a timeline makes a perfect sense. Great idea, OMEGA, I love it. :thumbsup:

    For sure an important part of the exhibition is related to the Olympic Games :

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    A cool experience is a Chronométrage Game where you grab a stopwatch and have to press the pusher when the bobsleigh crosses the start and finish line and try to measure it's time as close as possible to the timekeeping system.

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    On my second attempt I got 5/100s of a second close to their system. Maybe I could have done better, without that glass of red wine during the lunch :D

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    Another experience are the starting blocks :) well, it looks simple but in fact a lot of people seem not to master the gravity when they start :D I've seen some very funny starts while visiting the museum... no injured people... so far :D

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    For sure there is a section dedicated to the Space program. How could they omit that chapter. :)

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    Finally another visual experience at the very end of the exhibition, a Moonwatch-shaped cinema room :taunt:

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    A wrist shot was mandatory at this stage :cool:

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    Finally as you exit the exhibition space, you get some information about the heart of your wrist watch :

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    And the last booth dedicated to the last milestone in OMEGA's history :

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    The corridor brings you back to the reception, with some super-nice old posters and ads, again as a timeline...

    Photo 12.07.19 15 52 08.jpg

    I didn't have much time to spend there... unfortunately. My visit was totally spontaneous and my schedule didn't allow more time to spend. Nor to visit the other two floors.

    Still I've spent some more time at the reception desk talking about the Museum and its opening, especially asking why didn't we hear / read about the museum being open now?!? The staff told me they decided to make a soft opening (without any official communication) and use the first 3-4 weeks to "test" the infrastructure and new immersive parts of the exhibition with a gently increasing number of visitors. Also some parts of the timeline with watches aren't ready yet so the new Museum is still in a kinda pre-final version at the moment. Everything should be ready and finalized by the end of the month - then official communication will start.

    They also told me that the new Museum will no longer be free of charge to visit. An entrance ticket (10 Swiss Francs) will allow access to the OMEGA Museum, SWATCH Museum as well as the 3rd Floor which will host temporary exhibitions. Today, everything is free of charge but this will change anytime soon.

    Last but not least, I was delighted to find out that my great friend Charles-Adamir, a former member of the Heritage Team of OMEGA, decided to move from the Archives to the new OMEGA Museum.

    Photo 12.07.19 15 57 20.jpg

    The knowledge he gained during his 4 years at the Archives is tremendous and he is now happy to share it with visitors, as a permanent member of the Museum Team.

    Voilà, I hope this preview makes you want to visit the new Museum someday. I will get back there very soon with no doubt - I have to spend much more time then I could today. :thumbsup:
     
    Edited Jul 12, 2019
    AntonisCy, orlis, WYO_Watch and 77 others like this.
  2. SpeedyPhill

    SpeedyPhill asked ages ago but no longer interested Jul 12, 2019

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    A soft opening... looks great... will certainly pass by a few times during the upcoming months :thumbsup:
     
  3. speedy4ever

    speedy4ever Moonwatch Only Author Jul 12, 2019

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    Thank you for the report and I confirm that Charles is a nice, helpful and expert guy.

    Looking forward to the next visit
     
  4. KingCrouchy

    KingCrouchy Jul 12, 2019

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    Thanks for the great writeup and the pictures! Looking forward going there soon.:cool:
     
  5. M'Bob

    M'Bob Jul 12, 2019

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    Did you notice any hair stuck in this large flat-link?

    image.jpeg
     
  6. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    Ahahahah, imagine that ! [​IMG]
     
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  7. MTROIS

    MTROIS Jul 12, 2019

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    Wonderful report, that I didn't read thoroughly to maintain some novelty when I go there in August!:thumbsup:

    One question though, what Speedy model is Charles-Adamir wearing???
    I am assuming he is not wearing a Paul Newman Daytona... but I could not make up the model ok his wrist. ::confused2:::thumbsdown:
     
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  8. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    MTROIS likes this.
  9. MTROIS

    MTROIS Jul 12, 2019

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    Oh, and I forgot a key question: did they (finally) include a decent boutique in there???
    My son and I were quite disappointed last year that we could not treat ourselves to some nice souvenirs (ahem... watches!) at the museum!! :D
     
  10. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    Not yet. But I heard of something coming soon ;)
     
  11. AdamS

    AdamS Jul 12, 2019

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    Excellent report, thank you!:thumbsup:

    Do you think the number of actual watches in the exhibition has increased? Any new interesting pieces that were not in the old museum?
     
  12. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    No idea. But the overall quality of the watches has increased with no doubts.

    Certainly. A lot of pieces I have never seen the old museum. But as I said before, my intention is not to spoil anything here. ;)
     
  13. neilfrancis

    neilfrancis Jul 12, 2019

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    The minute they do a special exhibition on Megaquartz, I will be en route.
     
    kov likes this.
  14. kov

    kov Jul 12, 2019

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    There is a Megaquartz window in the timeline ! :eek:
     
  15. OWa

    OWa Jul 12, 2019

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    Big Thanks!
     
  16. igloe

    igloe Jul 12, 2019

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    So quiet opened up. Can’t believe it. Ok, now I have to rearrange my summer plans to visit the Museum as fast as possible
     
  17. GandOsDad

    GandOsDad Jul 12, 2019

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    What was that last watch featured ? New Seamaster? Looks super cool
     
  18. Magnix

    Magnix Jul 12, 2019

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    Nice ! Another trip to make this year thanks
     
  19. 3nicewatches

    3nicewatches Jul 12, 2019

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    Damn it, if my bucket list gets any longer I’m never going to get it all done. Thanks @kov ;)
     
  20. KeithS

    KeithS Jul 12, 2019

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    Dash1 likes this.