Timing of sporting events, “an extraordinary know-how” for the boss of Omega – rts.ch

Timing of sporting events, “an extraordinary know-how” for the boss of Omega – rts.ch
Timing of sporting events, “an extraordinary know-how” for the boss of Omega – rts.ch

Official timekeeper of the Olympic Games (OG) since 1932, Omega will intervene at those of Paris2024 for its thirty-first performance with always the same watchword: “undisputed precision”, indicates its boss Raynald Aeschlimann in La Matinale Wednesday. The Swiss watch brand will use new technologies for the occasion.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has entrusted Omega with the official timekeeping of the Games until 2032 for its “reputation for precision, excellence and innovation”, assures Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, on RTS on Wednesday. Especially since it “is fundamental and crucial for the success and credibility of these sporting competitions”, hence the mission of the Swatch group brand for the Paris Olympics and this 100-year contract to “be able to ensure the long term (…) and ensure the technological developments that are fundamental”.

Timing requires “extraordinary know-how”, the RTS guest further emphasizes.

Technology at the service of precision

In two weeks, the Paris Olympics will host 32 disciplines and 329 competitions. Such events therefore require flawless reliability of the stopwatches used. Those from Omega, TAG Heuer and Longines – which have also participated in previous competitions – have the capacity to measure to the millionth “with uncontested precision”, says Raynald Aeschlimann proudly, thanks to his Quantum Timer.

In Paris, there will be 550 chronographs, (…) 900 volunteers, 300 tons of equipment

Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega (Swatch Group)

To achieve such a level of precision, watch brands follow technological developments (see box). At the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932, there was only one timekeeper equipped with 30 chronographs, recalls the director of Omega, with a reliability of one tenth of a second. “In Paris, there will be 550 of them, (…) 900 volunteers, 300 tons of equipment.”

The new disciplines of the 2024 Games are a challenge, adds Raynald Aeschlimann, who cites breakdancing and sport climbing. For the latter, the timing had to be adapted, as was the case for swimming, he recalls. The swimmers stop the clock themselves thanks to the innovation of touch plates from 1967, which avoids the refereeing problems that occurred before. “We are very proud to say that in climbing, we have developed the same technology,” rejoices the CEO of Omega.

>> Read also: The waltz of time under the microscope

Between the Los Angeles and Paris Olympics, the technologies are no longer the same, but the mission remains the same. And above all, our values ​​are the same.

Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega (Swatch Group)

“Between Los Angeles and Paris, the technologies are no longer the same, but the mission remains the same. And above all, our values ​​are the same: authenticity, precision and (…) commitment to serving athletes and spectators all over the world,” he adds, noting that “the most important thing is perfection.”

Interview by Pietro Bugnon

Article web: Julie Marty

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