OMEGA, The Olympic Games And Historic Feats In Timekeeping

Published 8 July 2024


Look back on the Swiss watchmaker’s storied past — and its extraordinary future — with the global sporting event.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 01

It all started in 1932a lone Swiss watchmaker arrived in Los Angeles for the Olympic Games with 30 split-second chronographs. OMEGA was entrusted to time all disciplines on show.

Following the event, its Sports Technical Director William Henry proclaimed, “It is impossible to contemplate the wonderfully successful Olympic Games without recognising the part played by OMEGA in this great international event.” A historic partnership was forged.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 02

Since its humble beginnings, OMEGA has become, and has proudly remained, the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games as well as the Paralympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, bringing its famed accuracy — and a team of timekeeping professionals, supported by up to 450 tons of equipmentto deliver flawless timing to the world’s finest competitors.

In the decades since it first took up its post of precision, OMEGA has introduced numerous technological breakthroughs to the 30 events it has timed to date and has improved sports timekeeping from 1/10th of a second in 1932 to 1/1000th of a second today to ensure every thrilling moment and result is captured.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 03

In its steadfast commitment to developing innovative technology in sports timekeeping, OMEGA has changed the timekeeping game with its Olympic innovations, from the pool and the track to the sea and the snow slopes.

Take the famous swimming touchpads, placed at either ends of the pool — allowing swimmers themselves to ‘stop the clock’ when exerting an exact amount of pressure on the pads, OMEGA has seen swimming become the only sport in which competitors can stop their own running time. Introduced at the 1968 Olympic Games, this technology has allowed for the most precise measurements in swimming to date.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 04

Similarly, athletics starting blocks have been enhanced to ensure the fairest of races. With built-sensors that measure an athlete’s force against the footrest 4,000 times per second, these blocks — connected to a detection system — can instantly flag any false starts in milliseconds.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 05

From July 26 to August 11, OMEGA reassumes its responsibility as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games for Paris 2024, timing all 329 Olympic events across 32 sports. Arriving at the event with 92 years of timekeeping experience and the most advanced technology in its history, more than 10,000 of the world’s best sportspeople will be expertly timed assuring precision and reliability.

When the margins between gold, silver and bronze often come down to split-seconds, OMEGA is there to measure every result, record every dream and bear witness to the emotions, triumphs, and stories of this special moment in time.

KENNEDY OMEGA Olympics Article 06

Here, discover an OMEGA timepiece created especially for its role as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games, the Seamaster Diver 300m 42mm in steel, as well as a watch worn by one of the athletes in the watchmaker’s Paris 2024 campaign, the Seamaster Diver 300m 44mm in Sedna Gold.

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