By Jovan Krstevski
On November 2, 2017, Omega unveiled their new and eco-friendly high-tech factory in Biel. Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect designed the project. The Japanese are excellent when it comes to merging technology and nature and this is often experienced with Zen like effects. So what makes this factory such a huge step up for the brand? Well, the answer is pretty much simple, dead simple actually as the new factory allows Omega to centralize its forces thereby helping a lot when it comes to world domination. Basically, it would be easier for the brand to spread out between various sites and this means less costs on logistics and valuable human resources.
The factory is also strategically located next to the brand’s headquarter which is also a historical building for Omega. This strategic move from Omega practically highlights an evolution bringing watch assembly training and quality control together in one roof. Omega also states that the T2/T3/T4 (for those familiar with the Swatch Group production flows) will also be under this one roof which will be utilizing the cutting edge set-up by the brand’s production activities.
The building is indeed high-tech and very impressive. It houses cutting edge robotic technologies that will make production a lot faster for Omega but if you think that hand made would still be better compared to this set-up, well you are partly right but this is the future. The full control and management still falls to the human operator and this is very important since the R&D is utilized here. This also highlights the rising trend in watchmaking which unfortunately almost needs no human intervention. The watchmakers and operators’ workplaces these days benefit strongly from robotic assistance at the highest level and at the same time the organization of the workflow and control procedures. As with Omega’s new factory, the central stock is fully automated and has a storage capacity of 30,000 boxes stored in a volume of 3,660 cubic meters, very impressive indeed.
As mentioned above, the new production building is located Rue Stampfli. This is where “Louis Brand & Fils”, known today as Omega Watches, moved its manufacturing activities in 1882. This is definitely seen as a statement from Omega, its development plans and how it invests to meet its ambitious quality standards in respect to the new quality and technical control processes housed in the building that also includes the METAS testing for Master Chronometer certification during which Omega certifies its watches at stringent standards for precision, performance and magnetic resistance to 15,000 gauss.
Machines have very little margin for error and Omega sees this as the perfect vantage point overseeing the quality of their watches from hereon. In this respect, the new factory tells a lot about the meticulous obsession with quality at Omega and we all expect it from the brand. Even NASA looks up to Omega for a timing partner. Omega has nonetheless developed a culture, with emphasis on stringent quality control measures that is deeply ingrained in the company’s products. For more info, please visit omegawatches.com