By Jovan Krstevski
Mr. Stephen Urquhart who will be celebrating his forthcoming 70th birthday is to give up his seat to the much younger Raynald Aeschlimann. The latter starts his new role on 1 June 2016 where he would be leading Omega Watches which is part of the main watch conglomerate the Swatch Group. The company belongs to the list of the biggest watch companies in the world.
Mr. Stephen Urquhart
Omega’s actual president Mr. Stephen Urquhart has been guiding the company since 2000. He is a Swiss and British citizen. He pretty much started his career at Omega back in 1968. Other than Omega the man also pursued his career at Audemars Piguet from 1974 to 1997. He finally became the Joint Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors from 1989 onwards at the said company.
Mr. Stephen Urquhart is the man behind the impressive growth of Omega particularly the implementation of the Co-Axial escapement in all collections of the brand. He also had a hand on the development of several lines of watches most importantly the introduction of the antimagnetic movements and the Master Chronometer Certification which is developed jointly with the METAS.
Even though he is retiring and will soon entrust the brand to another known man at Omega, Stephen Urquhart will still remain closely associated with the Swatch Group and will be lending a hand to Raynald Aeschlimann for more special projects and of course specialized consultancy assignments.
Mr. Raynald Aeschlimann
The swiss citizen Raynald Aeschlimann will be on office starting 1 June 2016 as the President at Omega Watches. Meanwhile, he is still serving as the Vice President (VP) of Sales at Omega which he started in 2001. He is also a Member of the Extended Group Management Board of the Swatch Group since 2013. He joined Omega way back in 1996 and served as the Sales and Marketing Project Manager.
In 2000, Raynald Aeschlimann also became the Brand Manager of Omega and Blancpain Spain. Since 2010, he has also been the Group Coordinator for the Swatch Group’s Indian subsidiary. The man had a lot on his belt obviously. The years 1992 through 1996 were the sweet years where he worked at Longines and Complementa AG in St. Gallen which is also part of the Swatch Group.
It is expected that Raynald Aeschlimann will most probably continue the legacy of Stephen Urquhart. Most of his actions will be seen on the maintenance of the strong position that Omega Watches now enjoy all around the world. So, for now, it is safe to say that we are not going to see very noticeable changes with the brand. However, we really can’t tell if he makes drastic changes on the products or the strategy of the Biel-based company.
Furthermore, the retirement of Stephen Urquhart will only be seen by fans as an opportunity for more growth for the company with the soon to be president Raynald Aeschlimann.
*Source: official press release of Omega Watches and official website of the Swatch Group.
JOVAN KRSTEVSKI – FOUNDER, PROPRIETOR & EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Jovan Krstevski has been collecting watches every since his father bought him an Omega Seamaster back when he was just a teenager. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. Read his articles here