Union square

Omega store lands in Union Square in San Francisco – WWD

Stunning Watches: Omega, maker of fine watches, has joined the luxury row in San Francisco’s Union Square neighborhood with a brand new boutique – its first in the heart of the Financial District.

Previously, the company maintained a presence in the Bay Area through third-party retailers and a dedicated storefront at San Francisco International Airport. But the pedestrian traffic and premium proposition of Geary Street – nestled in the middle of Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Neiman Marcus and many more – wowed Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega.

“What we want is a presence, which is very important, in some of the key locations in the cities,” like Fifth Avenue in New York and the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, the brand’s first two locations in the States. “United,” Aeschlimann told WWD. “I think San Francisco is – sorry for being a little European – one of the places you feel great walking around Union Square and Geary Street. And that’s why we wanted to have a nice location there, close to other brands, especially multinational brands.

The Geary Street location, the company’s 25th luxury boutique in the United States, is set in a large, airy 1,000 square foot space. It is cast in luminosity and minimalism to showcase Swiss luxury watches.

There is no counter, so there is nothing that comes between customers and products, allowing them to browse collections, such as Constellation, Seamaster and Speedmaster, and discover the custodians- mechanical times worthy of divers, cosmonauts and Olympians. (As a partner of the International Olympic Committee, Omega was responsible for timing, scoring and other systems during the games.)

According to Aeschlimann, the company broke new ground in physical retail about three years ago, with a new approach to architecture, guidelines and displays rolled out globally, starting stores in Asia, in Zurich, Geneva, Paris and London. “Each capital had the new concept of architecture, which is based on our DNA and based on a lot of light, gold and red, which is the color of Omega,” he said. The red carpet stretches out to welcome shoppers, who can explore the space, analyze new straps or have their devices serviced while lounging on the sofas. The premium experience is important, especially when it comes to consumers of watches from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000.

The store features Omega’s iconic red carpet.
Courtesy photo

Omega Boutique lands in San Francisco

The boutique was designed to be light and airy, with large windows and unique light fixtures.
Courtesy photo

The Omega store comes at a unique time, as San Francisco has seen a number of store closings due to rampant thefts in recent months. It also opens during a continuing pandemic.

But for Aeschlimann, such challenges make traits like quality and resilience even more important.

“It’s really something that I’ve pushed a lot, about continuing to develop and even keep launching new products. One is called the Silver Snoopy Award which is probably the most watched – there are over 20,000 back orders on this watch, you know – that we launched during this pandemic, ”he said, referring to the 50th anniversary timepiece honoring the “Silver Snoopy Award” awarded to Omega by NASA astronauts in 1970. This distinction rewards the brand’s contribution to space exploration.

“We wanted to keep in touch [and relationships] with customers, ”he added. “Some people would wait, which is for sure. But it is the opposite; we have to keep the momentum going. We have that in our DNA, and that’s why we have opened stores. We opened Europe’s biggest and biggest store at Zurich Airport eight months ago.

While the company values ​​technological innovation, it is decidedly mechanical in nature, unlike recent smartwatch trends among high-end watch companies. Aeschlimann sees wearables as small computers on the wrist, not watches. They’re intriguing, he said, but of a different ilk from the kind of fine watches that are Omega’s specialty. It could end up being a refreshing change for the public here in the backyard of Silicon Valley.

The company marks the inauguration with a celebration that includes an afternoon of panel discussions, with brand ambassadors participating in three segments: “Fashion & Omega,” with Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber; “Sports & Omega”, with Tokyo Olympic medalists Mondo Duplantis, Noah Lyles and Dalilah Muhammad, and “Space & Exploration”, with NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Kathy Sullivan. A cocktail will follow Thursday evening.