The hashtag that Omega Built
The story could well be titled “Swiss watch brand in social-media savvy shocker”. Because Omega has gone and launched a watch based on an Instagram hashtag.
Since 2012, thanks to Fratello Watches founder Robert-Jan Broer, fans of Omega’s Speedmaster chronograph (NASA’s preferred wristwatch, no less) have been sharing pictures of their beloved watches under the #SpeedyTuesday banner.
At noon on Tuesday January 10 2017, Omega decided to give its followers something really worth clicking the “heart” button for – a limited-edition “Moonwatch” Speedmaster Professional with reverse panda dial and luminescent radial subdials with “#SpeedyTuesday” on its black-and-white military-style fabric strap as a nod to the fans.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the 2,012 numbered watches, which also count as the first Omegas to ever be retailed on the brand’s own website, are now sold out. However, there is still an option to put your name down if a number comes up again.
It’s an amazing move on Omega’s part because it shows that finally the Swiss watch industry is wising up to the power of social media, not just in terms of pushing sales but in terms of building a community – lest we forget, bloggers extraordinaire Hodinkee and ABlogToWatch owe everything to this online buzz. However, it has only been recently that brands have started to build their own online personalities.
So, if you’re interested in expanding your tech-horo horizons, then some other watch brands well worth a follow (and a chat with) are Audemars Piguet, Zenith and those kings of gnomic German whimsy, Nomos Glashütte.
Anyone for #MinimatikMonday?
The Tudor Pelagos waterbaby with a smart new “LHD” numbered series
Back in the early Seventies, the story goes that the French Navy’s elite frogmen made a special request to their watch supplier, Tudor: they wanted “left-handed” versions of their Submariner diving watches, which could be worn on the right wrist with the crown on the left for easy adjustment. Before, left-handed divers had had to make do by wearing their watches upside down.
Bringing this little-known quirk of its history to light, Tudor took everyone by surprise just before Christmas with a new edition of its modern-day Pelagos diving range, named LHD for Left Hand Drive. Crown duly on the left (enabled by simply turning the in-house automatic movement by 180º, turning the hands 180º the other way), it also comes with a tastefully retro “patina” colouration to the numerals in a nod to the historical inspiration.
The watches are all numbered too, which makes the identical pricing to the existing Pelagos (£3,020) mightily tempting. That you get a titanium beauty good to 500 metres down sweetens the deal further.
(Right-handers may apply, before you ask.)