Swiss watchmaking industry’s giant name Omega, unveiled their brand new factory in Bienne – Switzerland with an exclusive event where many special guests came together. The ultra modern and eco-friendly factory which brought cutting edge technologies with aesthetics bears the famous Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s signature.
One of the most important names in the Swiss watchmaking industry is undoubtedly Omega. The brand, which is one of the first names that comes to mind with its many innovations and successful designs like the first watch worn on the moon and the revolutionary Co-Axial escapement as well as the world famous brand ambassadors, seems to be talked about with its new factory.
Designed by Shigeru Ban, who is one of the most innovative personalities of the 21st century in architecture and design, the factory offers an impressive image from the outside. But as you can imagine, it’s the inside of it which affects you most.
During the opening ceremony, which started with the speech of the brand’s CEO Mr. Raynald AESCHLIMANN, Swatch Group’s CEO Mr. Nick HAYEK and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education & Research Mr. Johann Schneider-AMMANN also briefed the guests about the new factory.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the factory’s architect Shigeru Ban also joined those three important personalities. After the ceremony, we took our first steps into the building.
The new building, consisting of five floors, features wooden details at first sight. Productivity is kept on the front line while Omega's new factory is being designed. Assembly, bracelet production, quality control, and even shipment processes are all scheduled from this factory. The building, which has a separate division for staff training, is ready to welcome its exclusive visitors. Stock and logistics activities will also be carried out through this factory.
As I mentioned at the beginning, besides design, technology is at the highest level. The perfect harmony of human experience with robotic help emerges as one of the core values of the factory. The storage system itself was enough to fascinate all the guests including me. The storage part is located at the center of the building with a total height of 15 meters. Robotic devices, which can move up with a speed of 4 meters per second, transfers the required parts from 30000 pieces of boxes to the assembly desks. It is truly incredible that this system can perform more than 1,400 operations per hour. In the central stock system, where only two specialist operators were allowed to control, the oxygen content in the section was reduced to 15.2% to prevent a possible fire initiation.
Omega’s exclusive METAS certification process is also performed with the robotic systems at the new factory. Located in a special section at the 3rd floor, all 8 tests required in the METAS certification process is performed here including the anti-magnetic test with giant 15.000 Gauss magnets.
Of course, the necessity of human touch within such technology is not forgotten. All test results are checked one by one by Omega's experienced staff to ensure that the timepieces manufactured are all perfect and ready to be delivered. Omega successfully adapts the definition of "Swiss Made" to all the processes of its brand activities, and it has thought about every detail so that its most powerful assets –its employees can work efficiently. From the air conditioning units to the advanced dust collection systems, every detail in the new plant is designed to ensure the processes are working perfectly.
I have had the opportunity to see the production facilities of many different watch brands as of now, but I have to say that none of them impressed me as much as Omega's new factory did. I congratulate Omega for integrating advanced technology to watchmaking in an environment friendly manner and without forgetting the importance of the human touch.
We would like to thank Omega’s PR & Marketing Executive Ms. Anıl Köprülü and Swatch Group Turkey family for this great occasion.