Friday, October 9, 2015

Sight to Last a Lifetime: Omega Watches and Orbis International's Teddy Bear Campaign

Yesterday, October 8th was World Sight Day.  In a playful, new ad campaign with serious intentions, Omega has partnered with Orbis International featuring six of Omega's brand ambassadors: Cindy Crawford, Nicole Kidman, Zhang Ziyi, Sergio Garcia, Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos.  Each is holding a cuddly teddy bear.  

Maybe you've already seen Nicole Kidman hiding her smile while peaking over the head of the bear in national media such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. And you asked what's the meaning of the celebrity/teddy pairing?

Actually the bear is the real celebrity in the ad. 
Orbis International is a top-rated charity receiving 4 of 4 stars by Charity Navigator.  It's "an international non-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Orbis programs focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of blinding eye diseases in developing countries."

In its own words, Omega explains that "going to the hospital can be scary so we supply Orbis International with cuddly teddy bears for each of its young patients. They comfort the children and their families and help the surgeons explain the treatment to the patients. Following the treatment, the teddy bear will have a matching eye patch."

Since its founding in 1982, Orbis has visited 92 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.  In 2013, it provided training to 22,000 medical professionals and performed 5.7 million medical and optical treatments. 

One of its most visible ways of doing this is the Flying Eye Hospital (FEH), a McDonnell-Douglas DC 10-10 equipped with an on board ophthalmic training center with a 48-seat classroom connected via overhead cameras and an interactive audio system to a full surgical suite, laser  and recovery rooms and more.

You can fully experience the incredible impact of the Orbis FEH in The Hospital in the Sky, a 48 minute Omega/Orbis produced documentary film. This follows Cindy Crawford and her thirteen year old daughter on a training/surgical flight mission to Northern Peru. It's beautifully filmed, poignantly narrated and truly unforgettable. 

Omega/Orbis produced a similar, shorter documentary in 2012 featuring brand ambassador, Daniel Craig titled, Through Their Eyes. It documents Craig's visit to the Flying Eye Hospital when it was in Mongolia.

Watching either of these two films will change your perspective on the gift of sight we so often overlook.  

A portion of the profits from the sale of four Omega's models, the Constellation Quartz 24 mm, the Constellation Co-Axial 27 mm, the De Ville Hour Vision Co-Axial 41 mm, and the De Ville Co-Axial Annual Calendar 41 mm is going to support Orbis and its Flying Eye Hospital.

Omega Constellation Quartz 24 mm

Omega De Ville Co-Axial Annual Calendar 41 mm 
Omega has been a supporter of Orbis since 2012.  It plans to continue its relationship indefinitely. Given Omega's longstanding reputation, that means for as far as the eye can see and then some.

In tribute to Omega's Orbis commitment, my own teddy bear wearing my husband's Omega Seamaster (for this post renamed the Seemaster) gives an ocular high five to the company, the charity and the campaign.

Urkundle Limitiere Edition, Papa Zausel © Maryhelen Raciti-Jones

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Be Bond Sure It's Shaken, not Stirred: Omega's New Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition

Of course you recognize the catchphrase, "Shaken, not Stirred" as belonging to 007's preferred method of preparing the perfect, classic martini. It's also a great phrase for the wrist action that Daniel Craig will be giving us this month in the new JB film Spectre premiering on October 26th.

For all of his on screen time, Craig/Bond will be wearing the Omega Seamaster Spectre 300 Limited Edition.

David Bredan in his A Blog to Watch posting, August 14, 2015 gives a great run down of the defining elements to watch for when Bond's 300 Spectre Limited Edition comes into view:

  • First it's mounted on a five striped, black-and-gray NATO strap. (Definitely an affordable trend take away for aspiring 007's.)

  • The hour hand is straight-arrow broad and assertive while its companion minute hand is "amply-lumed."

  • Its "lollipop" seconds hand is defiantly playful and contrasts nicely with its parental hours and minutes ending not in an arrow but in a circle. (James always has seconds to spare.)

  • Since Bond and his 2015 fan base are world travelers, the watch's black polished ceramic bezel rotates bi-directionally, and its LiquidMetal indices run from 0 to 11 – 'so that time can be kept with any country in the world.' 

  • As for exclusivity based on astute Omega product placement, each Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition watch "will have its own unique serial number, again, out of 7,007, engraved on the back along with the James Bond Spectre film logo, celebrating the latest on-screen adventure."

If your curious, Spectre is the acronym  for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. It's a fictional global criminal syndicate and terrorist organization seeking world domination. It first appeared in Fleming's novel, Thunderball (1961) and in Dr. No (1962), the first Bond movie. Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner in that film.

Omega introduced the Seamaster, a divers watch  as one of its major models in 1948.  Five years later, in 1953, Ian Fleming gave the world James Bond in the novel, Casino Royale.  But it wasn't until Goldeneye (1995), that Bond (Pierce Brosnan, then Daniel Craig) began wearing it exclusively in the eight following films: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997); The World is Not Enough (1999); Die Another Day (2002); Casino  Royal (2006); Quantum of Solace (2008); Skyfall (2012); and now Spectre.

Quite a 20-year film run for an Omega wrist tie-in. Toast its product placement success with a dirty martini, Bond's martini of choice in Spectre and of course, be sure it's shaken, not stirred.

Related Wristwatchredux Omega Posts: 

Taking Time Into Space:  NASA and OMEGA's Speedmaster Anniversaries, June 1, 2015.

OMEGA:  Longstanding Olympian, February 15, 2014.