The London 2012 Olympic Games has particular significance to Omega. It marks the 25th time they have assumed their role as Official Timekeeper.
PREFACE by Stephen Urquhart, President of OMEGA We are celebrating the 80th anniversary of our first Olympic Games; and we are returning to the city that, with the introduction of photoelectric cells, athletics starting blocks and the slit photofinish camera, saw the birth of modern sports timekeeping in 1948.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, the people of London have revitalized an entire section of their city and are offering a mix of purpose-built and iconic venues such as Wembley Stadium, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and Greenwich Park among others. No other city in the world could offer such an impressive combination of historic and contemporary locations for an Olympic Games. OMEGA looks forward to timing and measuring each event at every venue.
We value our partnership with the International Olympic Committee and are proud to be at the service of the talented athletes who make the Olympic Games the world’s highest-profile sporting event. This association with the IOC has resulted in the development of some of the most significant innovations in timekeeping and data handling technology. As with every Olympic Games, OMEGA is introducing new timekeeping innovations in London. While the technology offers greater flexibility in the distribution, display and storage of the results, it has the same aim as the chronograph stopwatches that were used to time each event at our first Olympic Games in 1932: to record for posterity the extraordinary performances of the world’s best athletes.
OMEGA COUNTDOWN CLOCKS IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE AND IN GREENWICH The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and OMEGA, Official Timekeeper for the London 2012 Games, unveiled on March 14th 2011 the Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square.
The design of the Clock reflects the look of the Games. The beams of light on the Clock are inspired by London and its connection with the Meridian line in Greenwich, the home of time. Trafalgar Square was chosen as the setting for the Clock as it is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks and iconic locations, visited by millions of Londoners and tourists each year. It was the centre of celebrations when London won the bid and will once again play a key part in the build-up to the London 2012 Games.
The Clock is made from steel from a Preston-based company. It is 6.5 metres high, 5m long and weighs around 4 tonnes. The Clock took 10 people two days to assemble in the square. The lighting designs on the Clock were created by a British company. LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: ‘The launch of the OMEGA Countdown Clock is an important milestone for any Olympic Games and is something of a tradition within the Olympic Movement. It will be a daily and hourly reminder to everyone who visits Trafalgar Square that the countdown to the start of London 2012 has well and truly begun and that the greatest show on earth is soon coming to our country.