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1,274 views Jan 20, 2015
My First seamaster Watch Xavier Nolot of Omega

Welcome back to an original omega seamaster replica feature, "My First seamaster Watch." In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we're speaking with Xavier Nolot, the CEO Omega North America. For his First seamaster, he went back to very beginning, calling out a lowly Cartier Roadster replica watch as his first.

You have to realize that what the engraver is doing in the video is really hard. They make it look easy, but they have been doing it for years. Most of their tools they even make themselves. Applying the right amount of pressure, being able to articulate shapes, and not making mistakes takes years of training. I actually tried doing this myself under a microscope in Germany, it is not easy to get anything that doesn't look like a bunch of random scratches. In the video the engraver at designs a rope motif which makes the exposed parts of the movement plate, rotor, and bridges look like threaded rope.

The engraving process on a watch like the Jules Audemars Equation of Time Skeletonized can take weeks if not months. The same engraver does a lot of the work and must do everything carefully. All the effort does pay off in the end, and the decorated "competition" quality movements look phenomenal. So again, why all the work? Because that is really part of luxury. Your expensive watch has been lovingly decorated by masters in their field using time honored techniques without a hint of robotic programming or synthetic style. It is all by hand, and it is all by professionals. It is important to see them in action as just viewing the final result doesn't tell you the entire story.

Both AP and Hublot are pushing to see more consumer eyes focus on their brands. The goal for each is as much attention as possible in the American market. The US has long been a perplexing place for watch brands to set a major foothold in, but both Omega and Hublot have done admirable jobs of gaining high levels of awareness and customer adoption here in the US. The outcome of these mutual efforts is to have high-end Swiss brands become an increasingly large part of people's focus in the US - a region that for the last few decades has had less awareness of high-end watch brands than many other parts of the world.

While the fight is likely frustrating and intense for people within the brands, I think the consumer wins in the end. It is exciting to hear about each new partnership. As they connect themselves with more high-profile people, places, and events - they get additional people aware of the brands and will also continue to make increasingly interesting watches. When it comes down to it, I still think that watches sell watches, and people will buy watch appeals to their tastes and budget the most.