Lancaster Store Manager Becomes an Omega Grand Ambassador

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After undertaking an extensive training course in Switzerland, our Banks Lyon store manager, Myles Harrison, has recently become an Omega Grand Ambassador. He was one of a chosen few to become a Grand Ambassador by Omega, whose prestigious training courses are well-known by all in the luxury horology world.

The selection process to become an Omega Grand Ambassador is incredibly exclusive, as only a handful of applicants end up being chosen to go to Switzerland to undergo training. In order to qualify, candidates have to meet an extremely rigorous checklist of requirements. Myles was one of two UK representatives in a group of only fourteen people selected for the course, which only runs twice a year.

Becoming an Omega Grand Ambassador is, therefore, a huge honour that only a handful of Omega connoisseurs have the privilege of receiving.

The Omega Appeal

Omega has long been associated with excellence, technological innovation and precision in watchmaking. It doesn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that the Swiss brand is one of Myles’ favourites.

What he likes most about Omega is the history and innovative technology they use, such as silicon hairsprings, and how they possess one of the best movements in the market. Their attention to detail and extraordinary design are also impeccable.

And, of course, the precision that characterises each single Omega timepiece is world-class. On their new Master Chronometer movements they have two certifications as oppose to one; COSC and METAS. In addition, these new movements are anti-magnetic and resistant up to 15,000 Gauss.

All of this makes Omega’s watches “a timepiece for life”.

Myles is particularly partial to the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300, which is due for release later this year. It’s based on the original Diver 300 model and comes equipped with a new movement, case, dial and strap. He also admires the quality of the Speedmaster ’57 as well as the Planet Ocean range. In Myles’ words: “these timepieces are iconic, with beautiful design and fantastic movements.”

Myles’ Experience in Switzerland

It’s difficult to imagine a more perfect place to become an Omega Grand Ambassador than Biel/Bienne, as this city lies at the foot of the Jura mountains and has been an important watchmaking centre since the 19th century.

The course lasted from Monday to Friday, with Monday as the travel day. Tuesday kicked off with an interesting visit to Omega Headquarters, where Myles had the opportunity to look around. In the afternoon, he visited the Omega Museum, the place where the brand keeps all of their watches – and their history.

From the first pocket watch, produced in the 1890s, all the way up to the present day, this museum is, in Omega’s own words, the “guardian of our brand’s history.” There are approximately 4000 watches here, along with movements, clocks, tools, photos, engravings, awards, certificates and more.

Omega’s rich heritage is present in the many displays that are regularly updated, containing some of the most popular timepieces crafted by the Swiss watchmaker. They include watches that Daniel Craig wore as James Bond, the Omega piece that Tom Cruise wore in War of the Worlds, JFK’s watch and the Omega Speedmaster watches that went into space as part of the lunar missions.

On Wednesday, it was time for a visit to the factories where Omega make the parts for their watches. Myles also went to the movement factory where the brand creates their in-house calibre; he had a fantastic behind-the-scenes experience here that not many can say they’ve had. In this factory, Myles and his group had the chance to insert small ruby jewels into watch parts, which were “absolutely minuscule and required the use of a microscope in order to see all of the little stones.” In the end, those parts were gifted to him, a keepsake he’ll treasure forever.

On Thursday, the group went on a watchmaking course with a master watchmaker in their headquarters. In front of them were watch parts, including a movement, case, dial, hands and a strap. In the morning, they had to strip down the movement by taking each component out until it was reduced to its base plate; in the afternoon, they rebuilt the whole movement individually, which Myles considered an “incredible experience.”

After adding the dial and the hands onto the movement, as well as placing everything inside the case, the crown was attached and case back screwed on, right before adding the strap to the case. This time-consuming process entailed handling delicate parts, such as tiny wheels and screws, an endeavour that took almost the entire day.

From around 8:15 am to 4 pm, Myles was enjoying a demanding but rewarding course, and the result was learning, through hands-on experience, how to perfectly dissemble and assemble an Omega timepiece.

For Myles, Friday was the most relaxing day, as he had the chance to go to Lucerne and Burgenstock, a place that is “absolutely amazing.” With its crystal-clear waters and beautiful monuments, as well as delicious food and drink, it couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to such an intensely educational and fulfilling week.

What it Means to Be an Omega Grand Ambassador

Becoming an Omega Grand Ambassador requires having an in-depth knowledge of everything that makes up the brand. This includes understanding technologies such as the Co-Axial escapement, which the Swiss luxury brand has pioneered.

The training course in Switzerland is a comprehensive week that aims to deepen an existing knowledge of the brand and its timepieces. It also allows candidates to truly understand what it takes to craft a horological masterpiece. As Myles put it: “you learn so much from the course that you realise you weren’t aware of all the work and processes that go into making a watch, as well as all the people involved.”

Myles became an Omega Master a while ago and did the Ambassador training course in 2012; by adding the title of Grand Ambassador to his repertoire, he has now truly become the Omega authority at Banks Lyon – in fact, Myles is the brand’s only Grand Ambassador between Liverpool and Glasgow.

As we strive to always offer the best possible experience for our customers, this new title and the knowledge and experience he acquired in Switzerland are incredibly important to Banks Lyon, as well.

Myles couldn’t have said it better: “I knew quite a lot about Omega before I went and was confidently talking about the brand; but now, with all the new information they’ve given me and the in-depth knowledge and training I received, it’s made it so much easier to answer those questions you get asked. I can explain to customers exactly how the watches are built and the work and craftsmanship that goes into each piece; knowing this, it’s easy to justify their price tag.”

When you buy Omega watches from Banks Lyon, you can be confident that we know everything there is to know about every single timepiece, and our own resident expert will help you choose the perfect Omega for you.