Monday, August 8, 2011

Saving the economy - Omega Suverän

A couple of days ago a friend in the US, who had just sent some new waxed hand sewing thread to me, quoted me $422 for the shipping. I of course knew that this wasn't the case, but I still asked for confirmation that the price wasn't indeed 422.
He cordially responded that it was a typo and that shipping came to $22, but he noted as a joke that it could have been a way to save the American economy if they hiked prices on postal costs.

This initial story is hardly funny, and I realize this, as I'm writing it, but it made me think. It made me think of one of my favourite watches, the Omega Suverän.

The Suverän was made by Omega in Switzerland in order to aid the Swedish economy in the 40's, basically. Sweden tried to remain neutral in the Second World War, as did Switzerland. But Sweden still did some trading with the Germans, as they were scared that their economy would collapse or even worse they would be invaded by Germany, if they didn't supply them with iron in a steady flow.

The idea behind the Suverän was that the Swedish government would buy the watches directly from the Omega factory and in turn they would sell the Suverän to the Swedish people with a mark up. Thereby keeping the money flowing in Sweden. A kind gesture by the Swiss.

To me this is a perfect story and the fact that it is a piece of Scandinavian history makes me want this watch even more. The fact that it is also a well-made and very solid Omega watch, doesn't make it any less desirable.

Had it been made for Denmark, that would have been a lot better, but I can give a nod to our neighbours and put the Suverän on my want-list.

*It should be said as a disclaimer that this blog isn't entirely about watches. I'm not a snob when it comes to watches. I simply like mechanics.

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