The adventurers of Swiss timekeeping

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It’s an era of Caravelle, of airports not yet entrenched, of exotic destinations glued to square-tipped suitcases, of sepia-colored photos, of unlimited smoking areas and of reports typed on portable typewriters. It was an adventurous time when sports timing was worth a passport for a handful of Swiss in stadiums around the world. Half technicians, half explorers, they were then clearing the horizons of a new world: sports marketing in watchmaking.

The relationships between sport, marketing and the watchmaking industry are older (they originate with the first car rallies at the beginning of the 20th century) but, in the 1970s, they forge links that will never be broken. It is also a human adventure, a story of passions, encounters and ideas. “It was one of the most rewarding periods of my life,” recalls Marc Biver, who began his career at Omega and recounts these years in a book of memories published at the end of 2020. The Swiss pioneer in athlete management (Zurbriggen, Rominger, Cologna), visited “almost all the major sporting events of the late seventies”. The Olympics, of course, but also the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, the Chinese National Games in Beijing, the Cycling Tour of Libya or the African Games in Algiers. “We were received extremely well everywhere.”