By TLex Below legendary Olympic Swimmer and OMEGA brand ambassador, Michael Phelps doing a spot of watchmaking with some local kids at OMEGA's Shanghai Boutique. Here he can be seen sporting the new Planet Ocean with the OMEGA exclusive Co-Axial calibre 9300/9301 in-house movement . . .
From OMEGA Legendary Olympian and OMEGA brand ambassador Michael Phelps is in Shanghai for the FINA World Championships but before he starts his final preparations for the competition, he took some time to see his friends at OMEGA. The brand serves once again as Official Timekeeper for the Championships. Michael had the opportunity to visit the OMEGA Boutique at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel. Being one of the greatest swimmers in history, Michael got the chance to talk to some young Chinese swimming fans, who were all enthusiastic about meeting him.
As to what time means to him, Michael said, “Time is of paramount importance to me. In swimming, a hundredth of a second can determine the result. That’s why precise timing is critical to competitive swimming. OMEGA is visible everywhere I compete. It’s just like having a family around when I’m travelling.” He added, “OMEGA has offered unwavering support for a long time. I really think that being part of a company like this is extremely special. It’s been amazing to have been an ambassador for so many years. I’m looking forward to sharing time with them this summer at the World Championships in Shanghai, and of course I'm looking ahead to the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
At the boutique, Michael also assumed a different role. In addition to autographing watch boxes containing the newly upgraded Seamaster Planet Ocean collection, the 14-time Olympic gold medalist, donned a white lab coat and a watchmaker's loupe. He was then joined by the children who were also outfitted in OMEGA lab coats and worked with them as they used precision horological hand tools to disassemble a watch movement. The next challenge was to put the OMEGA movement back together and Michael and the children applauded each other enthusiastically when they successfully completed this daunting task.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel where the OMEGA Boutique is located is directly on Shanghai's iconic Bund, is a historic landmark in Shanghai. It has been painstakingly renovated and now offers the same magnificent splendor that has defined it since it first opened its doors as the Palace Hotel in 1908. The FINA World Championships are taking place from July 16th to 31st at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center. OMEGA wishes Michael Phelps every success in his upcoming competitions.