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Watches, devoted to the Olympics

Perhaps there is not the more popular spectacle than the Olympics in the modern world. They have great importance for humanity, because people have always been characterized by the spirit of competition.
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC and lasted only one day. Their members were soldiers who wanted to compete with each other in strength and endurance. The very first Olympics was quite modest: there was no the grand opening, and in the program was only one discipline - run on a single stage. But viewers were so pleased by the spectacle that the Olympic Games, it was decided to make regular.

Olympic Games in Ancient Greece
Olympic Games in Ancient Greece

Ancient Olympic Games
Ancient Olympic Games

Subsequent events were much more interesting: they included the pentathlon, pugilism, and a little later - running chariot race in arms and other competitions. The duration of the Games was also changed - now they lasted more than a day, as many as five. It was then came the famous tradition of lighting the Olympic flame - as a tribute to the feat titan Prometheus, who, according to legend, stole fire from Zeus and gave it to people. The venue of the oldest sporting event was the city of Olympia, after which they got their name. The Olympic Games were a real treat for the ancient Greeks, which were attended by all, without exception, the former residents of Greece. Few people know that in ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were not only recreational activities, but also an instrument of peace in the whole territory - negotiations between the cities (even hostile) during the competition was a lot easier, besides any military action at this time were banned.

Olympic Games in Ancient Greece
Olympic Games in Ancient Greece

The participants of the very first Olympic Games were male. Women were not allowed to not only participate, but also to watch the competitions. Moreover: even if the fair sex, and could in some unknown way to get to the stadium, she was found. And then the woman was waiting for the unenviable fate - by law she had to be thrown into the abyss!
In 394 BC, the Olympic Games were banned by the decree of the Emperor Theodosius I. He was a staunch vindicator of Christianity and considered competition, held in honor of Zeus, a relic of paganism. The Greeks, of course, were very displeased, but they did not dare to argue with the power of authority.
"Revival" of Olympic Games took place only in 1894. And it was not at home of the Games - Greece but in the capital of France - Paris. If someone need to say thank you for all that now we can watch the Olympics, it's Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue and public figure. After all, this eminent man was the main initiator of the revival of the ancient Greeks loved competitions. Incidentally, the famous Coubertin thought the famous Olympic motto: "Faster, Higher, Stronger!"

Baron Pierre de Coubertin
Baron Pierre de Coubertin

The first modern Olympic Games were held in the capital of Greece - Athens - from 6 to 15 April 1896. People of that time, who were not used to such a spectacular and public events, the Olympic Games was a great success. Many remember the grand opening event, during which is traditionally lit the Olympic flame, and athletes (then in games were attended representatives of 11 countries) stalk along the "Ring" of stadium. Some sports had caused at viewers far less delight. Fencing, tennis, shooting caused at observers only laughter and bewilderment, but cycling (in the XIX century, the sport just appeared) and marathon was loved by spectators very much.

Athens, 1896 - I Summer Olympics
Athens, 1896 - I Summer Olympics

In 1896 the Olympic Games managed to break through the wall of indifference and distrust of many sports and political figures. In Russia, the Olympic committee appeared at the beginning of XX century - the date of its founding is 1911, although it existed not very long: in 1917 it was abolished. This organization was again formed only in 1951. Soviet athletes were serious contenders for Olympians from other countries. Due to their merits, the USSR played a leading role in the overall standings and never fell below second place. Of course, in the history of the Soviet Olympic history the highlight was the Summer Olympics, which were held in 1980 in Moscow. Their success did not stop even that authority of leading Western powers such as the U.S., Germany and Japan were actively boycotting the Olympics. The consequence of such a confrontation was that the athletes from those countries didn’t participate in the competition, thus depriving the USSR serious competitors in their face.

XXII Olympic Games in Moscow
XXII Olympic Games in Moscow

XXII Olympic Games were surprisingly interesting and exciting. Viewers remembered an enchanting opening ceremony, "the protagonists" which became famous athletes Saneev Igor and Sergey Belov - they had the honor to carry the torch with the Olympic flame. The Olympics-80 proved to be extremely generous with high achievement - so 14 days of sporting events athletes from five continents were able to install the 74 Olympic and 36 world records. For the USSR, Moscow Olympics has also become a significant event: our athletes have earned a record number of gold medals and become the leader in the overall standings. Of course, the audience remembered not only exciting sports event, but also a symbol of the XXII Summer Olympics - Handsome Bear, surrounded by a belt with colors of the Olympic rings (blue, black, yellow, green and red).

symbol of XXII Summer Olympic Games — cutie Bear
symbol of XXII Summer Olympic Games — cutie Bear

The closing ceremony was marked by "sent" Bear in the night Moscow sky in accompaniment of Alexandra Pahmutova’s song "Goodbye, Moscow!". Many of those present at this great event could not hold back tears: they were sorry to part with a sports holiday and loved bear. The XXII Summer Olympics left pleasant memories at the Soviet citizens. Issued in honor of the event souvenirs and other items help, albeit briefly, to return to the happy moments of the past. The Moscow Olympics inspired the Soviet "craftsmen" to create a variety of memorable things: postage stamps, calendars, signs, figurines in the shape of the famous bear and, of course, a wristwatch, which deserve special attention.

In memory of the Moscow Olympics 80’s

So Bear departed, and the Olympics ended, leaving only good memories about it. Citizens who want to keep in their souls a pleasant experience for a long time, even during the course of the Games Olympic actively bought different attributes: calendars, key rings, fragile figurines, bear ... If you "dig" in the old cupboard, so you can find much more interesting thing!

Olympic Watch "Poljot" and the Olympic Bear
Olympic Watch "Poljot" and the Olympic Bear

Things with Olympic symbols were very popular even though they cost a pretty penny. Special envy those who still did not get even a souvenir dedicated to the Games, called watch Olympics 80. Holders of such a gimmick proudly wore them incredibly annoyed those who did not have these.

Olympic Watch Chayka "Stadium"
Olympic Watch Chayka "Stadium"

Olympic Watch "Vostok"
Olympic Watch "Vostok"

Olympic Watch "Slava"
Olympic Watch "Slava"

Olympic watches were produced many Soviet factories. The most popular brands were the "Vostok", “Poljot", "Slava" and "Chayka." To have a watch made by one of them - even the most ordinary, and even more the anniversary - it was very prestigious. Incidentally, all these factories are working to this day. For a long time they make great watches of the highest quality. Watches Olympics 80 is no exception: many models produced over thirty years ago in honor of such a momentous event as the Olympic Games, and today they are functioning well. And even today, wrist watches, dedicated to the 30-year-old sporting events do not lose their relevance. Collectors are willing to pay any money to get into their possession a watch Olympics 80 of "Chayka" or "Vostok". Among them are many models with a rather modest design, but there are real rarities with symbols of the XXII Summer Olympic Games - Bear and the Olympic rings.

Olympic Watch ZiM
Olympic Watch ZiM

Olympic Watch "Poljot"
Olympic Watch "Poljot"

Olympic Watch ZiM
Olympic Watch ZiM

Quite rarely were produced "jubilee" watches of the brand ZiM, so it was not easy to buy. Among the Olympic models you can creations meet with dials in different colors. Thus, the watch, on which flaunts the same Bear, exist in several variations: green, red and black. Model with a green dial is the rarest, because it was released in small quantities. So if at home you find a green ZiM watch Olympics 80, you can safely consider yourself the owner of a rarity.

Omega and other timekeepers

Foreign watch manufacturers also produced models devoted to the Olympics. Thus, the world-famous brand Omega has repeatedly managed to "participate" in sports. What is relations between watch the giant and the Olympic Games? For many years the brand Omega has been not only a sponsor, but the official timekeeper of the world's most popular sporting events. This title of honor cannot be deserved by every watch brand, but the company Omega got to make it, and not once! Held not long ago in London Olympics had become a special event for the Swiss company: it was the 25th times that Omega had acted as the official timekeeper of the Games. It all began back in 1932. It was then that Omega debuted at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, providing thirty upscale chronographs, certified in the Observatory of the Swiss city Neuchatel. The International Olympic Committee praised the Omega watches and offered collaborate once again - this time at the Olympic Games in Berlin (they held a little later - in 1936). Thus began the history of the brand Omega as the most popular Olympic timekeeper.

One of the first "Olympic" posters of Omega, created for the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles
One of the first "Olympic" posters of Omega, created for the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles

Last summer 2012 Olympic Games, as mentioned above, had a special significance for the company Omega. This year, the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches noted a peculiar anniversary: 80 years have passed since when at the first time Omega was honored to serve as an honorary official Olympic timekeeper. In honor of this momentous event the company introduced to the public a unique collection Seamaster Aqua Terra, which includes waterproof watches - both male and female. On the back side of the case of some models there is an engraved image of the main logo of the London Olympics - irregular polygons that represent year of the Games - "2", "0", "1", "2".

men's watch Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronograph London 2012
men's watch Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronograph London 2012

ladies watch Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial London 2012
ladies watch Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial London 2012

Few people know that the first models of Seamaster were presented in London in 1948, when the British capital also hosted the Olympic Games. But do not think that released in 2012 a line of wrist watches is a complete copy of its older counterpart. New collection - it is rather an interpretation of "well-forgotten old" and an attempt to pay tribute to the very first Olympic Omega watch. The new model Seamaster 1948 "Co-Axial London 2012" is very similar to the Omega Seamaster watches presented more than sixty years ago. However, only in appearance – and what to the internal structure of novelties, it is certainly very different from the "stuffing" first Olympic watches. Innovative chronograph Seamaster 1948 is equipped with an exclusive self-winding caliber Omega 2202.

Omega Seamaster 1948 “Co-Axial London 2012” watch
Omega Seamaster 1948 “Co-Axial London 2012” watch

caseback of Omega Seamaster 1948 “Co-Axial London 2012” watch
caseback of Omega Seamaster 1948 “Co-Axial London 2012” watch

By the way, the Swiss company has time to "light up" at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, we all look forward to. Once again, the Omega will partner of grand sporting event, and certainly will please us with collection of watches dedicated to the event. Specialists have already made famous Omega chronometer, which is in a countdown to the Olympics. Watch, which are traditionally set in the capital of the Games in exactly 1000 (sometimes 500) days before opening, has truly impressive dimensions: its height is 4.15 meters and the length - 4.408 meters. A whopper weighs as much 3.5 thousand kilograms.

Olympic Omega watch in Sochi
Olympic Omega watch in Sochi

Let's hope that the Olympic watch in Sochi will not suffer the sad fate of other innovative timepieces Omega counting down to the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, the damage and stop the most famous watch in the world - is not uncommon. So, set on the eve of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, the huge Omega chronograph stopped to time counting down because of problems with the power supply exactly 38 days before the start of the Games. London watch was suffered even more tragic fate - it stopped immediately the next day after the grand launch! Chronometer, of course, was repaired, but the British (and, probably, not only they) left a bad feeling after the unpleasant episode with break new London attractions.

Olympic Omega watch in London
Olympic Omega watch in London

Besides the well-known company Omega, in the Olympics had to participate other famous manufacturers of high quality watches. And all of them are brands from around the world: Swatch, Maurice Lacroix, Tag Heuer, Seiko ... To get Olympic class watch from one of these brands, probably dream of every amateur of sporting events.

Seiko – a veteran of the Olympic Movement

Nobody ever tells the Olympians: "We are not sure of the accuracy of the measurements. Can you go the distance again? "Organizers and those who in some way involved in the Olympics, should be completely sure that used for calculating time devices meets the highest standards. That is why the official timekeepers are appointed only those watch producers whose exceptional reputation will cause no one doubt. For more than a century history of the modern Olympic movement that honor was awarded by only three brands: Omega, Longines and Seiko. These companies have proved themselves as manufacturers of luxury watches of high quality.

In 1964, the Japanese brand Seiko decided to come to the Olympic Games in Tokyo
In 1964, the Japanese brand Seiko decided to come to the Olympic Games in Tokyo

It's hard to believe, but when in 1964 the Japanese brand Seiko decided to speak at the Olympic Games in Tokyo as the official "timekeeper” leading specialists of the company did not have the slightest idea of how it should look the Olympics watch devices and which stopwatches are used at the Olympic Games. Despite this, the envoys of Seiko quickly went up to work. They found that the primitive timepieces of that time have an error that occurs at the start of the countdown.
It was constructed indispensable device that provides a smooth pressing "start". Seiko specialists created stopwatches for all kinds of events, thus greatly facilitating the lives of many athletes. The Japanese company Seiko has made a lot in the development of back-up systems of reference, the main function of which is to measure time intervals. Even with the failure of one of the main instruments watch doesn’t stop to function, and show it perfectly without errors.

Seiko quartz chronometer
Seiko quartz chronometer

On account of the leading experts of Seiko there are many other innovative developments for the Olympic Games, for which it is time to give them a gold medal. And, of course, the modern sporting events would not be so memorable and colorful, if not for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of talented watchmaker Seiko, who made an invaluable contribution to the history of the modern Olympic Games.

Longines – a pioneer in the world of sports

The famous Swiss watch manufacturer Longines has also significantly contributed to the development of the Olympic movement. XIX century was the beginning of the epoch of formation of professional sports - competed with each other would not only win, but also to know how they managed to beat their rivals. Now it's hard to believe, but in the XIX century sport was considered a pastime for idlers, because, in the opinion of most people at the time, did not bring absolutely no benefit to society. Indulge in idle amusements of bunch quitters did not want any respectable watch brand. And only the leadership of Longines managed to see in the "stupid" way of leisure phenomenon of the coming century.

Longines – an innovator in the world of sports
Longines – an innovator in the world of sports

First Olympic watch (if it can be called so), a Swiss company launched in 1878. It was a sports chronograph. Now that invention would certainly be called primitive: well, how the most ordinary stopwatch may surprise modern man? But in the sports world of XIX century this instrument made a splash - it could pinpoint the time of two athletes! This is a small device to measure time intervals, which had only two seconds hand and a single button, became for Longines a real guide to the world of sports.

Caliber 20H (1878) - this mechanism of chronograph is the first of a long series of equipments for sports timekeeping
Caliber 20H (1878) - this mechanism of chronograph is the first of a long series of equipments for sports timekeeping

Next Olympic invention of Longines was quite a good chronograph 19 CH with integrated 30-minute counter. It could measure time with intervals up to 1/5 seconds and was very easy to use. The chronograph debuted at grand event - the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. The first Olympic records were recorded by it! Longines’ subsequent participation in sports didn’t surprise anyone. Experts of the company is constantly improving its products, trying to approximate it to the ideal. And in the end they succeeded!

Professional chronograph 19CN during the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896
Professional chronograph 19CN during the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896

In the mid 60's of the last century, they started to create a highly accurate quartz chronograph. After passing many tests in the laboratories of Neuchâtel, Olympic watch of the new generation was ready to go to the biggest playground in Munich - a huge Olympic stadium. Chronograph, daily error of which is 0.00 seconds (an unprecedented result for the time), was the main part of the photo finish Chronocinegines, in creation of which was also attended watchmakers of Longines. By the way, it is used in the Olympics to this day (of course, in its modern incarnation and slightly improved).
For over 120 years the company Longines is an honorary member of many Olympic Games. In 2000, the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watch introduced us its new creation: a series of collectible sets Honour and Glory. Their release Longines timed to the passage of Summer Olympics in 2000 in Sydney. The set included a stopwatch, chronograph and automatic wrist watch in white gold. Stopwatch, which is similar to one of the first sports chronograph, developed in 1908, is equipped with a 24-line mechanism with 21 rubies. He has two second hands, dial and an additional 30-minute counter. Stopwatch is equipped in the steel case with diameter 66.5 mm.

stopwatch-chronograph and automatic wrist watch Honour and Glory
stopwatch-chronograph and automatic wrist watch Honour and Glory

Olympic class watch, which is included with the anniversary chronograph, is made of precious white gold. "Heart" of watch is a unique mechanism L652, which provides high precision. When you look at it an eye catches one interesting detail: the logo, which is put on the face of the watch, first graced the only professional stopwatch. I must say that it looks very stylish and unusual. In place of the current leader of Longines, I would seriously think about how to move the "Olympic" and the logo on the other models. The more that no other watch manufacturer can boast such solid merits in the big world of sport and the Olympic Games.

Faster! Higher! Stronger!

Of course, not only the "mastodons" of watch business as Omega, Longines and Seiko, have contributed to the history of the Olympic movement. There are many companies that in some way have affected the sport theme at work on their creations. Many of them, as befits the Olympians, are competing in originality and resourcefulness. Perhaps that is why almost all the collections dedicated to the games, are very different from "ordinary" watch lines and memorized by their unusual design, even those who are very far from the world of sports. The well-known watch brand Maurice Lacroix has repeatedly devoted its collection to Olympics. The most memorable, in my opinion, the sports line by this Swiss company is Pontos Olympians. There are watches with straps in different colors, and they were not chosen randomly - each of them associated with any Greek god: Zeus – with white, Apollo - with yellow, Eros - the red, Hades - with black, etc. It is interesting that all of them are the official colors of the Olympic Games.

Maurice Lacroix Pontos Olympians watches
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Olympians watches

Dial of Maurice Lacroix watch has an interesting design - on it are placed overhead luminous hands and indexes. Case of models Pontos Olympians is black and made of stainless steel with PVD coating. The opinions of critics and fans of Maurice Lacroix watches relatively Olympic collection are largely differ, however, in one they came to an agreement: in watch is perfectly sustained sporty style, yet clearly firm handwriting of Maurice Lacroix is visible.
The famous watch company Swatch is not behind of its colleagues and it regularly surprises us with wristwatch of unusual and even extravagant design. Perhaps there are no indifferent to the models of Swatch.

Swatch Olympic Games watches
Swatch Olympic Games watches

The Summer Olympic Games 2012, held in London, inspired artists of Swatch to create a new wrist watches with striking and memorable look. They have been included in the collection Olympic Games, which is regularly updated with watch models, confined to a particular Olympics. By the way, the line Olympic Games first appeared in 1984, and in it, you will not find even a couple of look-alike models! Released in 2012, novelties are made in two colors - blue and pink and blue and brown. Watch dials are decorated with Olympic symbols - London Olympics logo.

The Olympic Games have prominently role in the lives of each of us. The entire population of the earth with a sinking heart watches the course of the largest events that are not only a great holiday for those who are in sports but for the ordinary people who are cheering for their countrymen. Someone is watching the Olympics at the TV screens, and some drops an amazing opportunity to see them live - from the stands. They both agree on one thing: with such an amazing and exciting spectacle, like the Olympics, there is little that can compare.

prize-winning Olympic medals
prize-winning Olympic medals

For many of us international sporting events - is not only an opportunity to observe the progress of compatriots, but an excellent way to spend more time relaxing with family or friends with whom you can discuss the latest news in the Olympic Games and the success of the national team.
For fans of the Olympic Games, there is probably a better gift than some memorable items with symbols of the Games. Figurines, key chains, calendars and other souvenirs - all instantly sold out at the very beginning of the Olympics. Cherished dream of every self-respecting sports fan is to have a watch dedicated to the Olympic Games. It has always been pretty easy to get this anniversary accessory. Even now, when many manufacturers - famous and not - offer a huge selection of Olympic watches, but to "grab" such a little thing is not so easy. As soon as collectors or just fans of sports know about release another model or a collection dedicated to this grand event as the Olympic Games, they immediately try to get favorite watch by all imaginable and unimaginable ways.

Olympic Games
Olympic Games

By the way, they all have one interesting feature: when you look at them it's clear that the Olympic watch was made with love. Manufacturers always approach to their production with great responsibility and take all the time and resources to work on the Olympic watch. For those who are "indifferent" to them, every Olympics is a real high day- and not only sports, but also the "watch". Each manufacturer tends to surprise fans of the Olympic Games with its next creation – a watch model or a whole collection. And I should say, many of them are pretty well.
Legendary watchmakers - Omega, Longines, Seiko - have played in the history of the Olympic Games a huge role. They have managed to create high-precision chronographs that measure time intervals, up to a thousandth of a second. These inventions made life easier for many athletes, and contributed to the development of some Olympic disciplines.
It can be safely said that sport and watch industry are inextricably linked. And probably always will be!

Written by Katya

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