Omega Erich Schärer and his Omega Seamaster
The bobsleigh legend’s association with Omega and the Seamaster dates back nearly 50 years.
Erich Schärer has an enviable record in the sport of bobsleigh, with four Olympic medals (one gold, two silvers and one bronze) and fourteen medals at the World Championships (seven golds, three silvers, and four bronzes) to his name. He has worn an Omega Seamaster ever since he was offered one after winning his first World Championship title – a watch that he still wears to this day.
Tell us about your career
I am an athlete who was enticed into the world of bobsleigh in the late 1960s because they were looking for powerful sprinters in Switzerland at the time to give the team a competitive advantage at the starts. Everything was quite new and we trained on roads. Having started as a pusher, I decided to become a bobsleigh pilot in 1972. I won several world championships with the Swiss team and a gold medal in the two-man bob at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid in 1980.
I am still heavily involved in the sport. I worked with the Bobsleigh Federation until two years ago and I am still a friend of my club, the Bobclub Zürichsee, which is one of the most successful in the world. I have 95 medals with the club on my own, and the club as a whole has over 200. I am frequently involved in guest runs and work at the Olympic Games.
Together with Alain Zobrist, the CEO of Swiss Timing, and with the support of Nick Hayek, the CEO of the Swatch Group, I have succeeded in introducing the new discipline of monobob at the Olympic Games from the Youth Olympic Games at Lillehammer in 2016. The idea was to offer a more inexpensive version of the sport. I am also working on a team competition format and hope to see the first competitions next winter.
How would you describe yourself as a person?
I am an athlete and I like to think of myself as a pioneer.
What is important in life for you?
Bobsleigh! It has always been important for me and I’m one of the most successful figures in the sport. I want to develop the sport even more and keep it interesting for future generations. One of the big problems with the sport in Switzerland is being able to train, because in St. Moritz we don’t get the first snow until Christmas. I would love to build my own mobile bobsleigh track that we could take wherever we like.
How long have you been interested in watches?
I grew up in quite modest conditions, so I wasn’t really exposed to watches when I was growing up. It was only really when I met Peter Hurzeler [Editor’s note: former CEO of Swiss Timing] during the start training in 1969 that I started to get interested in timekeeping and watches.
How did you choose Omega?
After meeting Peter Hurzeler I started to take an interest in Omega and find out more about them. I followed the evolution of the brand and the birth of the Swatch Group. I received a Seamaster when I won my first world championship in the four-man bob in Cervinia in 1971 and I still wear it today.
What is your impression of Omega?
They have accompanied me throughout my career and I’m very grateful to them. Relationships are very important to me and the people at Omega are a great team. I feel like part of the family and I’m very proud of that.
What do you like most about your Seamaster?
It fits my lifestyle perfectly. I’m an athlete and it’s a sport watch. What more could I ask for?
When do you wear your Seamaster?
I regularly wear my Seamaster but I also have a Speedmaster (the Michael Schumacher model) that I wear occasionally. My children also have Speedmasters. But I mainly wear the Seamaster because I love the combination of steel and blue.
What will your next Omega be?
Another Seamaster! I saw a newspaper ad for the 2018 model recently and I really like it.
A 2018 Seamaster Diver model © Omega
Seamaster Diver 300m
Movement: mechanical self-winding Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800, 25,200 vph, 55-hour power reserve
Functions: central hour-minute-seconds hands, date window at 6 o'clock
Case: stainless steel case with ceramic bezel ring, 42 mm, water-resistant to 300 m, sapphire caseback
Dial: black, laser engraved waves
Bracelet: polished-brushed Omega patented screw-and-pin bracelet with new integration to the case
A company of the Swatch Group, OMEGA has been behind major revolutions in watchmaking technology and the timekeeping of numerous Olympic Games. Its watches are worn by world-famous celebrities and have travelled to the moon, the depths of the ocean and everywhere in between.Find out more >
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