The story behind Omega watches
Omega’s reputation is marked chiefly by reliability, robustness, and good practice, still with a distinct style. Find out about the story behind Omega today.
30th January 2023
The story behind Omega watches
In a review of Omega’s About Time collection, it was proclaimed that this range of watches was “perhaps the most avant-garde collection of timepieces in the history of the watch” (A Blog To Watch).
Now, Omega’s reputation is marked chiefly by reliability, robustness, and good practice, still with a distinct style.
However, clearly, the late twentieth century saw Omega turn experimental and extravagant in their design.
This rich and mixed history has charted every type of watch, all impressive in their own way. Omega has revolutionised the Olympic games, space exploration, military practice, and has been figureheaded by some of the most iconic pop culture characters in history. An Omega is a watch that holds its value and is highly sought after.
Omega - A brief history of time
Louis Brandt established his watchmaking company in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, in 1848.
Even long before the Omega brand took on the name we recognise today, Brandt was refining the precision and dependability that has led to Omega’s eventual domination of horological technological advancement.
1984 saw the opening of the Omega watch museum in Switzerland which celebrates the groundbreaking innovations achieved by Omega, telling the story of its extraordinary past, present, and future.
Iconic Omega watches through the ages
Omega watches are favourites amongst avid collectors and enthusiasts thanks to their array of special editions, vintage classics, and record breakers.
The Tourbillon 30 I
As early as 1947 Omega was producing timepieces that distinguished them from their competitors. The Tourbillon 30 I marked the creation of the first tourbillon wristwatch calibre in the world. Before the success of this watch, tourbillon movements typically meant the cage rotated once per minute.
But Omega introduced these 30 mm hand-wound pieces that boasted a tourbillon regulator that rotated every 7.5 minutes. Examples of the 30 I accomplished the best ever recorded results for a wristwatch to ever exist prior to 1949. And it was Omega that went on to break its own record only a year later at the Geneva Observatory.
In Houston, Texas, 1962, NASA launched sessions of rigorous testing that oversaw a collection of wrist-watches trialled against extreme pressures of temperature and speed.
The Omega Speedmaster was the best model that successfully endured each of these tests and was chosen to accompany NASA astronauts on their most daring mission yet.
Arguably the most important timepiece in Omega’s history is the 1969 Speedmaster. It was imperative for Apollo 13’s safe return home and, notoriously, the first to go to the moon.
The Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was worn by Buzz Aldrin the day he and Neil Armstrong changed history. Armstrong had his own Omega watch but left it inside the Lunar Module whilst he took his first steps on the moon.
His Speedmaster does appear, however, in the National Air and Space Museum today where its momentous role in human advancement is commemorated. On the other hand, Aldrin’s Omega watch was reportedly stolen from his possession after his return home- Omega forever being the subject of intrigue.
The longest-running module still produced by Omega, the Seamaster can be traced back to 1948 and the military submarines it was intended for, but the 1990s seems to be the era most beholden to the Omega Seamaster.
Diver Gordon McLean decided 1995 was his year to break international records when he took his Seamaster wristwatch to historic underwater depths of 62.5 metres. The same decade consolidated the Seamaster’s connotations of skill, success, suaveness, and masculinity when it appeared in the iconic James Bond franchise.
But Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig are far from the only celebrity names associated with Omega. Ringo Star, Al Pacino, Cindy Crawford, and Elvis Presley have all been noted admirers and ambassadors of the brand. In 1969, the contemporary U.S. president Ricard Nixon notoriously refused a gifted Speedmaster Professional Deluxe, insisting that it was
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