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The History of Omega in 5 watches


Former president of the United States of America John F Kennedy ‘JFK’ is in this photo from the early 60s wearing a 25mm Omega ‘Ultra Thin’ with an 18k yellow gold case and a silver dial. Today the watch sits in Omega’s museum in Switzerland and it was the brand who purchased it in 2005 at auction for $350,000.00 USD. Photo: Getty Images

In 1848, Louis Brandt founded a small factory in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, where Omega timepieces were first produced. Brandt managed a small business for the first 30 years after the company’s inception, offering his watches to people worldwide. His children immediately jumped in to continue on their father’s mission after his death in 1879.

The Labrador, the brothers’ first mass-produced caliber, was introduced in 1885, and in 1892 they created the very first minute-repeating watch. The 19-line Omega Caliber, which caused havoc in the timepiece sector and soon gave the business its name, was introduced just two years afterward.

An important timekeeping alliance was acquired by Omega in 1932 when it became the authorized timekeeper for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. The business had previously served as the primary timekeeper for sports activities across Switzerland from 1905. More than twenty Olympic Games were coordinated by this collaboration, which is still in operation today.

Even though they didn’t formally license the Omega brand and symbol until 1903, they soon began using it. While Omega signifies “Great End” in Greek, the new title of the firm is frequently compared to the excellence of its watches.

Thus, the following is a tour of the Omega’s history in 5 watches:

Omega Speedmaster

When scientist Wally Schirra carried a Speedmaster during his Mercury Sigma 7 Mission in 1962, Omega set a record again by becoming the first timepiece brand to travel into space. Once NASA designated the Speedmaster as their authorized Chrono for American missions to the moon after three years, it got a huge vote of confidence.

 

In the 2016 movie ‘Money Monster’ actor George Clooney, who played TV host Lee Gates, wore a 42 mm Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph in 18-carat yellow gold, featuring a black chronograph dial. The rhodium finished manual-winding chronograph movement ‘Omega 1863’, is a descendent of the calibre that was worn on the Moon. Photo: Getty Images

 

 

Footballer Luka Modric, midfielder for Real Madrid and captain of Croatia national team,is wearing a 42mm stainless steel Omega Speedmaster 50th Anniversary Co-Axial Chronometer Chronograph “Silver Snoopy Award” The timepiece is presented on a blue nylon fabric strap and features a silver dial with blue PVD angle-shaped hour markers and hands, as well as an embossed silver Snoopy medallion on the blue subdial at 9 o’clock. The animated cartoon character is shown on a magical hand, which rotates when the chronograph function is used. Photo: Getty Images

 

 

Italian tennis ace Matteo Berrettini is wearing the iconic 42mm “Moonwatch” Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph in stainless steel with a tachymetric bezel and a black dial, the first watch ever worn by an astronaut walking the moon. Photo: Getty Images

 

 

The Canadian actor and film producer Ryan Reynolds is wearing a 44mm Omega Moonwatch Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, machined from a single block of black ceramic, with a matt chromium nitride bezel featuring a tachymeter scale. The dial has blackened applied subdial rings, as well as 18k white gold applied indexes, and a black nylon strap. Photo: Getty Images

 

 

 

Italian fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni is wearing a 42mm Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11, 50th Anniversary Limited Edition in 18k gold. The watch was made as a tribute to the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing mission. Photo: Chiara Ferragni

 

The Omega Speedmaster was present as the United States sent astronauts to the moon in 1969; Buzz Aldrin sported it while he landed on the moon’s surface. The Speedmaster was a crucial piece of the mission crew’s equipment. The Apollo 13 mission narrowly avoided disaster by analyzing speeds, distances, and timings to ensure the astronauts’ successful return home. Global space missions and Omega are still cooperating now. The Speedmaster is arguably the most widely used chronograph in the universe, although its history goes back much further than its launch into space.

Omega Seamaster

The Seamaster was first presented in 1948 to commemorate Omega’s 100th year. In 1995, it made its debut on Pierce Brosnan’s wrist in the acclaimed James Bond movie GoldenEye. This appearance established the timepiece brand as Bond’s official timepiece. The Seamaster is currently among the most iconic pieces in history, inextricably linked to 007 and the sleek exploits of the globe’s most renowned spy.

 

 

Brazil national team and PSG forward Neymar Jr is wearing a 44mm Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph in 18k Sedna gold, a material that was developed by the brand. The black dial features laser-engraved waves in a positive relief and a date window at 6 o’clock. Photo: Getty Images

 

In addition to being a “James Bond watch,” the Omega Seamaster is a wonderful timepiece. In fact, it is regarded by the horological community to be among the most prestigious dive pieces for both men and women. The exceptional waterproofness level of this series is one of its distinguishing aspects.

Omega Seamaster Railmaster

The Omega Railmaster completes the trio of Omega Masters. Such men’s timepieces were created in 1957 with workers exposed to electrical current and high electromagnetic fields.

Individuals at the time wanted pieces that could withstand magnetic fields because it was among the most frequent causes of watch inaccuracy. The Omega Railmaster thus entered the lists of other anti-magnetic timepieces in the industry by utilizing a Faraday cage.

Omega produced exclusive versions of the Railmaster for the North American and Canadian Pacific Railways around the beginning of the 1960s. These replicas closely resembled the first Railmaster version. The sole distinction was in the design because the pieces needed to satisfy particular specifications for the train workers.

Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial 39.2 Railmaster Yellow Gold / Brown Alligator

Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial 39.2 Railmaster Yellow Gold

 

The Railmaster’s reign had to be cut short by Omega because of poor initial sales. However, the Railmaster was restored to the public in 2003 after being pulled out over its first several years. It was available in three dimensions: 36mm, 39mm, and 42mm. Unfortunately, Omega canceled them again, following the fate of the earlier Railmasters.

Omega made a carbon replica of the initial Omega Railmaster in 2017 in order to provide the Railmaster with yet another opportunity. But this round, the Railmaster was made available as a Seamaster model, earning it the title Omega Seamaster Railmaster.

Omega Constellation

Among the label’s oldest lines, the Omega Constellation is popular for those who collect classic Omega watches. It began as a chronometer in 1952 and has then undergone a number of improvements. Moreover, it’s interesting to note that the star over 6 o’clock was a defining feature of the early Constellation versions.

 

The singer Zayn Malik, is wearing a 39mm Omega Constellation Co-Axial in 18k “Sedna” gold (Omegas’s own mix of gold, copper, and palladium) with an opaline silvery dial and a mono-rang bracelet. Photo: Zayn Malik

 

The Geneva observatory was depicted on the sealed caseback of these timepieces as well. The caseback’s style pays homage to Omega’s chronometric achievements in 1933 and 1936, which broke world records.

Although the Omega Constellation line was at its peak from 1952 to the middle of the 1970s, it is still a top seller today. Moreover, it is now offered in a variety of flavors.

Omega De Ville

The Omega De Ville was initially a member of the Seamaster series that was introduced in 1960 before being presented as a standalone line in 1967. The De Ville soon emerged as Omega’s top-selling collection due to its straightforward, contemporary, vibrant, and diversified design (compared to the Seamaster).

 

Actor Daniel Craig, who has been portraying James Bond in five movies since 2006 (the upcoming included), is wearing a 41mm stainless steel Omega De Ville “Hour Vision Blue” with a blue dial and a leather strap. Photo: Omega

 

A new phase of urban elegance served as the series’ inspiration. The De Ville was put together in Geneva instead of being produced in Bienne. The collection’s whole philosophy embraced the new appearance and made use of technology in watchmaking.

The Omega De Ville line is available now in a variety of complexities and designs.

Final Words

Even for people who don’t collect watches, owning an Omega watch (a timepiece at the vanguard of manufacturing history) is a significant life achievement. Not only is Omega a well-known watch manufacturer worldwide, but they also rank among the most important historically.

Omega timepieces have established value in the manufacturing sector and throughout space, sports, and even movies, from populating the lunar surface to delving into the deepest waters. Moreover, Omega has been a powerful force in the manufacturing industry for more than 170 years.

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