Incredible History of Swiss Watchmaker Omega
Omega is one of the best-known and respected Swiss luxury watch brands in the world today. The name “Omega” derives from the last letter in the Greek alphabet, which means achievement and perfection. These are two qualities that define every watch created by this brand.
Omega’s watches have been recognized by millions of people from all over the world, and are one of the most beautiful fashion accessories worn around the wrist. They are unique in design and are available in many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles for men and women. This brand of watch is also known for its precision, functionality, and accuracy.
Because of these features, Omega has served as the official timekeeper for at least 21 Olympic Games, and even received the Olympic Cross of Merit for their contribution to the sports world. Omega is also the official partner to renowned athletic organizations such as the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the European Athletic Association. Famous people who have worn Omega watches include President John F. Kennedy, Prince William, George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, and Daniel Craig.
The history of Omega watches
The story of Omega began in 1848 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where Louis Brandt opened a sales office for the purpose of manufacturing watches. Omega was originally named Le Generale Watch Company and produced key-wind pocket watches from parts produced by local craftsmen. After the death of Louis Brandt in 1879, his two sons continued the family business and moved into a small factory in the city of Biel. Since 1880, this factory has been in operation. Soon afterwards, the company became the largest producer of watches in Switzerland, with a production rate of over 100,000 watches per year.
Omega has an excellent reputation for innovation and quality of its timepieces. As a result, this brand has received many awards, starting as early as 1900 with the Grand Prix at the Paris World Fair. In 1919, Omega was awarded 1st Prize by the Neuchâtel Observatory, as well as prizes by the Kew Observatory in 1922, 1925, and 1933. The Omega brand became the official timekeeper of the British Royal Flying Corps in 1917, and in 1932, was chosen as the official timekeeper for all disciplines at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Because of the economic difficulties during the First World War, Omega merged with Tissot, and in 1930, became one of the founding companies of the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH). This company became one of the most-recognized and well-respected horological companies in the world. In 1983, SSIH merged with the Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie AG (ASUAG) to form the Swatch Group, which remains the largest, top-selling Swiss watchmaker in the world.
In 1957, the company designed the most famous timepiece, the Omega Speedmaster. After rigorous testing and evaluation, NASA made the Speedmaster Professional their official timepiece in 1965. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore the Omega Speedmaster chronograph during the historic Apollo 11 landing on the Moon in 1969. In 1974, Omega launched the first marine chronometer wristwatch, the “Marine Chronometer 2400”, which was the most accurate and the most advanced wristwatch in the world. In 1995, Omega’s Seamaster collection became the official timepieces for James Bond film “GoldenEye”. The secret agent went on wearing different Omega watches in films such as “Tomorrow Never Dies”, “The World Is Not Enough”, “Die Another Day”, “Casino Royale”, and “Spectre”.
The most popular models of Omega include the Seamaster, Planet Ocean, Aqua Terra Railmaster, Quadra, Speedmaster, Aqua Terra, Double Eagle, Constellation, Quadrella, and De Ville. Many of these historic and commemorative timepieces can be seen at the Omega Watch Museum in Biel (opened in 1983). Today, Omega remains one of the most prestigious flagship brands, with many celebrities, sportsmen and women, famous explorers, and world leaders continuing to wear Omega watches around their wrists.