Omega watches is one of the popular brands available in the market and also the steadiest competitor for Rolex. This is the 170th year as a prominent brand of Swiss luxury watch producer, who produces classic dress watches like chronograph watch and diver’s watch.
Reputation for quality, accuracy and reliability has led Omega to Olympics, to moon and also to few of world’s stylish elite wrist watches.
It is not just a coincidence that since 1995, Omega is a choice for the world’s greatest spy films - ‘James Bond’.
History of Omega Watches
History of Omega watches started with Louis Brandt, who was a young entrepreneur during 1848. He founded his company called “Comptoir d’établissage,” at La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland.
First key-wound pocket watches were assembled by him and travelled across Europe for establishing his brand’s reputation. Later, his sons César and Louis-Paul eventually moved the operation of the company to Bienne.
They built mechanized factory over there and expanded further their markets and by the year 1889, they already became one of the largest manufacturers of finished watches in Switzerland and produced 100,000 in a year.
Their R & D produced many of the firsts that includes the minute repeater wristwatch for the first time in 1892.
New pocket-watch movement was designed in 1894, that was named “Omega,”, It incorporated hand setting mechanism and an improved winding. The movement quality led to great global success, and the company was then renamed it as Omega Watch Co. from Louis Brandt & Frére in 1903.
Omega’s reputation led to the appointment of the company for the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles as official timekeeper. Ever since, Omega has been performing the service many more times as compared to any other brand.
Here in this article, we shall talk about 4 Omega watch collections that have made this brand to the position what it is now.
1. Omega constellation
Omega Constellation is one of the brand’s oldest collection, which emerged in 1952. The collection was basically known as “Globemaster”. In the USA, the production line developed series of watches of different degrees e.g. Standard, Deluxe and also Grand Luxe. Earlier models made from the year 1956 onwards offered great value for their price.
The “C-case” in the year 1964, changed its original form of Omega Constellation. In 1967, the first ladies’ watch was introduced and thereafter, the collection diversified into square cases and also many diamond models.
In 1969, an integral line was launched that was integrated and with hand-finished bracelets with cases. During the year 1970, quartz constellation with more accuracy wristwatches ever produced.
Omega launched in 1982, the Constellation “Manhattan.” Today, they are one of the parts of standard design. From 2007 onwards, modern models make use of Omega Co-Axial movements, e.g. the caliber 8501, the chronometers. 2012 was the year the Omega Constellation celebrated its 60th anniversary.
2. Omega Seamaster
In 1948, it first appeared and boasts as the house of most diverse watch ranges within any brand’s single collection. It started initially for activewear as dress watch. However, soon it was known as serious diver’s watch when Seamaster 300 was released.
Several editions of Seamaster 300 was unveiled and finally it was discontinued in 1969. Due to its larger and asymmetrical case having wider bezel, it became ultimately an official issue for Royal Navy.
During 1990s, this model experienced a resurgence as luxury sports watch. Much of the momentum was attributed to this model becoming the 007 wristwatch. Earlier version of James Bond Seamaster was featured as midnight blue dials with bezels.
During 1995, in Bond film Golden-Eye Seamaster 300m Quartz-Professional was featured, followed by Seamaster Professional Chronometer 300m, for the next 3 films.
Following Seamaster models was also sported by Bond:
• Diver 300m Co-Axial
• Planet Ocean 600m
• Aqua Terra
Most recently, in 2015 film, Spectre a special edition of Seamaster 300 Master Chronometer and in 2017, 60th anniversary of the Seamaster 300’s was marked by the limited edition.
3. Omega Speed master
This best-known Omega watch of the world, the Speed master is treated as the father of modern chronograph. Also, it was the first wristwatch that was worn on moon.
Despite its reputation of outer space, the original model of Omega Speed master was targeted primarily for motor sports. It has been the first watch that was employed the now standard 3-counter layout having timing scale on its bezel.
Original Omega Speed master debuted in 1957. The designs between late-1950s - early 1960s models were different from the contemporary Speed master.
The second Omega Speed master became first Omega watch for space accidentally just because astronaut Walter Schirra used his personal Speedy in his 1962 space mission.
In 1965, Speed master was the only wristwatch that passed all the eleven NASA’s space travel tests.
On 21st July, 1969 Buzz Aldrin wore first Omega Speed master on the moon, in Apollo 11 mission. Therefore, the Speed master is often called as “Omega moon watch.”
In 1973, Omega’s 125th anniversary was celebrated with the Speed master 125. Self-winding chronograph’s first series was produced that was certified as chronometer.
More diversification was seen in 1980s and 1990s when highly complicated models, were introduced with diamond-set and skeletonized versions, and number of limited editions in the memory of Omega’s history in the space.
In 1998, digital-analog Speed master was produced by involving astronauts and pilots.
4. Omega De Ville
Making its debut during 1960, Omega De Ville initially started out as one part of classic dress-watch range that was housed in Seamaster collection. ‘Seamaster De Ville’ inscription appeared on its dial in 1963.
In 1967, Omega launched De Ville as separate collection. Ever since term ‘De Ville’ was used for identifying the watches of brand’s elegant dress, in contrast to sporty Speed master and Seamaster.
De Ville won many design awards during the 1970s, which includes 6 Baden-Baden Golden Roses, the fashionable “Grand Prix Triomphe de L’Excellence Européenne”.
In 1999, Omega considered the De Ville for initially presenting innovative Co-Axial caliber 2500. Incorporating the technology, that was invented by one English watchmaker called George Daniels, it was among first mass-produced wristwatch.