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Omega is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Bienne, Switzerland. They are known for making the first watch that went to the moon. Here's their story.
3 Mins

The History of Omega

Lewis Findley
Lewis Findley

Omega - From Switzerland to the Moon

Omega is the name of the last letter of the Greek alphabet and used in areas like science, religion, watchmaking and astrology.

In regard to watchmaking, Omega are one of the oldest watchmakers in Switzerland with advances boasting their expertise and ability to constantly innovate. 

A phenomenal feat, their journey in Watchmaking has seen them go from the Olympics to the moon and back, literally.

In this spotlight, you'll learn about the brand, milestones and the watches that pushed watchmaking to new limits. 

Origins of Omega

Louis Brandt founded Omega in 1848, at the age of 23.

To establish a reputation for reliability and precision, Brandt embarked on a voyage from Scandinavia to the tip of Sardinia, Italy. 

His sons joined the company in 1877 and Brandt stayed with the company until he passed away in 1879. His two sons inherited the company and relocated to Bienne in 1880.

They changed their name to Louis Brandt & Frére – Omega Watch Co. after creating the famous Omega Calibre before changing their name to Omega SA in 1982.

In 2017, they celebrated their 170th year as a watchmaking. Their contribution to watchmaking has led to an array of milestones. 

Omega Milestones

Whether it's the air, sea space, or land, Omega has conquered them all. 

Here are some of their biggest achievements. 

  • The official timekeeper for the Olympic Games on 28 occasions.
  • Apollo 11 - the first watch to be worn on the moon (1962).
  • First-minute repeating wristwatch (1892).
  • Amelia Earhart - flying solo across the Atlantic.
  • Ralph Plaisted - expedition to the North Pole.
  • Omega became the official watch of James Bond in 1995.

Their achievements have made an indelible contribution to watchmaking and illustrated why Omega is one of the finest watchmakers in the world.

They used their expertise to create new watch collections that continue to be a huge part of the watchmaker today.

Famous Omega Watches

Omega has created famous collections that propelled them to the pinnacle of watchmaking.

Here are some of their most notable collections.

Omega Seamaster - the watch with a license to kill

Omega Seamaster

Image Via - Omega Watches

James Bond has been wearing the Seamaster 300 since 1995. Its origins date back to 1948, the centenary of Omega. It's since become the best selling and oldest of all Omega collections.

The groundbreaking feature was the O-ring gasket which helped against water resistance. 

Omega Speedmaster - first watch in Space

Image Via - Omega

Part of an exclusive club of watches leaving the Earth's atmosphere and still working!

The Speedmaster is an example of watchmaking at its finest. 

In 1957, Omega released the Speedmaster, a sports chronograph which coincided with their timekeeping at the Olympics. 

NASA purchased chronographs to test their durability against the requirements of their planned Mercury Program. This goal of this program was to put American astronauts in space.

After three years of testing, the Omega Speedmaster won and ref: CK 2998 partnered Walter Schirra on the Mercury Programme in 1962. 

Here's a short film celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Speedmaster.

Omega Constellation - luxury meets performance

Image Via - aBlogtoWatch

The demand for The Centenary, released in 1948 for Omega's 100th birthday, became so overwhelming that it inspired a new collection, The Constellation.

The Omega Constellation debuted in 1952 and Omega sought to balance luxury and performance. You can identify these watches with their pie-pan dial.

Trivia - The Constellation became known as the Globemaster in the USA due to a trademark dispute in 1956. 

Omega De Ville - elegance and exceptional finish

Untitled design - 2019-10-24T161627.063

Image Via - Omega

Known for their aesthetic beauty and remarkable finish, the Omega De Ville has been adorning Omega's collections since 1967.

Compared to bulkier collections such as the Speedmaster and Seamaster, the De Ville collection is notable for its classic design.

Final Words

Omega's contribution to the world of watchmaking has made them revered by other watchmakers and also watch enthusiasts.

Notable wearers of Omega watches include John F Kennedy, George Clooney, Elvis Presley, Ringo Starr and Buddy Holly.

What's your favourite part of Omega? Hit the comments and let us know! 

Omega can be found in our collection of luxury watches. See what other watchmakers you can find in our guide: Luxury Watches in Auction.

For more of the latest stories, check out the journal!