Watch Brands 101: Omega Watches
Watch Brands 101: Omega Watches
It’s not surprising that Omega is regarded as one of the top luxury watch brands. Omega watches focus on quality movements and innovative designs. Now you can learn a bit more about this iconic watch brand and its most popular watches.
Location: Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Average Cost: $5,000 to $20,000
The History of Omega
In 1848, Louis Brandt began an assembly workshop in his family’s villa in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. This workshop was originally named Louis Brandt & Fils (Fils is French for “sons”), and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that Omega Watch Co was officially founded.
After Brandt’s death in 1879, his two sons, Cesar Brandt and Louis-Paul Brandt, took over the family business. Just one year later, the brothers launched their first mass-produced caliber, the Labrador. The brothers continued developing new watch technology, and in 1892 they created the first minute-repeating wristwatch.
In 1905, Omega timed sixteen sporting events in Switzerland, launching their reputation as an official sports timekeeper. This reputation continued when in 1932 Omega assumed its role as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games. The brand secured this position when an Omega watchmaker went to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games with thirty chronographs. These timepieces were used to time all of the events, and this was the first time a single brand had been entrusted with that responsibility. To this day, Omega is the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games.
But Omega isn’t just known for timing sports events. History was made in 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon. Both men owned an Omega Speedmaster, but Armstrong left his 105.012 Speedmaster in the Lunar Module while Buzz Aldrin chose to wear his Speedmaster Professional. Therefore the Omega Speedmaster Professional was the first official watch worn on the moon, and it is now commonly referred to as the Moonwatch.
The watch shown is the modern version of the historic Omega Moonwatch.
Timeline of Omega Watches
1932 – Omega Marine – The Omega Marine was the world’s first commercially available dive watch. This watch was the first watch in the lineage of Seamaster divers’ watches.
1948 – Omega Seamaster – The first Omega Seamaster, which was modeled after the Omega Marine, featured luminescent hands and indices to make it highly visible under water. Marking their 100 year anniversary, 1948 was also an important year for the brand.
1952 – Omega Constellation – The Omega Constellation was known for its ultra-precise movement and elegant design. Today the watch has earned the nickname “The Swiss Watch.”
1955 – Omega Ladymatic – The Omega Ladymatic was among the first self-winding timepieces created for women.
1957 – Omega Speedmaster, Omega Seamaster 300, Omega Railmaster – Omega introduced its professional line of watches in 1957, and this line included the Speedmaster, the Seamaster 300, and the Railmaster. The Omega Speedmaster was the first watch to be worn on the moon. The Omega Seamaster 300 was Omega’s first professional divers watch. The Omega Railmaster was Omega’s first watch to boast a resistance to magnetism up to 1,000 gauss.
1967 – Omega De Ville – Previously the Omega De Ville was a part of the Seamaster line, but in 1967, the De Ville dropped “Seamaster” from its name and became its own important line in Omega’s collection.
Most Popular Omega Collections
When watch enthusiasts think of Omega, they are most likely to think of the Omega Seamaster and Omega Speedmaster. These iconic collections were introduced in 1957 as part of Omega’s Professional Line.
Today the Omega Seamaster collection includes the Seamaster 300, the Planet Ocean 600 m, the Aqua Terra 150 m, the Railmaster, the Diver 300 m, the Bullhead, and the Ploprof 1200 m. These dive watches are water resistant up to incredible depths, and you can guarantee that your watch will stand up to the elements. These watches mean business.
As for the Omega Speedmaster, the collection includes the Moonwatch, the Speedmaster ’57, the Mark II, the Racing, the Speedmaster 38, the HB-SIA, the X-33 Regatta, the Skywalker X-33, and the Spacemaster Z-33. These watches, especially the Moonwatch, are some of the most popular Omega watches available. There are even some combination digital-analog watches.
The watch shown is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m.