Easily one of the most recognized names in the luxury watch world, and certainly be most recognized names as far as watches in outer space are concerned, Omega has been able to command a tremendous amount of respect and admiration ever since day one all the way back in 1848.
Legendary men throughout history has strapped Omega watches to their wrists (ranging from a real deal heroes and astronauts to James Bond himself), and if you are looking for a timepiece that is the very definition of luxury – without blowing up your bank account into tiny little pieces along the way –Omega is a brand you’re going to want to take a closer look at for sure.
To get you started, we have put together this quick list of 10 amazing facts regarding Omega watches you may not have otherwise known.
Shall we jump right in?
Let’s get right to it.
- 1 Where did the Omega name come from in the first place?
- 2 Omega watches have always been known for their incredible precision
- 3 Omega watches are a big part of human exploration here on earth
- 4 … And of course, Omega watches have always been a big part of human exploration of the stars
- 5 Omega watches have sailed all seas
- 6 Omega makes an appearance at the Olympics
- 7 Bond, James Bond has always relied on his trusty Omega
- 8 Many of the world’s most famous and influential people rely on Omega timepieces
- 9 Beautiful movements have always been a big part of the Omega history
- 10 Omega has successfully conquered the power and pull of magnets
Where did the Omega name come from in the first place?
As mentioned above, the watch company that would go on to become Omega was originally founded in 1848 by a man by the name of Louis Brandt in Switzerland. In 1877, both of his sons decided to join him, and he changed the name of the company to Louis Brandt & Fils (Louis Brandt & Sons, in English).
Close to 20 years later, the father and son’s team produced a brand-new mechanical watch movement that went on to become the pinnacle of accuracy with an ease of repair and maintenance that was almost impossible to beat. They named the movement the “Omega Caliber”, and because of the international success that the movement enjoyed they decided to re-brand the company in 1903 as the Omega Watch Company.
The rest is (quite literally) history!
Omega watches have always been known for their incredible precision
Long before quartz and GPS technology was available, entire nations and every industry on the planet depended on as precise a mechanical timekeeper as humanly possible.
Every watch company on the planet tried to produce new and efficient movements that were as beautiful as they were reliable, and international competitions were held to find the most reliable mechanisms every year.
At the 1931 Geneva Observatory time trials, Omega won first place in every one of the categories – and that’s when they really started to build upon their reputation for the most accurate watches available.
Omega watches are a big part of human exploration here on earth
The first man to ever reach the North Pole was a man by the name of Ralph Plaisted Kelly and he did so with and Omega wristwatch strapped to his wrists. They relied on Omega Speedmasters and old-fashioned sextant’s to get themselves to the North Pole before anyone else, taking 43 days in 1968 to do so.
… And of course, Omega watches have always been a big part of human exploration of the stars
The odds are pretty good that you have become interested in Omega watches because of their close link to space exploration – after all, that’s what really catapulted these watches into the public consciousness back in nearly 1960s, and what helps drive vintage Omega values today.
Used by the men in NASA’s Mercury program, as well as the first watches to ever reach the moon (one was strapped to Buzz Aldrin’s wrist, Neil Armstrong wasn’t wearing a watch when he made his famous walk). It is still used by astronauts today!
Omega watches have sailed all seas
The Seamaster line of Omega watches was first launched in 1948 as a celebration of the businesses 100th anniversary, but it was inspired by the same timepieces that Omega had been making for the British Navy and military almost since their business began.
These watches have sailed all seas, strapped to the wrists of explorers, military and Navy men, and divers both professional and amateur.
Omega makes an appearance at the Olympics
As mentioned above, Omega has always been serious about the accuracy of their timepieces, and they began experimenting with their first chronograph well before they released one to the general public in 1898.
However, because their first chronograph was so accurate and precise it was used to measure time at the Olympics. Ever since 1932 Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics, a title that they continue to hold today!
Bond, James Bond has always relied on his trusty Omega
Even though James Bond has worn a couple of different timepieces on his wrist ever since he first started showing up on the silver screen, the majority of the time he has been wearing an Omega.
Sean Connery preferred the Omega, and even though a handful of Bonds after Connery decided to mix it up, when Pierce Brosnan took center stage in 1995 he returned with an Omega Seamaster on his wrist.
Since then, Bond has always worn an Omega watch – and it’s likely that he always will!
Many of the world’s most famous and influential people rely on Omega timepieces
The world’s powerful, elite, and influential are obviously very serious about their time, and that’s why so many of them turned to Omega when they need to make sure that they are always sticking to their schedule.
Soviet Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev, Jack Lennon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Pope John Paul II, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Ringo Starr, and so many more all wore Omega watches on their wrists, but the most famous brand ambassador had to be president John F. Kennedy Junior.
The watch, a watch that was given to him as a gift after his inauguration and a watch that he wore for the rest of his life, has been donated to the official Omega Museum and can be seen by the public today.
Beautiful movements have always been a big part of the Omega history
As we have talked about at length, precision timekeeping and accuracy is paramount in every Omega timepiece, but the watchmakers at Omega have also pushed the envelope as far as style, design, and movement aesthetics are concerned.
The co-axial escapement that English watchmaker George Daniels pioneered has been a big part of these timepieces since it was first unveiled in 1999, and it continues to be one of the most – if not THE most – accurate escapement on the planet today.
Omega has successfully conquered the power and pull of magnets
Most people are familiar with the fact that the earth has a powerful electromagnetic force that stretches from pole to pole, but many are completely unaware of the impact that this powerful magnetic force has on our timepieces – especially delicate mechanical timepieces.
Omega worked to create a brand-new movement with critical components manufactured out of non-ferrous materials, and in the process completely destroyed the negative impact that Earth’s electromagnetic field had on the accurate timekeeping capabilities.
The Omega Globemaster was the first watch to showcase this technology, but it certainly will not be the last!