Ever since its creation, Omega has been on a mission to achieve the best in precision, quality, design, and technological innovation. Right at the beginning of the twentieth century, a whole slew of watch manufacturers engaged in watch competitions and trials. These particular events lead to a rapid spike in development in the watchmaking industry. During the 1931 Geneva Observatory event, Omega scored the first prize in all of the event’s six categories. The company was then catapulted right to the top of the watchmaking world.
Through the years, a lot more events and occurrences have happened. Here are a few of these things you might not have known about Omega until today:
Back in 1965, the Omega Speedmaster was NASA’s Watch of Choice for Space Travel
The sixties was a very significant time for science. More specifically, for Space Travel and its advancements. After having done years and years of testing and putting the Speedmaster watch up to the test, NASA declared on the 1st of March 1965, that they had chosen the Omega Speedmaster as their watch of choice for their astronauts.
Neil Armstrong Didn’t wear his Omega watch
Specifically, when he walked on the Moon. That was because, during the journey to the moon, the clock inside the Lunar Module broke. As a result, Armstrong instead hung his Omega Speedmaster Professional in the Lunar Model to replace the clock. Which is a cool thing.
The Origin of the Omega Name
Omega started in 1848 when Louis Brandt founded a watchmaking business in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. But like most of the big names of watchmaking, it wasn’t initially named Omega. In 1877, Brandts’ two sons decided to join him in the business and the company was initially named Louis Brandt & Fils. Which is the French word for “Sons”. 20 years later, this father and son’s team produced a new mechanical watch movement that was the absolute apex of accuracy that comes with incredible ease of repair and maintenance that was unprecedented at the time. The Omega Caliber. Because of this huge success, in 1903 Brandt and his sons then decided to re-brand their company as Omega.
This is James Bond’s favorite Watch
By 1995, Omega became the watch of choice for that era’s iteration of James Bond with the subsequent release of the film GoldenEye. Throughout the film, the infamous secret agent played by Pierce Brosnan wore an Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional. After this, the James Bond character has worn an Omega timepiece ever since. Other Omega watches seen throughout the Bond film series include the Seamaster Professional 300M and Seamaster Planet Ocean. Omega celebrated the 50th anniversary of James Bond in 2013 in a very special way. In honor of the notorious British spy, Omega released a special update of the Seamaster Diver 300M aptly named the James Bond 50th Anniversary Collector’s Piece.
The Co-Axial Escapement
This is the signature movement invented by the English watchmaker George Daniels. Omega was the very first company in 1999 to launch Caliber 2500, and successfully put the co-axial escapement into large-scale production. Then years later in 2007, Omega launched its more updated version, the Caliber 8500. This was an amazing movement with low friction, high mechanical efficiency, and an exceptional level of performance. Today, it is well known that Omega watches built with the Co-Axial Caliber 8500 are COSC-certified chronometers.
Mastering the Forces of Magnetism
It is known that high levels of magnetism will always pose a problem for mechanical watches. Back in 2013 Omega came up with a very unconventional solution to this age-old problem, creating the very first movement that was capable of resisting magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss.
Most anti-magnetic watches would usually utilize a soft-iron inner case to eliminate the effect of magnetism. Blocking magnetic fields. Omega’s approach was different. So different in the fact that the company designed a new movement, in which the components were made of non-ferrous materials. This helped in providing far greater resistance to magnetic fields and eliminating the need for the inner case. Later on, in 2015, Omega released its innovative movement with a brand new model, the Omega Globemaster. Since that year, the Omega went on to incorporate the new movement in other Omega watches they have produced.
Conquering the Ocean
Omega was the very first luxury watch brand to be able to produce and commercially distribute dive watches. The specific watch called the Omega Seamaster was launched in 1948 and is the oldest line of dive watches that is still in production until today. The Seamaster variant became an instant icon and important watch for Omega. This is most especially true as the brand continued to focus on a wide range of important high-intensity activities from racing to diving, and everything else where sturdy and reliable watches were needed.
The Kennedy Connection
Historically one of the most famous owners was John F. Kennedy. He wore an Omega during his inauguration as America’s 35th president in January of 1961.
That particular watch was presented to Kennedy by a friend right before the election time had taken place. The back of this watch bears the inscription
“President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant.”
Today, this watch is currently housed at the Omega Museum.
The Very First Man to Reach the North Pole was Wearing an Omega Watch
The very first man to reach the North Pole was a man named Ralph Plaisted Kelly. And as he traversed the snow-covered trail towards the poles, he was wearing an Omega on his wrist. The entire expedition utilized mainly Omega Speedmaster watches during the journey out to the North Pole. The epic and historical journey took place during 1968, and getting to their goal took 43 days all in all.
There are Interesting Facts when you Go Back in Time
These are just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to the most interesting facts about Omega but certainly not the most famous ones. As an undeniably successful brand that has been around for years, there are a lot more events in history in which the brand has participated in. But even without mentioning all of it here, its influence on humanity’s history will forever be marked for all time.