Omega Watches

SWAP WATCH OMEGA WATCHES

 

A brief history of Omega "Switzerland 1848 By Louis Brandt". 


1894 Louis Brandt’s sons Cesar and Paul develop an entirely new watchmaking process, which enables La Generale to create watches with interchangeable parts. These luxury watches are given their own brand name: Omega. Omega is the name of the movement, Calibre 19, which powers the watches.

1903 The Omega brand is so successful La Generale officially splits it off and makes it a company in its own right. In the same year, both Cesar and Paul die, leaving Omega in the hands of Paul-Emile Brandt. It is Paul-Emile who will turn the brand into the worldwide powerhouse of horology it is known as to the present day.

1919 Omega is awarded 1st Prize at Neuchatel’s observatory trial. The brand’s movement 21 gets the prize: it will later become Omega’s legendary Calibre 47.7. 1925 Brandt works on a merger between Omega and Tissot. Omega takes 1st place at Kew. 1933 Calibre 47.7 sets a new record at Kew Observatory’s trials, scoring 97.4 points from a possible 100.

1936 A newer Calibre 47.7 beats its predecessor at Kew, scoring 97.8 points—a record it will hold until 1965. Between 1936 and 1974, Omega calibres will scoop an astonishing 28 1st places and records at observatory trials in Kew, Geneva and Neuchatel. In some years, the brand will hold all of the first four places available.

1947 Omega develops the world’s first Tourbillon wristwatch movement—the Omega 301. This movement delivers the most accurate time observations ever recorded by a wristwatch, in 1949: in 1950, it breaks its own time record again. 1957 Omega launches the Speedmaster, the watch destined to become the first and only timepiece to walk on the moon.

1965 The Omega Speedmaster is selected by NASA as its official space chronograph. The selection process, which takes up much of the early 1960s, sees the Speedmaster subjected to 48 hours at 71 degrees Centigrade, followed by a 30 minute stint at 93 degrees Centigrade. It is also tasked with performing at extreme low temperatures, in high humidity, at low and high pressure, and while being subjected to an acceleration force of 7.25G. Ed White makes a space walk (the first by an American) wearing an Omega Speedmaster.

1969 Buzz Aldrin wears his Omega Speedmaster on the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong’s Speedmaster is used to time critical operations inside the lunar landing module. From this day forth, the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph will be known as the ‘Moonwatch’. Its telltale ‘pie tin’ dial, shiny tachymetric bezel, and domed sapphire are present in all NASA’s piloted missions. The watch will spend time in landing vehicles, shuttles, and eventually the International Space Station.

1970s Rolex and Omega vie for supremacy in the luxury watch market. During this decade, the Omega Marine Chronometer is also certified as the first ever wristwatch chronometer capable of undersea work. 1974 The Omega Marine Chronometer, powered by the quartz Calibre 1511, is brought to market. It is one of the most accurate luxury watches ever made, losing only 12 seconds per year. The Marine Chronometer, which will remain on sale until 1978 (latterly with the smaller, but still as accurate, Calibre 1516). Jacques Cousteau is among the famous faces to put one on his wrist.

1995 Omega luxury watches become the timepiece of choice for James Bond. The secret agent wears multiple Omega models in Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Daniel Craig’s Bond will also wear Omegas in all of his films. 1997 Supermodel Cindy Crawford, one of the most famous and recognisable faces on the planet, becomes Omega’s first official brand ambassador.

1999 Omega premiers the coaxial Calibre 2500. This movement becomes the heart of the world’s first commercially available wristwatch incorporating a coaxial escapement. (A coaxial escapement is the most modern, and most accurate, escapement type).

2004 Swimmer Michael Phelps is named an Omega brand ambassador, in time for the Athens Olympic Games in the summer of 2004.

Phelps will go on to become the most decorated Olympian ever, winning a record-smashing eight golds at the 2008 Olympics alone.

2006 Omega is selected as official sponsor for the Winter Olympics. The following memorable exchange takes place between James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), in Casino Royale, the reboot Bond movie that will start the franchise’s most popular run:

2011 Omega becomes the official PGA Tour timekeeper (USA). The brand will enhance its reputation in the golf world with a series of high-profile golfing sponsorships including Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Greg Norman, Stacy Lewis, and Shanshan Feng.

2013 Omega announces a completely new anti-magnetic movement, which has a resistance of 1.5 tesla. This movement is the most magnetically resistant calibre in the world. The brand releases the Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’—an all-black, all-ceramic version of the co-axial Speedmaster chrono. The case, the bezel, the dial, even the buckle are in true black ceramic. The Dark Side of the Moon is almost as big a hit for Omega as it was for Pink Floyd.

2014 Omega continues to celebrate its lunar history with the ‘Grey Side of the Moon’—an all-grey, nearly-all-ceramic version of the co-axial Speedmaster chronograph. This time, the dial is not ceramic but platinum-plated. The rest of the case is in a grey ceramic Omega refer to as ‘Lunar Dust’ (the original name of the watch). It’s another massive hit, and paves the way for the third watch in the series, which will be released in 2015.

2015 Omega releases the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition, and a special ‘Silver Snoopy’ Speedmaster. The latter watch celebrates the 45-year anniversary of Omega’s involvement in the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts. The Spectre limited edition is the first time a ‘real’ Bond watch—one worn in the film by Bond himself—has ever been made available to the public. In the same year, Omega releases the Globemaster: the world’s first Master Chronometer-certified luxury watch. The Master Chronometer certification is bestowed by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. The Master Co-Axial 8900 / 8901 movement, which beats at the heart of the Globemaster, is subjected to eight rigorous tests, which explore its ability to retain accuracy in the presence of real-life wearing conditions such as magnetic fields and water. The ‘White Side of the Moon’ is also brought to market—and yes, you guessed it, it’s an all-white, all-ceramic version of the co-axial Speedmaster. This time, the case is in zirconium oxide (a white ceramic made from crystalline zirconium). The dial and bezel are in white ceramic, and the watch comes on a white leather strap.

2016 James Bond’s own Omega Seamaster 300—‘Prototype One’—is sold at auction at Christie’s in London. The watch, which features a polished ceramic bezel with LiquidMetal scale, is capable of withstanding magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. It sells in a live auction for £92,500. To celebrate the career of Omega brand ambassador Michael Phelps (the most decorated Olympian of all time), Omega releases the Planet Ocean Co-Axial Master Chronograph ref 215.30.46.51.01.001. It goes on sale at the end of July, just weeks before the Rio 2016 Games are due to start. Omega is once again official timekeeper of the Games.

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