Learn the History of Omega Watches?
Today, seven out of ten people throughout the world are familiar with the OMEGA watch brand - a truly amazing rate of awareness to which few other watch brands can lay claim. The reason behind this success is said to be the reliably fine quality of every OMEGA watch. From its modest beginnings in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848 the assembly workshop created by 23-year-old Louis Brandt gradually gained renown. Louis Brandt assembled key-wound precision pocket watches from parts supplied by local craftsmen. After Louis Brandt's death in 1879, his two sons Louis-Paul and Cesar took over control of the business.
Louis-Paul and César Brandt both died in 1903, leaving one of Switzerland's largest watch companies - with 240,000 watches produced annually and employing 800 people - in the hands of four young people, the oldest of whom was Paul-Emile Brandt. The economic difficulties brought on by the First World War would lead him to work actively from 1925 toward the union of OMEGA and Tissot then to their merger in 1930 within the group SSIH. By the seventies, SSIH had become Switzerland's no 1 producer of finished watches and no 3 in the world. The severe monetary crisis and recession of 1975 to 1980, SSIH was bailed out by the banks in 1981. In 1985 the holding company was taken over by a group of private investors. Immediately renamed SMH, Societe suisse de microelectronique et d'horlogerie, the new group achieved rapid growth and success to become today's top watch producer in the world. Named Swatch Group in 1998, it now includes Blancpain and Breguet. Dynamic and flourishing, OMEGA remains one of its most prestigious flagship brands.
1st March 1965 - OMEGA's Speedmaster chronograph was "flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions" as the only wristwatch to have withstood all of the U.S. space agency's severe tests. On 21 July 1969 - 02:56 GMT, the Speedmaster records man's first steps on the Moon's surface. The Speedmaster became the first watch (and the only watch since) to be worn on the Moon. With this unique accomplishment came a unique nickname: the Moon Watch. April 1970 - the OMEGA Speedmaster rescued the Apollo 13 mission from a potential disaster, earning OMEGA the "Snoopy Award".
1948 saw the advent of the Seamaster, Seamaster 300 in 1957, In 1981, the newly launched Seamaster 120 set a new world free dive record at a depth of 101 metres. The Seamaster is also famous for being the choice watch for James Bond.