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History

1848: Louis Brandt set up an établissage assembling watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds
1894: Creation of the Omega 19 ligne calibre based on the innovative principle of interchangeable parts
1903: "Omega" was added to the company name, which became Louis Brandt et Frère - Omega Watch & Co.
1982: The company officially became Omega SA

Omega is the only watch brand to have been worn on the Moon, when on July 21st 1969 Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface. Ever since this historic moment, Omega has been part of the adventure of space exploration. Its past, its timepieces, and its activities alongside watch production have made it one of the most significant and best-known names in the measurement of time. Acquired by Swatch Group in 1985, Omega continues to make its mark with its Co-Axial technology, and innovative materials such as silicon.

The Omega story began in 1848 when Louis Brandt set up an établissage to assemble watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1894 the company developed a calibre, which it would name the Omega 19 ligne, whose parts were all interchangeable. This was a revolution in terms of production, as its design meant it could be assembled using a new organisation of labour. Its excellent timekeeping and affordable price soon made it a reference... to the point that in 1903 the company became Louis Brandt et Frère - Omega Watch & Co. The twenty-fourth and last letter of the Greek alphabet, here "omega" signifies the crowning of an expertise. Mechanical or quartz, with analogue or digital displays, Omega movements would win numerous prizes for their chronometric precision.

By the early 1900s, Omega was producing some 100,000 watches a year, which made it one of the biggest watch manufacturers in the world. This is also when it became active in sports timing. The takeover in 1932 of complicated movement-maker Lemania Lugrin paved the way for chronographs. That same year, Omega was appointed official timekeeper for the Los Angeles Olympic Games, a function it regularly performed until it became the exclusive timekeeper for the Games in 2009. In parallel, Omega has forged a deliberately glamorous image with James Bond as a very special ambassador.



Key dates

1892

Creation of the first minute-repeater wristwatch.

1900

The first wristwatches to be manufactured industrially under the Omega brand name appeared during the Boer War.

1909

Omega timed its first sporting event.

1932

Omega made its debut as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games. Since then, the company has timed the world's foremost sporting events.

1948

The first Omega Seamasters were launched.

1952

Launch of the first Omega Constellation self-winding wrist chronometers.

Creation of the Omega Speedmaster wrist chronograph, chosen by the NASA in 1965 and renamed Omega Speedmaster Professional in 1966. Read more about the Omega Speedmaster

1960

The Seamaster inspired the Seamaster De Ville, the model behind the brand's De Ville fashion watches.

1974

An Omega Megaquartz 2400 was given official marine chronometer certification, a unique award in the history of watches.

1985

Omega became part of the SMH group, now Swatch Group.

Launch of the Omega Seamaster 200 Meters which, as part of the Nautilus submarine's mission, descended to -4,400 metres under the Atlantic Ocean..

1993

Launch of the Seamaster Professional Diver.

1994

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Omega brand, Maurice Grimm and André Beyner created the first wristwatch with central tourbillon.

Launch of the Co-Axial escapement calibre 2500, designed by English watchmaker George Daniels and which requires almost no lubricant.

With the calibre 2500, refined by the introduction of OMEGA’s free sprung balance for maximum precision, the venerable watch company had signalled the greatest revolution in recent watchmaking history, reaching chronometric performance standards previously unimagined for series-production mechanical watches.

2007

Omega launched the Co-Axial calibre 8500. For the first time, the company built the entire movement around the Co-Axial Escapement and every one of its 202 parts was developed and produced in-house specifically for the new calibre. At the same time, the movement’s manufacturing processes was optimized for series-production readiness.

2008

Launch of the Co-Axial calibre 8520/8521 designed especially for smaller watches. It was introduced in the new Aqua Terra Ladies’ Collection showing that the technology could function perfectly in watches with 30 mm cases.

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