Omega, prestigious and innovative watches
Omega watches have a rich history of over 170 years. During this epic, they have had the privilege of participating in several of humanity's most outstanding expeditions: space conquest, diving into the depths of the ocean, pioneering adventures led by famous explorers...Often less known than Rolex by the general public, Omega creations have nevertheless revolutionized the world of fine watchmaking many times. They are still considered today as pieces of rare quality by collectors and luxury watch lovers around the world.
The creation of the first Omega watches
The history of Omega watches began in 1848. That year, Louis Brandt opened a small watchmaking business in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The 23-year-old founded the company that would become Omega decades later in the family home. Passionate about precision watchmaking, Louis Brandt's ambition was to make the most accurate watches in the world. His production, which took the name "Louis Brandt", quickly became successful in Switzerland and then in the rest of Europe.
In 1879, Louis Brandt died and bequeathed his company to his two sons, Louis-Paul and César. The two successors quickly had the idea of industrializing their production. They decided to settle in Bienne and renamed the company "Louis Brandt & fils". In 1880, the Brandt brothers marketed their very first caliber made solely by mechanical processes. Thanks to this manufacturing technique, the brand's watches were both very reliable and affordable. For this reason, they were very successful all over the world.
In 1885, the company met its production objectives by launching its first serial caliber. Named "Labrador", this mechanism was particularly innovative for its time and offered exceptional chronometric performance. The family business became very successful: by 1890, it produced more than 100,000 watches each year and employed 600 people, becoming the largest Swiss watch manufacturer.
Omega's consecration in the world of luxury watchmaking
The success of the Labrador movement had already made the Brandt brothers' production a great success. In 1892, the company took a new step: it created the world's first minute repeater wristwatch. This watch was the only one of its kind to be produced in the history of watchmaking - it struck the hours and minutes on demand.
On August 1, 1894, the Brandt brothers presented a revolutionary new movement that would give its name to the Swiss company: the Omega 19-line. Produced in series, this model redefined the standards of watchmaking and became the company's greatest success. It has the particularity of offering interchangeable parts that can be replaced by any watchmaker. It also has winding and time setting functions associated with the crown and stem - a system still in use today. The model was a runaway success. 20 years later, it still represents about one third of the company's production.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the popularity of the brand was well established. Omega was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1900 Paris World Fair and, thanks to the excellent reputation of its models, became the official timekeeper of several sporting competitions in Switzerland and abroad. The brand was definitively renamed Omega in 1903.
Until the First World War, Omega's creations were favored by watchmakers around the world (their mass-produced calibers were relatively easy to repair). However, the first watch crisis and the armed conflicts in Europe posed serious challenges to the company, which saw its post-war sales fall until 1925.
Despite the unfavorable economic climate and the economic crisis of 1929, the company nevertheless managed to be the first watchmaker to time the entire Olympic Games in 1932 (a tradition that still exists today). Omega also supplied more than 110,000 watches to the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and launched the first automatic watches in its history during this period. At the end of the war, there was an international craze for Omega watches, with many organizations and armed forces making them their official watches (US Air Force, Air France, Canadian Air Force).
The new rise of the Omega brand
In the 1950s, Omega made a splash with the launch of the Seamaster watch and the Constellation wrist chronograph. But it was really the creation of the Omega Speedmaster watch in 1957 that would put the company at the top of the watch industry. Renowned for its reliability, this chronograph became the official watch of NASA in 1965. Four years later, in 1969, the Speedmaster made history by adorning Buzz Aldrin's wrist for his first step on the moon. The only chronograph capable of facing space without its glass breaking, this Omega Speedmaster watch will be renamed Moonwatch to pay tribute to this achievement.
Despite this achievement, the 1970s marked a new low point for Omega: the watchmaking industry was in a major crisis. To stay alive, the brand merged with SMH, which was later renamed Swatch Group. In 1970, at the request of Captain Cousteau, the Seamaster Professional 600 (known as Ploprof for professional divers) dive watch was created. This watch, with its one-piece case and winding mechanism with a special waterproofing nut, set a world record for diving depths.
Omega watches made a comeback in the 1990s. With the support of the Swatch Group, of which it is now a part, the Swiss manufacturer launched two innovative calibers (the 1120 and 651), invented the coaxial escapement and caused a sensation with the caliber 8501 over the next two decades. Since then, Omega watches have been considered benchmarks and remain intimately linked to the conquest of space. With approximately 700,000 units produced each year, Omega is even one of the world's leading watch companies. To continue its development, the Swiss company can count on renowned ambassadors such as George Clooney, Michael Phelps or... James Bond.
The emblematic models of the Omega watchmaking House
Omega Speedmaster watch
The Omega Speedmaster watch is certainly the most iconic collection of the Swiss brand. Launched in 1957, this chronograph is the only one to have been officially worn on the moon. Even today, this model participates in all of NASA's space missions. The Omega Moonwatch worn on the moon by Buzz Aldrin in 1969 remains the most famous model in the Speedmaster collection. It is distinguished by its tachymeter scale and black dial. With a 42mm case, this chronograph also features Super-LumiNova luminescent hands and indexes. Other iconic models in the range include the Omega Speedmaster '57, which pays tribute to the original 1957 model with a 41.5 mm case available in a variety of noble materials (yellow gold, red gold, titanium, etc.), and the Omega Speedmaster Mark II with its aerodynamic case. Available in full steel or in steel and 18-carat gold, the new Omega Speedmasters brilliantly propel this 1969 classic into the 21st century.
Omega Seamaster watch
Introduced in 1947, this diver's watch was inspired by the models made by Omega for the British Army during World War II. Both elegant and very sporty, it comes in a version known as Professional, characterized by a stainless steel composition, a rotating bezel, a crown at 3 o'clock and luminescent indexes and hands. More other models in the collection are very successful:
- Omega Seamaster 300M watches with 39 or 41 mm diameter case in steel, titanium, yellow gold, symmetrical lugs, dark dial, large indexes and numbers
- Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watches equipped with a Master Chronometer movement (considered one of the most reliable in the world), ultra-precise coaxial escapement water resistant to 600 meters and several case colors
- Omega Seamaster Ploproof professional watches, considered one of the most robust and reliable watches ever invented. With a titanium case, ceramic bezel, Master Chronometer movement and coaxial escapement, this collection pushes the limits and manages to remain waterproof to a depth of 1,200 meters.
Omega Constellation watch
Launched in 1952, this collection offers watches that are all about sobriety and elegance. Over the years, this line has undergone many stylistic evolutions; it now has nearly 50 different models for men and women. Whether it's the strap, the dial finish or the movement, this collection offers an almost unlimited number of possibilities. Omega Constellation watches are distinguished by their famous claws and the star on the lower part of the dial.
Omega De Ville Watch
Marketed from the 1960s, the Omega De Ville watch is even more classic than the Constellation range. Available in 6 different models (Ladymatic, Hour Vision, Trésor, Prestige, De Ville Classique and Tourbillon), this collection is distinguished by its sober and authentic style. With their traditional aesthetics, these watches are timeless. This line also makes a statement with its relatively slim cases, Roman numerals and tourbillon movements. Within the collection, it is the Omega De Ville Tourbillon watches that are particularly prized by fine watch purists. The only wristwatch with a central tourbillon, this model embodies the very best of the watchmaking art.
All pre-owned Omega watches available at Cresus are certified authentic by our experts and are polished. In addition to Omega models, we offer watches from the most famous brands of luxury watchmaking: Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Breguet, Cartier, Chanel, etc. Take advantage of our special offers to buy the watch you have always dreamed of.