Omega is among the best known watch shops on the planet – and certainly the best known outside of it. Of NASA, the Olympic Games and James Bond, without even mentioning names like Speedmaster, Seamaster and Constellation, the brand has achieved status of rock-star among collectors and enthusiasts everywhere. Below, you read a list of things you should know about the company:
- What’s in a name?
In 1848, Louis Brandt founded the company that would later be Omega in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Switzerland. In the year 1877, his sons Louis-Paul and César joined him and the company was renamed Louis Brandt & Fils. In 1894, the brand has produced a new movement which is stated as a major worldwide success, due to its precision and ease of repair. He was known as Omega caliber, and his success was so much that in 1903, the company name was changed to Louis Brandt & Frère-Omega Watch Co. and then came the name Omega.
- Chronometric precision
During the 19th and 20th centuries, before GPS and quartz, Nations and industries depended on the accuracy of mechanical watches. To encourage improvements in this field have been carried out tests at the Geneva Observatory. This Marathon was testing different types of watches for long periods. The winners win a substantial publicity and right to glory. The most important brands of clock degladiavam in this real world cup of watchmaking. Omega has achieved a tremendous success on these tests, and won several world records. In tests conducted in 1931, the brand won in all six categories. In this same year, the company adopted the slogan “Omega-Exact time for live”, “Omega-the exact time for life”. It wasn’t an exaggeration, but a credit backed by decades of good results obtained at the Observatory.
- Holding the end of the world
The leader of the first expedition to reach the North Pole by an overland route was Ralph Plaisted. Riding motorcycles and armed with Omega Speedmasters and sextants, the team reached the North Pole after 43 days, on 19 April 1968. Three teams, was Plaisted which received independent confirmation of which had reached the site, when the U.s. air force plane C-135 flew over the point and confirmed their location. Among names such as Robert Peary and Frederick Cook, today, is Ralph Plaisted recognized by many historians to be the first to get there.
On the other extreme, in February 1990, Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner from centralledwatch completed what some called “last land travel possible on Earth”. They crossed the Antarctic on foot. 2800 km journey took 92 days. They braved temperatures of -40° C and winds that reached nearly 150 km/h. Who accompanied Messner during the journey was an Omega Speedmaster.
- Race in space
In the fall of 1962, a group of astronauts which included Wally Schirra and Leroy “Gordo” Cooper went into a shop of watches in Houston, Texas, in search of a model to be used in Project Mercury, the first NASA space exploration project. They left carrying Omegas Speedmasters. This is how it started the relationship with the space.
At the end of the show, the following year, astronauts came to NASA Operations Director Deke Slayton and asked if they could use on flights and watches practice. The timing was perfect. This time, NASA had just hired a team to perform testing and certification on products that could be used by astronauts. The American space agency tested, so models Omega, Rolex and Longines-Wittnauer. The evidence was brutal, made to check their watches until its destruction. On 01 March 1965 1 winner was selected and certified Speedmaster, ST 105,003 reference as “qualified for all manned space missions”. On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong left the Eagle module to be the first human to set foot on another world.
“But he wasn’t wearing his Omega,” said Buzz Aldrin, who was on mission in his recent visit to Brazil, during a lunch with journalists. Your watch was Eagle houses because the clock on board the aircraft was not working. But a few minutes later, Buzz Aldrin weighed on the Moon wearing your watch. And, so, Omega Speedmaster Professional became the first watch to be dressed on the moon.
- Master and Commander
The Seamaster line was released by Omega in 1948 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brand. This makes this model is the oldest of the current collection, which includes Speedmaster, Constellation and De Ville. The model was made with inspiration for models that Omega produced for the British military at the end of World War II.
In 1957, the Omega Seamaster Professional line launched with the release of the Seamaster 300 model. The team of Jacques Cousteau used this model during his experiments in the Red Sea, the expedition “Precontinent II”, who intended to prove that divers could live underwater in an environment with saturated gas for long periods without suffering adverse effects. Some other military units such as the Special Service of British Vessels, also chose Seamaster 300 as official watch.
As divers tend to increasingly work in greater depths, the Omega began work on his famous PloProf (PLOngeur PROFessionel, or “master Diver”), Seamaster 600, released to the public in 1970, after four years of testing and research. During the process of research and development, the Omega test in 600 metres at its plant and 1000 meters deep off the coast of Marseille. In September of the same year, three company COMEX divers donned PloProf for eight days and carried out its activities in the water for hours, every day, 250 meters deep. The divers of the Cousteau team also used their models off the coast of Marseille in an experiment at depths that reach the 500 meters. From this day, Seamaster became synonymous with professional diving.
- Olympic Time
The first chronograph brand was produced in 1898 and, in just 10 years, the instrument was used to measure time in 16 sports competitions. After winning the first place in six categories of Geneva Observatory, the International Olympic Committee named the Omega as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games of 1932 in Los Angeles. It was the first time the time was given to a company. Omgega provided, so 30 high precision Chronographs, they were able to measure a tenth of a second. All of them have been certified by the Centre, as well as the National Physical Laboratory in the United States.
Even the advanced Omega time markers not eliminated the Olympic controversies. In five different races, champion and vice have been registered with the same time. The most famous controversy involved the 100 metres race at the duel Ralph Metcalfe and Thomas Edward “Eddie” Tolan. For viewers, it seemed that Metcalfe and official timers recorded three times 10.3 seconds for him and twice and a 10.3 10.4 to Eddie. However, Eddie was consecrated winner thanks to the insertion of photographic system.
A camera filmed the end of each race and was used to record the time about 100th of a second. The rules at the time stated that the winner would be the first to cross the torso at the finish line, not what reached first. After watching the movie, judges gave the award to Eddie Tolan, who crossed the line completely five-hundredths of a second before Metcalfe.
This episode was an omen about the need for even more precise timers and best methods of determining winners. Omega claims that time Olympics requires hundreds of professional timekeepers and data handlers, supported by up to 1000 local volunteers specially trained, with approximately of 400 tonnes of equipment, including scores, many kilometers of cables and optical fibers, in addition to cutting-edge technology in developed by Omega timing and adapted for each sport.
- James Bond and other films
Over the years, the most famous secret agent movies ever put on various brands of clock. But nowadays no other is best associated with it than Omega. The year 1995 marked two firsts “in history of 007. The film GoldenEye was starring a new agent, Pierce Brosnan, and the Omega watch Seamaster debuted on his wrist. Since then, Bond wore Omega in “tomorrow never dies”, “the world is not enough”, “die another day”, “Casino Royale”, “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall”.
How about figures achieved by auctions, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is in the first two places. The first, used in Casino Royale, was sold by 250,250 Swiss francs, more than 650 1000 R$ in today’s values. The second is a Planet Ocean used in the recording of Skyfall, auctioned off in a special event for 50 years of 007, in the year 2012. Were 236,473 Swiss francs, or 616 1000 R$.
There were many other films, not just of the 007 franchise, the Omega appears. But one of the most important appearances of the brand was in the movie Apollo 13, in which depicts with precision the astronauts wearing their Speedmasters. Due to a problem with the aircraft, the film is the fundamental role of clock replacing a broken timer.
- In the famous
Brand ambassadors and friends aside, the Watch at has already been proven as a favorite of many celebrities and leaders. Mikhail Gorbachev was often photographed with his Constellation Manhattan gold.
Besides him, Pope John Paul II wore a De Ville classic. Elvis Presley was photographed wearing an Omega. Buddy Holly was wearing an Omega ultra thin when their plane crashed in February 1959. Ringo Starr wore an Omega while playing with the Beatles.
One of the most famous owners of an Omega was John f. Kennedy, who wore one when I became President in 1961. He won this watch d a friend before the elections. The back of the clock with the inscription “President of the United States John f. Kennedy from his friend Grant”, “President of the United States John f. Kennedy from his friend Grant.” Today the clock is exposed in the Museum of Omega.
- The co-axial escapement
As we have seen on tucsonsmartwatches, since its early days, the Watch has pursued the high-precision timing. One of the primary objectives of this area is the low friction of the leakage . So, it’s not surprising that, when the renowned English watchmaker George Daniels developed his now famous, Omega co-axial escapement took over the challenge of putting it in a large scale production. These efforts culminated in the launch of the Omega co-axial calibre 2500, in 1999. The mark then became known as the first to launch a new muffler for a clock in 250 years.
In 2007, the brand launched its calibre 8500 owner, with leakage of low friction, mechanical efficiency and high performance timing. The escapement is used in conjunction with a balance of free rotation, preferred to movements of fine watches. Trust is such that all leakage watches COSC-certified count and come with four-year warranty.
- Winning the magnetism
In 2013, the Omega announced the creation of the first movement is resistant to magnetic fields of up to 15 1000 gauss, exceeding by far any magnetic resistance than any other Watch has succeeded before. Many watches with this feature have inner boxes made of iron, which distributes the magnetism in a way that does not affect the movement. But the approach of watchmaking was the creation of key parts of the movement with non-ferrous components, which eliminates the need for an inner box and provides an even greater resistance to magnetism. Omega’s approach has the additional advantage of allowing a date window is positioned at the display. The same for a view on the back of the box. Features that are not possible in iron-coated watches.