The Omega watch company started life in La Chaux-de-Fonds where Louis Brandt set up an assembly workshop in his family’s home in 1858. News of Brandt’s skill for creating precision timepieces quickly spread far and wide. On his death in 1879, his two sons, Louis-Paul and César, took over the family business and moved the company to Bienne, where it has remained ever since.
The first series-produced caliber, the Labrador, was unveiled in 1885 and became the base for many other future innovations, including the famous 19-ligne Omega caliber that was so successful it became the brand’s name in 1894. Omega is the official timepiece of the Olympic Games and James Bond and was the first watch on the moon. The company is owned by The Swatch Group.
Five interesting facts about Omega
- Omega’s Master Chronometer timepieces are resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss. The timepieces are certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), an independent body that carries out eight different tests on the watches.
- One of Omega’s first events as an official timekeeper was the Gordon Bennett Cup in 1909, a rather dangerous hot air balloon racing competition. A large group of international competitors set off from Zurich with the winner traveling 1,211km in 35 hours and seven minutes.
- Omega owners can request an extract from the archives giving information about their watch (only available for watches before the year 2000).
- Historical figures who have worn Omega include John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly.
- Famous people spotted wearing Omega include Prince William, Daniel Craig, Jon Hamm, Sergio Garcia, Gordon Ramsay, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, and Tom Hanks.
Brand ID Card
Company status: Public limited company of the Swatch Group
Senior Management: Raynald Aeschlimann, President
Number of employees: Undisclosed
– De Ville
– Speedmaster Moonwatch
– Seamaster Diver 300M
– Constellation Omega Co Axial Master Chronometer 29 mm
Retail prices in USD: From USD 2,250 to 90,000 (excluding exceptional pieces and limited editions)
Annual production: Undisclosed