If you’ve seen any of the James Bond movies (007), then you may have noticed the attractive watches he sports throughout the films. What is this brand? Omega.
Table of Contents:
- The Omega Name & Logo
- Omega History & Background
- Omega Blasts Off
- Omega & Bond. James Bond.
- Other Famous Figures seen wearing Omega
- Fun Facts about Omega
- Are Omega Watches Worth the Price?
- What Makes Omega so Special?
When talking about recognizable hard-luxury watch brands, several companies come to our minds. Now, you may be thinking about Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Blancpain or Patek Philippe but today we will focus on what makes OMEGA so successful and how they have managed to perform so well in a very competitive industry.
2. The Omega Name & Logo
In 1903, La Generale Watch Co. was officially changed to Omega Watch Co. (a spin off to the original brand name). Lionel Messi’s famous quote “In football as in watchmaking, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision”. In short, it’s no coincidence that the word Omega is Greek for greatness and perfection.
3. Omega History
Established by Louis Brandt, Omega watches got its start in a small workshop in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland in 1848. The first thirty years following the brand’s founding, Louis Brandt maintained a modest business, one in which he was able to sell his watches to consumers from around the world. Following his unfortunate passing in 1879, Brandt’s sons gratefully took over the business with intentions of carrying on their father’s vision.
The company’s first mass-produced caliber, named the Labrador, was released by the sons in 1885. It was in 1892 that the first minute-repeating timepiece was created. By 1894 the company had launched the 19-line Omega Caliber. This is what gave the company its name. This is what made Omega a key played in the watchmaking industry.
4. Omega Blasts Off
Omega was privileged to accept a role as the official timekeeper at sporting events throughout Switzerland beginning in 1905. It was in 1932 that Omega acquired one of its most vital timekeeping partnerships. Omega earned its title as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. To this day, the partnership still stands, making Omega the official timekeeper for over twenty Olympic Games.
The Seamaster (first edition of one of Omega’s most symbolic watches) was introduced in 1948 to celebrate the company’s 100th Anniversary. To this day, the model is still one of the most respected watches in the Omega family.
Omega is the first watch brand to have ever entered space. In 1962, Omega made history when astronaut Wally Schirra wore a Speedmaster on his Mercury Sigma 7 Mission. Only three years later did the company receive an endorsement from NASA, solidifying the Speedmaster as the official chronograph for American space missions.
When Buzz Aldrin took flight for the moon in 1969, he was also accompanied by an Omega Speedmaster. This iconic piece will always be remembered as having been part of history in its appearance on the very first trip to the moon. A year later, the Speedmaster once again made history as it became crucial in helping astronauts of the Apollo 13 mission (1970) return home safely. Omega and space programs worldwide continue to work together.
5. Omega & Bond. James Bond.
As mentioned above, Omega has also earned widespread popularity as the official watch of James Bond.
James Bond’s story with Omega in 1995 during GoldenEye. When Bond is trapped in a villain’s armored train, using his Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional Diver 300M and the watch’s built-in laser, he is able to cut through the steel plate, and leap free from his doom in perfect time.
In his second adventure as James Bond, James Brosnan wore the automatic chronometer version of the famous Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. In the film, the watch has a detachable remote-controlled detonator, which is later used to help Bond as he sets up a booby trap using a grenade and glass jar. Whether it’s sports, space, or pop culture, Omega has certainly created a name for itself as a reputable hard luxury watch brand.
6. Other Famous Figures Seen Wearing Omega Include:
- George Clooney
- John F. Kennedy
- Prince William
- Elvis Presley
7. Fun Facts about Omega
- The most expensive Omega watch is worth $700,000. This watch is called the Constellation Baguette, which consists of 30 carats, 146 trapeze and Baguette diamonds on the dial, 459 Wessleton diamonds, and a case made from the finest 18-carat white gold.
- Ringo Starr (The Beatles) was a huge fan of Omega. He sported Omega’s first ever LED watch: the Time Computer LED, which was made in 1973
- In 1969, President Nixon turned down the opportunity to be gifted the first ever all gold Speedmaster Professional Deluxe because he thought it was “too valuable.”
- Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino in the hit film Scarface, was pictured rocking an Omega La Magique on his wrist in several scenes. Only 261 of these watches were ever made.
- In 1984 and then again in 1990, Omega created two special collections as a tribute to the brand’s founder Louis Brandt.
8. Are Omega Watches Worth the price?
The resale value of Omega watches is average for the industry. Respectively, the price of Omega’s “best” watch is comparable to the price of Rolex’s “worst” watch. As far as price-product correlation goes, Rolex still dominates the pre-owned/resale sectors of the watch market because Rolex watches hold the best value.
9. What makes Omega so special?
Innovation and Quality
Omega is constantly innovating, and with that, getting better over time. Their mechanical precision and quality of their watches are loved by many. In addition, Omega watches are Swiss-made which means that every Omega piece is and has been crafted in Switzerland since their founding in 1848. Following, the materials involved in the craftsmanship are innovative blend ceramics, silicon, and alloys of precious metals. Omega has also decided to include quartz watches in their collections. In fact, they have been innovators in quartz technology. Taking it another step forward, OMEGA has also pushed Swiss watchmaking far past consumer expectations with the creation of their 18K Sedna™ gold wristwatches (a revolutionary material with an elegant rose gold tone that will maintain its shine for many, many years. Omega’s innovative movements have been superior amongst watch brands. Their innovations vary in features; however, each has unique complications with pure in-house movements. Omega’s innovations undergo a series of strict tests which require lengthy periods of time as stated by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). The COSC is the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of Swiss watches.
In the Omega watchmaking process, the design of the watch is taken very seriously. Numerous Omega watches have been recognized for their pure beauty, despite them being very different designs. Hard luxury pieces, like watches, all come with a unique personality. Each piece is crafted and purchased for a different reason, whether that be a significant event, milestone, celebration, or just an everyday statement watch. Omega does a fantastic job of creating timeless pieces that have the ability to evoke emotions in people. We have already discussed that even highly reputable people, such as presidents, astronauts, movie stars, turn to Omega.
Pure exclusivity is represented in each of Omega’s watches. It’s the unique materials, the designs, the quality, the innovation, and the luxury of Omega watches that account for their expensive prices. You can see proof of the brand’s exclusiveness when looking into their Speedmaster collection, the Seamaster collection, for example.
Omega can be compared to the luxury fashion brand Hermès when it comes to advertising. A brand with such popularity does not need to invest as many funds into advertising to get new clients. Instead, the brand uses celebrities, influencers, and recognized people to promote the brand. For that reason, the brand gained great popularity and with that, demand increased as well. Although Omega has done some great ads in the past, their marketing strategy is very different from other brands, such as Rolex who invests great funds into their advertising strategies.
As we get older, we come to terms with the fact that life moves faster than ever. As much as we wish we could slow downtime, we can’t. The next best thing we can do is keep track of time. So why not do it in style, with one of Omega’s watches on your wrist? Nothing beats the exceptional elegance of a beautifully crafted timepiece especially when it is a luxury watch destined to never go out of style. An investment made into a premium time-keeping Omega is not only a treasured possession but also likely to become a family heirloom. Nothing classifies exclusivity and hard luxury like Omega.