The Omega brand has existed since 1848 and has evolved into one of the true greats of the Swiss watch industry, and a name worthy of rivalling Rolex themselves. Their extensive catalogue of luxurious and iconic timepieces has been made memorable by some of history’s greatest achievements.
It was an Omega watch that became the first timepiece on the surface of the moon, and it is an Omega watch that has been the wristwatch of choice for the world’s most celebrated secret agent, 007. The company has also been the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games since 1932.
For those wanting to invest into a new timepiece, but want something that is guaranteed to be of excellent quality and from an internationally-renowned brand, Omega is a fantastic option. However, before you commit to your purchase, it is a good idea to learn more about the company, its history, and of course its watches. Our Omega watch collectors guide can help.
A Brief History of Omega
Omega started life as a small family-run business in the Swiss village of La Chaux de Fonds. Started by Louis Brandt, the company was run out of his small workshop, selling watches to clients all around the world. Following his death in 1879, his sons took over the firm and slowly transformed it into the titan it is today.
The brand name ‘Omega’ was not coined until 1894, named after the 19-line Omega calibre movement that was released in the same year. It continued to grow in popularity and prestige, and was named the Official Timekeeper for sporting events across Switzerland, and later across the world.
Omega Watch Movements & Features
When deciding which Omega watch to purchase, it is important to consider the movement that powers the timepiece and any other features that may appear. There are three main movements that Omega uses, which are mechanical, automatics and quartz.
A watch with a mechanical movement contains a mainspring that regularly needs to be wound in order to keep the functions going. They do not require batteries, meaning you can avoid the expense and inconvenience of having to get them replaced. Mechanical watches are carefully crafted and should function extremely well for a lifetime.
Much like mechanical watches, timepieces that have automatic movements have no need for a battery. They also do not have to be regularly wound, making them even more convenient than their mechanical counterparts. Simply wearing the watch will power it, making it extremely useful if you plan on using it every day.
Quartz movements are powered by a battery and are an extremely practical choice as they don’t require regular winding. The simplicity of the internal workings means the watches can be more slim and delicate in design, and the fewer moving parts means the timepieces are less likely to need maintenance.
When it comes to features, Omega watches are second to none. From Moonphase and world time features, to tachymeters and unidirectional turning bezels, you are practically guaranteed to find an Omega timepiece to suit you.
Popular Omega Collections
Throughout its illustrious history, Omega has produced some truly iconic collections that delight enthusiasts the world over. In this part of our Omega watch collectors guide, we will examine some of the most popular and what makes them so beloved.
There has arguably never been a collection that has blazed a path through history quite like the Omega Speedmaster. First launched in 1957, the “Speedy” started life as a sports and racing chronograph to commemorate the brand’s position as Official Timekeeper for the Olympic Games.
But it was with outer space that the Speedmaster collection really gained popularity. Two astronauts called Walter Schirra and Gordon Cooper bought a Speedmaster to wear on space missions, with Schirra donning his on the Sigma 7 spacecraft in October 1962. This was the watch’s very first journey into space.
Shortly after this, NASA announced that the Speedmaster was the only watch to pass its rigorous series of tests to find the best one for its astronauts to wear in space. Then, on the 20th of July 1969, the Speedmaster was part of one of mankind’s most historic achievements – when it was worn on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin when he became the second man to step foot on the moon’s surface.
To this day, the Speedmaster is one of the world’s most beloved collections and is regarded as the jewel in Omega’s watchmaking crown.
Effortlessly combining style, elegance and mechanical precision, the Constellation collection adds a touch of glamour to any occasion. These watches were launched in 1948 as a way to mark the brand’s 100th anniversary. It was initially just meant to be a limited edition model known as the Centenary, however it proved so popular that an entire new collection was born.
Long before Omega started its journey to exploring the depths of the ocean and the surface of the moon, the brand attempted to conquer time itself. The company did this by creating extremely complex movements to achieve the highest level of precision possible.
Indeed, the company’s Co-Axial movement is considered to be so reliable that it is guaranteed for three years longer than the industry standard. If you are looking for a timepiece that celebrates true engineering and watchmaking prowess, look no further than the Omega Constellation.
The Omega Seamaster collection confirms the brand’s position as a trusted and reliable provider of timepieces for divers and sailors. Launched in 1948, the timepieces were modeled on wristwatches worn by the British military in the Second World War.
Perhaps the most popular aspect of the Seamaster is the fact it is elegant enough to complement any occasion, yet strong and robust so it can keep up with even the most active of lifestyles. The collection also continued to grow in esteem with diving professionals with the launch of the Seamaster Professional and Seamaster Ploprof.
Despite a drop in popularity in the 1990s, the Omega Seamaster gained a strong second wind when it featured in the James Bond film Goldeneye. Other members of the Seamaster family have appeared on the wrist of the world’s most famous secret agent in multiple films, gaining the collection cult status.
Omega De Ville
The polar opposite to sports watches, the Omega De Ville collection is one of the brand’s most important success stories. The timepiece provided a more streamlined and younger feel that embodied a whole new identity for the company.
Omega De Ville watches also enjoyed real success in terms of design, winning big in the Grand Prix Triomphe de l’Excellence Européenne and Baden-Baden Golden Rose design awards in the 1970s. The perfect match of precision, style and ingenuity, these exquisite timepieces are ideal for any occasion.
Second Hand Omega Watches from Blowers Jewellers
If you have decided that an Omega watch is right for you, the next step is to consider where to make your purchase. There is really no place better than Blowers Jewellers.
We have amassed decades of experience in helping our clients choose the watch of their dreams, and have cultivated a strong reputation for the quality of our service and advice. We understand that purchasing your ideal item of jewellery is extremely personal, which is why we will take the time to understand your tastes and style before using our expertise to recommend what we believe is the best solution for you.
For more information on how Blowers Jewellers can help, pop into our boutique in Kingston Upon Hull or contact a member of our team today. You can also book an appointment to come and see us at our office in London’s Mayfair.