Omega is one of the most well-known and character most reliable watch brands. When the name Omega one thinks of the moon landing, the next to James Bond and another at Olympia. However, the Bielers are no less committed to the everyday usability of their watches: magnetic field protection, precision in the time display and innovative materials are in focus. Incidentally, the name Omega comes from a 19-ligne pocket watch caliber, which the manufactory introduced in 1894. It convinces with its simple but very reliable construction as well as the interchangeability of all components. This movement was named Omega. In the spring of 1894, the company registered “Omega” as a trademark. In 1947, the brand name came to the fore in the name of the company, and since 1982, the company has been called “Omega SA”. What you should know about Omega is shown by our fact check.
Fact #1 about Omega: Absolute precision and magnetic field protection
In 1999, Omega launched the first caliber with co-axial inhibition. Developed by George Daniels and further developed by Omega, Eta and Nivarox, this inhibitor has been the first practical, new escapement technology for nearly 250 years. It is designed to require very little oil to lubricate the parts. Today, almost all omega calibers are equipped with co-axial inhibition. With the co-axial caliber 8500/8501 Omega 2007 rose in the circle of manufactories.
In 2013, the Seamaster Aqua Terra> 15,000 Gauss was presented, which is insensitive to magnetic fields of more than 15,000 Gauss (1.5 Tesla). The battle against magnetic fields continues Omega to this day. A new test procedure, carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), tests Omega watches for their magnetic field resistance, accuracy, water tightness and whether the specified power reserve is maintained. The signature »Master Chronometer« on the dial shows this new generation of watches. The mechanical movements are firstly equipped with the omega-typical co-axial escapement, secondly, already have a COSC chronometer certificate and thirdly consist of materials that are non-magnetic to at least 15,000 Gauss.
We tested the high magnetic field resistance of the Omega watches in a long-term test at the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean. This watch is equipped with the automatic manufacture caliber 8900. The watch was made by dr. Röder was worn for several months on and in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The detailed test with exciting pictures directly from the MRT can be found in the Uhren-Magazin issue 1/2018. You can order the booklet free of charge here.
Fact #2 about Omega: Omega and diving
Before Omega landed on the moon, it went into the sea: The 1932 presented Omega Marine is considered the first diver’s watch in the world. A second case could be pushed over the dial, which was protected by sapphire crystal, and provided the necessary waterproofness.
Between 1940 and 1945, Omega supplied more than 110,000 timepieces to the British Ministry of Defense for the Royal Air Force and other military branches. The watches were prized for their reliability and water resistance, so they adapted Omega to the needs of civilian life. And so the Seamaster series launched in 1948 became the first Omega watch family. This version was even characterized by even higher water resistance because Omega first used O-rings, which later became the generally recognized state of the art.
In 2018, Omega will be presenting two reissues of the historic Seamaster. They remain faithful to the past, but the Master Chronometer works 8804 and 8806 of the Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds and Seamaster 1948 Central Second is state of the art in the 21st century. Both watches feature a 38mm stainless steel case with polished bezel, an opal silver and domed dial with an imprinted “Ω”. It is only on closer inspection that you can see that the design of the diamond-polished hands of 18-carat white gold varies. In the caseback of both watches is a flat sapphire crystal embedded, which is fixed with the patented “Naiad Lock” locking system from Omega. In the ring the number of the limitation, which amounts in each case to 1,948 copies, is laser-engraved. In the sapphire crystal itself, a birthday logo is engraved and painted by hand. The watertightness of the Seamaster is six bar, that is 60 meters. Finally, in 1957, the first Seamaster 300 appeared. That was the beginning of the divers’ watch history at Omega.
In 1970, the Swiss brand wrote history with the Seamaster Professional 600, now better known as Ploprof. Their distinguishing features are the crown on the left side of the case and the red safety button, which unlocks the rotating bezel.
A year later came the Seamaster 1000, which remained pressure resistant up to 100 bar – at that time a record. A five-millimeter thick mineral glass contributed to the enormous waterproofness. In 2009 Omega officially launched the Seamaster Professional as Ploprof, withstanding water pressures up to 120 bar. The latest version is made of titanium and, thanks to its sapphire crystal back, features the METAS-certified automatic caliber 8912. We took a close look at the current Ploprof 1200M in titanium in a practical test. The test can be found here as a download in our shop.
Fact #3 on Omega: First Watch is worn on the Moon and more space watches
The story is well known to Omega fans: the first watch on the moon was an Omega Speedmaster Professional. NASA employees bought ten chronographs from various manufacturers in 1962, including from Omega, to find a suitable watch for space use. The clocks had to comply with the set of requirements for the lunar program. After numerous, demanding tests, the Speedmaster emerged victoriously. In March 1965, she received the predicate “Flight-qualified by NASA for all Manned Space Missions” and became the official equipment of the astronauts. Since then, the Speedmaster has completed so many memorable missions. With Edwin “Buzz” Aldwin she succeeded on July 21, 1969 as the first clock on the moon and has since been nicknamed Moonwatch.
Fact #4: Omega and James Bond
The most famous brand ambassador of the modern era of Omega is the fictional agent 007 James Bond. Since 1995, Omega is an official partner of the Bond films. Only Pierce Brosnan and now Daniel Craig fight with an omega on the arm against the evil of the world. In November 2015 the hitherto newest strip of the double-zero agent »Specter« was released. A Seamaster 300 saved Bond’s life.
Fact #5 about Omega: 5-year warranty for Omega watches
Since 2015 Omega has been commissioned by the independent Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to test clockworks and clocks in a complex process and officially certify them as “Master Chronometer”. This certificate set a new quality standard. To underline this Omega grants since November 2, 2018, for all new watches a five-year warranty. This warranty also applies retroactively to timepieces purchased from 1 July 2018.