Omega has been the official timekeeper at the Olympic Games since the 1930s, and was one of the first watches in space, so it is fair to say the company has a story to tell.
Over a Century in the Making
The iconic luxury Swiss watchmaker has been in business since the turn of the last century, surviving through the economic difficulties posed by two world wars to find a strong position after the company merged with the SSIH Group.
Another period which challenged Omega was the influx in the 1980s of quartz watches from Japanese manufacturers. Sticking to its values of quality of workmanship and a traditional style, Omega is one of the Swiss watchmakers that has stood the test of time.
Omega in Space
Omega managed to sign a coveted contract for the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph to be used by US astronauts in the 1960s during their space exploration missions. This gave the watchmaker exceptionally good PR potential when TV companies interviewed astronauts, as well as the welcome title of being the first watch on the moon when astronauts landed during the 1969 mission.
For a long time Omega played out a brand rivalry with fellow Swiss watchmaker Rolex – although their competitor priced their time pieces in a higher price bracket, they were seen as a direct threat in terms of sales. The battle has been compared to the Coke vs Pepsi of the watch world, and it is accepted that the two brands have pushed each other to new heights, rather than being harmful to each other’s business objectives.
A New Era
Omega has expanded its collection to include a number of styles and straps, divided into ranges including the Seamaster, the Speedmaster, De Ville and the Constellation. Each represents a different image and has different capabilities, such as the Seamaster’s Diver 300m which is especially designed for those exploring underneath the surface of the ocean.
There is a long list of celebrities and stars known to be wearers of Omega watches, from factual to fictional. They include the legendary British agent James Bond, the subject of countless box office hits, as well as the wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, actor George Clooney, motor car critic and writer Jeremy Clarkson and golfer Rory McIlroy.
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