Omega History

1848, Louis Brands opened a comptoir d'etabilissage, a sub-contracting sales office for watch manufacture.

1880, the two brothers Cesar and Louis-Paul Brandt rented a floor in a Bienne building to set up a modern watch production unit. Among the names they chose for their watches were "Helvetia", "Jura", "Celtic", "Gurzelen", and "Patria".

1885, introduction of the "Labrador" lever movement, the watches achieved a precision of within 30 seconds a day.

1889, Louis Brandt and Fils became the largest producers of watches in Switzerland, with a production rate of over 100,000 watches. But this fact did not stop the exclusivity of the watches they produced.

1892, the minute repeating wristwatch was developed in partnership with Audemars Piguet, and probably the first wristwatch of its kind.

1894, A completely new pocket-watch caliber movement became a brilliant market performer when it went into production  It is major points for salability was in its easily interchangeable parts, and it's simplicity of construction. The company's banker, Henri Rieckel, suggested the name Omega for the new watch.

1903, Omega name led to it being adopted as the sole name for all the watches of the company.

1909, The Omega name made it is sports debut at the international ballooning contest for the Gordon Bennet cup.

1917, Britain's Royal Flying Corps decided to choose Omega watches as their official timekeepers for it's combat units, as did the American army in 1918.

1919, Omega had their first victory at the observatory timing competitions in Neuchâtel with their chronometers winning the competition.  This was continued with a score of first places right up until 1971. The 1933, 1936, and 1946 competitions were some of Omega's most noteworthy.

1957, the "Omega Speedmaster" watch was created.

1965, after rigorous evaluation and testing, NASA decided to use the "Speedmaster Professional" chronograph wristwatch as its official timekeeper.

1967, the one millionth chronometer was certified.

1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. As he made the famous steps quoting "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", he was wearing his Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph watch on 21st July.

1972, Omega watches received their two-millionth chronometer certificate.

1974 the legendary Mega quartz marine-chronometer had a daily timing variation of just two thousands of a second, in a trial lasting for 63 days.

1983, Omega received its 100,000th official rating certificate for quartz chronometers on 18th of May.

1983, A museum for the company was opened on 16th December.

1995, presentations were made of the first automatic wristwatch with a centrally mounted tourbillion.

1999, Omega is continuing to demonstrate its innovation, with its newest addition to the company's collection, with the new 2500 caliber movement looking to replace the traditional Swiss-lever escapement.

Omega's watchmakers have developed the "coaxial escapement", a creation of the English master-watchmaker, George Dianels, for series production in wristwatches.  The combination of the new escapement and a newly developed free sprung balance aims to eliminate the basic impediments to accurate regular timekeeping. The effect of the thickness and viscosity of lubricant on the balance's amplitude has been virtually eliminated.  The new coaxial escapement consists of three components a coaxial wheel, an escape wheel, and a lever with three pallet stones, unlike the conventional pallet-lever and escape wheel of the lever escapement. This has extended service intervals to around 10 years.

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