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For over 150 years, Omega has been one of the world’s premier watch manufacturers. Le Generale Watch Co. (the precursor to Omega) was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1848 by Louis Brandt. Although it started as a small workshop selling precision pocket watches, the company grew substantially when Brandt's sons took over the business in 1894, and began selling watches under the Omega name. By 1903, the company was producing 240,000 watches annually, and had moved its headquarters to Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.
Omega has a long list of accomplishments. In 1918 the United States Army chose Omega as its official watch, and in 1932, Omega became the official timekeeping device of the Olympic Games. In 1962, Wally Schirra wore an Omega Speedmaster CK2998 during his first spaceflight, and in 1969, a Speedmaster became the first watch to reach the moon, as it was the chronograph of choice for NASA pilots during the Apollo 11 mission.
By the 1970's, Omega was the number one watch producer in Switzerland; however sales suffered during the 1980’s due to the growing quartz watch market. Omega regained its footing during the 1990’s, doubling its marketing efforts, and landing many celebrity endorsements. Over the past couple decades, Omega watches have appeared on the wrists of Pierce Brosnan, John F. Kennedy Jr., George Clooney, Stephen Colbert, Michael Phelps, and many more.
While Omega has many iconic lines of watches including the Seamaster, the Speedmaster, the Constellation, and the De Ville, the Seamaster is Omega's longest-running line of watches, dating all the way back to 1948.
OMEGA has maintained its reputation as one of the best and most well-known watches in the world by doing what it has done for over 150 years. Some of Omega’s most famous models include:
• Special Speedmaster
• De Ville
The Speedmaster is Omega's most famous watch family because it was the first watch to make it to the moon. Nicknamed the "Moonwatch," the Speedmaster was worn by an astronaut on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. It also has the distinction of being the company’s longest-produced watch, beginning in 1957. The Speedmaster is one of only a few watches qualified by NASA for spaceflight, and is the only watch qualified for Extra-vehicular activity, or EVA. This means any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft and beyond Earth's atmosphere.
When James Bond switched from Rolex to Omega in 1995, the watch chosen was an Omega Seamaster Professional 300m. The 300m Seamaster remained Bond’s watch for just over a decade, until it was exchanged for a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial chronometer for the 2006 film, Casino Royal. The spy’s watch changes again for the most recent James Bond movie, Spectre. In it, Bond can be seen wearing both an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra and a limited edition Seamaster 300 throughout the movie.
While the Seamaster gets the most time on the silver screen, it is Omega’s Speedmaster that gets the most attention from collectors. First introduced in 1957, and nicknamed the “Moonwatch” for its role during the Apollo 11 mission, the Speedmaster is the only watch qualified by NASA for use outside of a spacecraft and beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Several vintage references of Speedmaster, such as the 105.002 or certain renditions of the 2998, can command prices well into the tens of thousands – and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Since the 1930s, Omega’s classic design has not changed much, only its innovation. The company prides itself on maintaining a timeless and classic look, with a very circular watch face and dark leather straps. If you are looking for a classic, precise and reliable timepiece, Omega watches are certainly worth your time.
If you are looking for a high-quality, classic timepiece, Omega watches are a fantastic option and certainly worth your time. Click here to browse our selection of the best inventory of new and used Omega watches for sale.