The History Of Omega Watches: From The 19th Century To The Present

The History Of Omega Watches: From The 19th Century To The Present

The history of Omega watches starts with the design of the first timepiece in the 19th century. This watch was made in 1843 by designer Louis Brandt. He lived in Switzerland, and he began by making pocket watches. These were the main product of the time for those who wanted to carry the timepieces with them. Brandt died in 1879, and his two sons decided to take over the business. They had a strong focus on controlling every aspect of production, always wanting to make sure that each timepiece was perfect.

At first, these designer watches, like the ones available at David M Robinson, were sold in England, Italy, and parts of Scandinavia. Many of the sales were routed through other countries. England, in particular, was able to open up the market for Brandt and his sons. However, sales that were done in this fashion were slow, and the cost was driven up considerably by all of the middlemen. As the company grew, the emphasis shifted to finding new ways to reach large amounts of customers at one time. In many ways, this process was aided by the outbreak of World War 1, bringing thousands of troops into Europe from their bases all around the world.

A major breakthrough in the history of Omega watches came when the Royal Air Force, England’s fledgling air power of the time, decided to have all of its pilots wear Omega watches while they were flying. As can be imagined, timing and accuracy were of the utmost importance. Omega watches had a reputation for being very accurate, so the military bought hundreds of the watches at a time. The next year, the American army decided to do the same thing. This led to the sale of thousands of watches, and it also opened the door to America. Omega watches began to be known outside of the boundaries of Europe.

Over the years, these designer watches have been present for many important events.

When men landed on the moon in the 1960s, they were wearing Omega watches. These watches have often been used in the deepest sea dives that have been undertaken in the modern day. This spirit of adventure, of pushing the limits, is something on which the company prides itself.

From the skies over WWI to the face of the moon, Omega watches have been used by those who needed the greatest quality, who relied on perfect accuracy, and who needed to depend fully on their timepieces. These events have made Omega a worldwide brand that is recognized in almost every country. Today, homage is being paid to this rich history. The desk of Louis Brandt has been preserved, and a picture of Brandt sits on its surface in the museum display.


1 Comment

  1. Roger @ TheFinestWatches

    January 18, 2013 at 5:02 am

    A nice summary of Omega’s history, and generally historically accurate. However, I must clarify for some readers who may be confused by the wording in your article that “the first timepiece” was not created in the 19th century, but much earlier than that. While Omega itself was founded in 19th century Switzerland, its timepieces were by no means the first to ever be made.

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