Space, James Bond and the Olympics – when it comes to co-associations OMEGA certainly beats most watch brands in terms of cool but above that is their absolute mastery of technology and ability to produce some of the finest movements available today.
However, its beginning is more humble, namely a small workshop in the village of La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, in 1848, where watchmaker Louis Brandt set up his business, La Generale Watch Co., specialising in assembling pocket watches from parts sourced from local craftsmen. Passionate about precision, he spent his life developing the most accurate watches he could, and, when Louis passed away in 1879, his sons Louis-Paul and César took over the business determined to carry on their father’s legacy, laying the foundations of this iconic watch brand. Paul-Emile Brandt assumed control in 1903 and renamed the brand OMEGA after the success of the ‘OMEGA Calibre’ from 1894. Always at the forefront of technology, OMEGA recognised the genius of the George Daniels Co-Axial escapement, patented the design and went into production in 1999 with what is arguably the most significant development in horology for 200 years. This type of escapement provided the stability and accuracy to develop the rigorous testing criteria that allows them to pass both the COSC and METAS testing and describe their watches as Master Chronometers. This pursuit of accuracy led to OMEGA being chosen as the timing partner for the Olympics, which it has done since 1932. It was certainly a factor in the brand’s Speedmaster being chosen by NASA based on quality testing, as the watch that went to the Moon in 1969; that and being able to withstand -18º for four hours. As well as going into space, OMEGA has also conquered the depths of the Ocean, going deep into the Mariana Trench on adventurer Victor Vescovo’s vessel Limiting Factor.
OMEGA’s record-breaking precision, reliability, versatility, and stylish aesthetics are reasons why this iconic brand is so popular, and we are proud to have been in partnership with the brand since the 1950s, having seen it go from strength to strength. Our showroom colleagues are highly trained to be experts in the world of OMEGA, able to take every client on an adventure through time and space. Not only do we sell OMEGA across many of our showrooms, but we also extended our partnership further by having opened OMEGA mono-brand boutiques in high profile locations in the UK and New York, Florida and Las Vegas in the US. Further boutiques are planned for 2022 with an exciting expansion into Europe in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Over the last few years, we have partnered closely with the brand in marketing its new launches and releases, through traditional and digital marketing, from print media to our in-house Calibre communications platform. OMEGA made the cover of our 2021 UK Calibre magazine when the Seamaster 300 Bronze launched. OMEGA is consistently communicated through our emails and is part of our successful Group campaign that highlights several core models across our portfolio of brands, in order to appeal to every type of client, from those at the beginning of their watch journey through to those wanting to expand their collection.
The brand was also part of our Calibre Podcast where we hosted Andrea Nunziata, Brand Director of OMEGA and Managing Director of the Swatch Group (UK) and featured in our ambitious and hugely successful multi-channel Watches of Switzerland US “Anytime. Anywhere.” campaign. 2021 and 2022 also saw key product launches for OMEGA including the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep – a piece made to withstand the toughest underwater conditions; the OMEGA Constellation with their iconic eight stars, which represent two world records for chronometry and six first places achieved between 1933 and 1952, and of course the OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300, worn by 007. The release of the Bond Watch provided us with an exclusive opportunity to host over 120 clients at a private screening of the most-recent James Bond film No Time To Die – which was the final outing for Daniel Craig as Bond himself. It was a truly memorable experience for our clients and one that celebrated not only a great British character but the great partnership we have with OMEGA.