Omega, the first watch to be worn on the moon

Omega has evolved to become one of the most prestigious and sought after brands in the world. Few other companies can boast of delivering timepieces that last a lifetime; Omega’s 15-year guarantee on repairs and the delivery of spare parts for its watches from the date production is discontinued is indeed unmatchable. Each timepiece from this Swiss company is developed in adherence to its high quality standards and creative design procedures.

The Brand Omega began its humble beginnings in 1848. It was first produced by Louis Brandt, the inventor of assembled key-wound precision pocket watches. After his demise, the company’s services began to fall apart, until in 1880 when his two sons took up the reins. The district of Bienne opened its arms to the two brothers two years later, and this is where the Omega’s headquarters continue to exist.

Omega’s true test came in 1903, when 23-year old Paul-Emile was left in charge of a company producing 240,000 watches annually and employing over 800 people. What ensued was truly incredible. Paul-Emile, also known as the great architect and builder of Omega, established the company as a world leader by initiating the merger between Omega and Tissot within the group SSIH, Geneva, shortly after the First World War.

By the seventies, SSIH had become Switzerland's number one producer of finished watches and number three in the world. Coming out triumphant from the 1975 recession, the two Swiss giants SSIH and ASUAG (House of brands such as Longines, Rado and Swatch) merged to form the Holding ASUAG-SSIH in 1983. Barely two years later, the holding company was taken over by Nicolas Hayek, who renamed it as SMH. In 1998, the company was christened once again as The Swatch Group.

Omega watches have scaled great heights. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was the first watch to be worn on the Moon, and is a NASA favorite. The glamour industry too considers Omega watches in high esteem; Omega’s Seamaster 300m Diver Chronometer is the current official James Bond watch, used in each of the Bond movies since its first appearance in Golden Eye. In addition, Omega has often been the Official timekeeper for the Olympics since the 1932 Summer Olympiad. This tradition continues for both the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics.

It is worthwhile to mention here that in 1999, Omega introduced to the world the first mass-produced watch incorporating the revolutionary co-axial escapement.

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