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5 Things to Know About Omega

5 Things to Know About Omega

The first lunar observation. James Bond's timepiece. The only brand that can effectively compete with the popularity of Rolex. These are the first thoughts that spring to mind when the word Omega is mentioned.

The first lunar observation. James Bond's timepiece. The only brand that can effectively compete with the popularity of Rolex. These are the first thoughts that spring to mind when the word Omega is mentioned.

Omega was founded in 1848 and is now one of the most well-known brands in the world. While the brand and its famous timepieces virtually require no introduction, there is so much more to Omega's history that has helped it become one of the world's leading watchmakers.

The official watch of the Olympic Games.

Omega's Olympic engagement began the previous year when it achieved precision records at all six trials at the Geneva Observatory. The Omega chronometer kept time more precisely than any other watch ever built, which grabbed the Olympic Committee's attention. Omega became the official timekeeper of the Olympics in 1932, and the relationship has remained until this day.

Omega's unrivaled precision was critical not only inaccurately documenting pivotal moments in sports, but also in inventing vital equipment on which players relied.

The only watch brand to pass NASA's stringent examinations

NASA initiated the Apollo program in the early 1960s with the goal of landing humans on the moon and safely returning them to Earth. By 1964, NASA had begun its hunt for a durable and dependable wristwatch to serve as the program's official watch. The corporation issued a request to other watch brands, and Omega, Rolex, Longines, and Hamilton each sent a watch for testing.

The NASA watch trials were effectively a series of torture tests for the timepieces, subjecting them to severe temperatures, volatile swings, changes in gravity, and high-pressure levels. In the end, only the Omega Speedmaster was able to clear the obstacles.

NASA designated the Omega Speedmaster 'operational for space exploration and flight approved' in 1965, and it went on to become the first watch worn on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.

Critical junctures in human discovery

Omega has undoubtedly earned a name for itself outside of space, but it has also aided in the discovery of the Earth. Man's initial travels to both poles — the North Pole and the South Pole — were accompanied by an Omega watch.

Ralph Plaisted, an American explorer, made the first surface journey to the geographic North Pole on April 19, 1968. He undertook the 412-mile, 43-day journey with three other intrepid guys, using only a sextant and an Omega Speedmaster to compute his exact position.

Arved Fuchs and Reinhold Messner trekked Antarctica on foot to reach the South Pole in February 1990, at the opposite end of the planet. The pair became the first to reach the South Pole without the assistance of an animal or a motorized vehicle, despite temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, a 1,740-mile trek, and a 90-day expedition. During the operation, they kept time with an Omega Speedmaster.

Omega commercialized coaxial escapement 

When Omega introduced the Co-Axial caliber 2500 in 1999, the whole watch world took notice. It was the first practical new mechanical watch movement introduced since the 1700s at the time.

The Co-Axial, invented in 1976 by English watchmaker George Daniels, is a contemporary watch escapement that tackles the issue of friction and stability that was typical in older lever escapements. Despite its cleverness, bringing it into production wasn't simple - and Omega stepped up to the plate.

Omega introduced the first watch with a co-axial movement in 1999, and the co-axial escapement is now used in practically all of the company's timepieces.

Omega mastered magnetism

Magnetic fields are a continual threat to watch movements, and practically every watch manufacturer offers an anti-magnetic watch with resistance to 1,000 gausses as the norm.

Omega devised a novel solution to this challenge in 2013, generating the first movement capable of withstanding magnetic forces greater than 15,000 gausses.

Whereas the industry practice was to employ a soft iron inner casing to defend against magnetic effects, Omega took a different strategy. The business created a novel movement in which the components were constructed of non-ferrous materials, removing the requirement for an inner casing while increasing resistance to magnetic fields.

Since 2017, all in-house Omega movements have utilized the technology used in the > 15,000 Gauss watch.

Omega has been pushing the frontiers of watchmaking for almost 170 years. Watchfinder Yorkville has a large selection of Omega watches for men and women.


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