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Information about watchmaker Omega

The forerunner of Omega was founded at La Chaux-de Fonds in Switzerland in 1848 by 23-year-old Louis Brandt and was known as Louis Brandt et Frères. The firm assembled key-wound, precision pocket watches from parts that were supplied by local craftsmen.

After his death in 1879, his two sons Louis-Paul Brandt and César Brandt abandoned the assembly workshop system in favour of in-house manufacturing due to supply problems, moving into property in Biel/Bienne as part of the process.

The Omega calibre watch produced in 1894 was such an outstanding success that the brothers renamed the business Omega.

The two brother died in 1903 leaving the business in the hands of 24 year-old Paul-Emile Brandt and three others.

The First World War brought economical difficulties, leading the company to work actively for union with Tissot from 1925 and then merger with Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère (SSIH) from Geneva.

1948 the saw the advent of the Seamaster watch and then the Seamaster 300 in 1957. In 1981, the newly launched Seamaster 120 set a new world free-dive record at a depth of 101 metres. By the 1970s, the Omega brand outsold Rolex, it's main Swiss rival. It was around this time that it was viewed as Rolex versus Omega in the competition for the King of the Swiss Watch Brands.

Omega watches have tended to be more revolutionary and more professionally focused than Rolex, whose watches have been  more 'evolutionary' and famous for their mechanical pieces and brand.

In 1965, Omega's Speedmaster Chronograph was 'flight-qualified' by NASA and was the only wristwatch to have withstood all of the US space agency's severe tests, becoming the first watch to be worn on the moon in 1969 and rescued the Apollo 13 mission from a potential disaster. This earned Omega's Snoopy Award.

Omega has been the official timekeeping device of the Olympic Games since 1932 and James Bond has worn the brand in films since 1995.

Other famous Omega watch wearers include John F Kennedy, Prince William and Buzz Aldrin.

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Omega Related Lots

Lot FS36/158

Lot FS36/158: Omega. A Gentleman's Stainless Steel Calendar Moonphase Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's stainless steel calendar moonphase wristwatch the satin finish dial 32mm diameter with baton markers, calendar outer bezel calibrated for date with day, month and moonphase apertures and subsidiary seconds dial in a stainless steel case on leather strap.

Estimate: £400 - £600
Realised: £680

Lot FS30/104

Lot FS30/104: Omega. A Keyless Lever Open Face Pocket Watch

Omega. A keyless lever open face pocket watch the circular, white enamel dial 37.5mm diameter with Arabic numerals and subsidiary seconds dial in a plain 9ct gold case 44.5mm diameter, 60gms gross weight.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £200

Lot FS28/125

Lot FS28/125: Omega. A Gentleman's Stainless Steel 'Omega de Ville' Chronometer Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's stainless steel 'Omega de Ville' chronometer wristwatch, the dark grey dial with subsidiary dials for sixty seconds and thirty minutes, luminescent baton markers and hands with centre seconds hand and tachymetric outer dial in a stainless steel case with winder and two buttons in the band, in 'Omega' case, together with purchase receipt and guarantee documentation dated 24/12/74.

Estimate: £800 - £1,000
Realised: £1,100

Lot FS28/127

Lot FS28/127: Omega. A Gentleman's 18ct Gold 'Automatic Chronometer Officially Certified Constellation' Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's 18ct gold 'Automatic Chronometer Officially Certified Constellation' wristwatch, the satin-finish circular dial with baton markers, day/date aperture and centre seconds hand in an 18ct gold case and on 9ct gold bracelet.

Estimate: £700 - £900
Realised: £780

Lot FS28/117

Lot FS28/117: Omega. A Gentleman's Military Issue Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's military issue wristwatch with circular black dial, luminescent Arabic numerals and hands and subsidiary seconds dial, the steel case numbered W WW 5601 Y5601 10669800.

Estimate: £250 - £350
Realised: £480

Lot FS27/163

Lot FS27/163: Omega. A Gentleman's 'Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II' Stainless Steel Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's 'Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II' stainless steel wristwatch the circular, matte grey dial with three subsidiary dials, outer tachymetric dial and centre seconds in a case with winder, stop and reset buttons in the band on tapering link stainless steel bracelet.

Estimate: £800 - £1,200
Realised: £780

Lot FS27/159

Lot FS27/159: Omega. A Gentleman's Stainless Steel 'Omega Automatic Seamaster 300' Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's stainless steel 'Omega Automatic Seamaster 300' wristwatch, the black dial with oversized luminescent markers, centre seconds hand and date aperture in a stainless steel case with revolving bezel on steel bracelet, together with a stainless steel 'Omega automatic, Seamaster Calendar' watch and an 'Omega' wristwatch with black dial.

Estimate: £700 - £900
Realised: £2,300

Lot FS25/168

Lot FS25/168: J W.Benson -The Ludgate. A Gentleman's 18ct Gold Cased Hunter Pocket Watch

J W.Benson -The Ludgate. A gentleman's 18ct gold cased hunter pocket watch, the signed circular white enamel dial 43mm diameter with Roman numerals and subsidiary seconds dial, the signed keyless lever movement numbered L3721, the dust cover with presentation inscription dated 1924 and with attached 18ct gold watch chain.

Estimate: £800 - £1,000
Realised: £1,300

Lot FS25/171

Lot FS25/171: Omega F300. A Gentleman's Chronometer Electronic Wristwatch

Omega f300. A gentleman's chronometer electronic wristwatch the brushed dial having baton numerals & hands, a sweep seconds hand, date aperture and signed Omega, Electronic f300 Chronometer, Officially Certified, the movement stamped Bulova with a plate stamped Omega 1250, 3371 8867, the case stamped .750, 18K, 198 003, the serial number giving a date of manufacture for 1971, with non-original leather strap, diameter 35mm. in a red Omega box.

Estimate: £600 - £700
Realised: £500

Lot FS24/111

Lot FS24/111: Omega. A Gentleman's Stainless Steel 'Omega Automatic Seamaster de Ville' Wristwatch

Omega. A gentleman's stainless steel 'Omega Automatic Seamaster de Ville' wristwatch, on stainless steel bracelet in fitted case with associated leather strap, guarantee dated '1964' and associated paperwork.

Estimate: £350 - £450
Realised: £320

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