The history of Omega began in 1848, with its founder Louis Brandt, hand assembling pocket watches put together from parts made in the local La Chaux-de-Fonds. Louis Brandt assembled key-wound precision pocket watches from parts supplied by local craftsmen. Following his death in 1879, his two sons Louis-Paul and Cesar took over the business.
The name OMEGA came to be in 1894, when it was used to name one of the Brandt brother’s watch movement calibers. The Brandt brothers were the first swiss watch makers to use the divided assembly line, allowing quality watches to be mass-produced. Louis-Paul and César Brandt both died in 1903, leaving the company of 240,000 watches produced annually and employing 800 people – in the hands of four young people, the oldest of whom was Paul-Emile Brandt.
The First World War brought on economic difficulties that lead Paul-Emile Brandt to work actively from 1925 toward the union of OMEGA and Tissot then to their merger in 1930 within the group SSIH. By the seventies, SSIH had become Switzerland’s no 1 producer of finished watches and no 3 in the world. The severe monetary crisis and recession of 1975 to 1980, SSIH was bailed out by the banks in 1981. In 1985 the holding company was taken over by a group of private investors. Immediately renamed SMH, Societe suisse de microelectronique et d’horlogerie, the new group achieved rapid growth and success to become today’s top watch producer in the world. Named Swatch Group in 1998, it now includes Blancpain and Breguet. Dynamic and flourishing, OMEGA remains one of its most prestigious flagship brands.
A proud official timer of no less than 21 Olympic Games. Omega watches were designated the official watch of American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. The Omega watch was the first watch to be worn on the moon by Neil Armstrong and later by all Apollo crews.