The fairy tale known as the Omega Watches Company actually started way back in the 19th Century -1848 to be exact, when the Omega founder, Louis Brandt, a Swiss watchmaker who resided in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, began creating his “Omega” masterpieces. Of course, back then he constructed each piece using only his bare hands by meticulously assembling each watch piece by piece.
The first watches that Mr. Brandt made were pocket watches, because back then they were the timepiece that was considered to be vogue and were highly sought after and cherished. In the mid 1800’s the thought of attaching a bracelet to their time piece never even crossed a persons mind. The fashionable and preferred thing to do was to carry their beloved “Omega” watches – which, at the time were called “Bienne” watches – in their pockets.
Unfortunately, Mr. Louis Brandt passed away in 1879 and he left his modest company to his sons, Louis Paul Brandt and Cesar Brandt who carried on their father’s tradition of impeccable pocket watch craftsmanship. They decided to rename the company “Bienne” in January 1880.
The birth of the Omega Watches brand in 1894
The birth of the Omega watch brand actually took place in 1894, more than a decade after the renaming of the company to Bienne. Louis and Cesar Brandt introduced, for the first time, the brand “Omega” to the Swiss public. Over time, the Omega watch has come to be one of Switzerland’s biggest and most luxurious exports. The Omega watch name actually came from one of the two Brandt brother’s watch movement calibers.
Sadly, the reign of the two Brandt brothers in the Omega watch company was short-lived because both brothers suddenly died in 1903. This resulted in four individuals taking control of the Omega watch company. One of the individuals was Paul Brandt, who not only inherited the Brandt family name but their entrepreneurial instincts as well. At just 23 years old, Paul was actually the oldest of the four who took over the Omega watch company after the death of the Brandt brothers.
Omega watches brand merges
After a merger with fellow Swiss luxury watch brand, Tissot in 1930, SSIH (Socit suisse pour l’industrie horlogre) in Geneva, Switzerland was created as the new parent company of the newly merged watch companies. Fortunately, the merger between Tissot and Omega was a big success, which is why in a relatively short time the SSIH group grew to over fifty other companies including Lemania, Lanco and Hamilton. And in a relatively short period of time, the SSIH group has managed to position themselves as the third largest producer of luxury watches, as well as watch movements in the world.
It was during this time when Omega produced a number of its most loved time pieces. Vintage Omega watches that are still highly sought and are famous to this day.
During the Second World War, Omega built a solid reputation for themselves by coming out with military and pilot watches for servicemen. They have always been known for their fine craftsmanship and their great attention to detail. Other popular watches from that era were the Omega Speedmaster chronograph, the Omega Seamaster waterproof sports watch and the Omega Constellation watches, which are all still incredibly popular.