You might know omega as the last letter of the Greek alphabet, but you probably also recognize it as one of the truly premium and luxury watchmakers in the modern era. As part of the Swatch Group, it may seem like a modern brand, but it actually dates back more than 100 years ago, and today remains one of the most technologically advanced and dependable brands of timepieces.
With its origins in artisan watchmaking, Omega has evolved as one of the finest brands. The first models were actually handmade in the mid 1800s by company founder Louis Brandt in his workshop in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. Under the business name, Le Generale Watch Co., he acquired parts from local suppliers and then began selling his watches to buyers in Europe and England.
His sons got involved in the successful enterprise and took things to an even higher level by creating a total production system, which allowed all of their watches to feature completely interchangeable parts. The models created with this system were the very first to appear with the Omega brand name. Their profound market success is what led the family to establish Omega independently from their original firm in 1903.
Though the family was clearly a group of geniuses where watches were concerned, they left important business issues unattended. Thus, when the founders died in the early 1900s, the firm was left in the hands of their four surviving children - none of them older than 24. The new head of the firm was Paul Emile Brandt. Fortunately, he showed an immediate ability to innovate in the business sense.
Recognizing the vulnerability of the business, and struggling during the post WWI period, Brandt began a lengthy phase of mergers and acquisitions that each improved the standing of Omega as a brand and company. By the 1950s, the company had acquired more than 50 other watch firms, along with some superior technologies. Within 20 years, they were seen as one of the top three watch making companies in the world and one of the best makers of finished timepieces in general - even being viewed as a finer brand than the coveted Rolex.
Unfortunately, the 1970s brought in the era of quartz rather than mechanical watches, and Omega turned its focus to this area as well. Global financial problems along with changes in watch markets led to a very shaky and dangerous period for Omega, but again they innovated their business model and in the early 1980s emerged as part of the larger ASUAG-SSIH, a group that included the finest names in watches such as Longines.
This group was quickly changed when private investors took it over, and in 1998 it became the Swatch Group, which is the parent under which Omega remains today.
The brand remains both luxury and premium by reputation, and this is due to its incredible technology that has existed since the late 1800s. The watches are the lucky inheritors of many decades of refinement, with their movement being the result of years of study, improvements, and high tech discoveries. In 2013, the Omega watches for the first to show magnetic resistance, meaning superior time keeping. The company can also lay claim to the fact that the Omega brand was the first on the moon and a label chosen an incredibly long list of celebrities and personalities.
Today, Omega still offers an extensive array of watches along with fine jewellery and accessories of fine leather, and even signature fragrances.
Their current series includes:
There are also the Olympic Collection, Museum, and Olympic Pocket Watch models, as well.
The durability of the Omega brand has as much to do with business savvy as premium products, but the overall quality and genuine good looks of any Omega watch prove that they are a smart and reliable investment.
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