I though I really only loved Rolex Submariners – and possibly their little brother the Black Bay by Tudor (a future Aestheticons review). I was wrong. Aside from feelings of disloyalty I have started to covert the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Co-Axial – shown here.
The story of how I came across this beautiful example of Swiss timepiece perfection is perhaps best left undiscovered but this is without doubt one of the most fabulous examples of this fine lineage of Omega watches that can trace its origins – like the Rolex Submariner https://wordpress.com/post/aestheticons.wordpress.com/66 – to the early post WW2 period.
The Omega Seamster, a line of automatic winding chronometer watches, have been produced by Omega since 1948. Its close ties with the James Bond film franchise saw a 2012 version of a similar model to the range appear in “Skyfall”.
La Generale Watch Co – later to become Omega – was founded by Louis Brandt in 1848 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, (Switzerland). Early works consisted of assembling key wound pocket watches from locally made componts which were sold in the UK, Italy and Scandinavia.
In 1894, Brandt sons developed an in-house manufacturing, quality and production control process using interchangeable components and the results were the fist watches to be sold using the Omega brand. By 1903 due to its success Omega brand was established as its own company.
Paul-Emile Brandt, the 23 year old grandson of founder, due to the death of his father and uncle in 1903 found himself in charge. His influence on Omega was immense navigating through the post First World War period and economic depression to a highly successful merger with Tissot in 1930.
In 1947, Omega created the first tourbillon wristwatch calibre in the world the 30I. Unlike conventional Tourbillion movement’s whose cages rotate once per minute, the 30I’s cage rotated one time each seven and a half minutes. In 1949, one of these movements delivered the best results ever recorded by a wristwatch up to that date. These were the movements that were used for the Seamaster.
Through further mergers and integration by the 1970s, the company had become Switzerland’s number one producer of finished watches, outselling Rolex.
Omega suffered in the late 1970’s due to the arrival of quartz movements particularly from Seiko.
A further merger of R&D department of Omega and ASUAG a Swiss movement specialist resulted in a full merger of a holding company ASUAG-SSIH in 1983. The company was acquired in 1985 by a group of private investors and renamed SMH, Société de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie. In 1998 it became the Swatch Group, which now manufactures Omega and other brands such as Blancpain, Swatch, and Breguet.
In 1999, Omega made history by introducing the first mass-produced watch incorporating the co-axial escapement, invented in 1970 by English watchmaker, George Daniels. The co-axial escapement functions have virtually no lubrication. As a consequence watches containing this function are shown to have longer service intervals and greater accuracy.
My new watch will have a stainless steel 41.5 mm case is presented on a brown leather strap. This certified chronometer is powered by the OMEGA Master Co-Axial calibre 8500 which is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss and can be seen through the transparent case back.
Image from Omega