Greubel Forsey's 8th Fundamental Invention: The Tourbillon Cardan
OMEGA is a renowned watch brand with a rich history dating back to 1848. Founded by Louis Brandt in Le Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, the company started as a small workshop producing bespoke pocket watches. After Brandt's death in 1879, his sons relocated the workshop to Bienne and began producing their own parts, eventually developing their first mass-produced caliber called the Labrador. In 1894, they launched the 19-line OMEGA caliber, which gave the company its name.
Throughout the 20th century, OMEGA made a number of significant achievements. In 1932, the brand became the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games, beginning with the summer Olympics in Los Angeles. In 1962, the Speedmaster became the first OMEGA in space on the wrist of astronaut Wally Schirra. This caught the attention of NASA, which eventually named OMEGA as its official watch. In 1969, the Speedmaster Professional became the first watch on the moon. In 1995, OMEGA made its debut as the official watch of James Bond, featured on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in the film GoldenEye.
In 1999, OMEGA launched the first movement to feature the George Daniels Co-Axial Escapement caliber 2500, which has since become one of the most important advancements in modern watchmaking history. In 2007, the brand unveiled the Co-Axial caliber 8500, which was specifically designed around the co-axial movement and has since become a staple in OMEGA's collections.
As one of the most influential watch brands in history, OMEGA has solidified its place in popular culture as the official watch of James Bond, the Olympic Games, and a number of high-profile individuals, including President John F. Kennedy and Prince William. Known for their high-quality and stylish timepieces, OMEGA offers a range of luxurious options for collectors and discerning individuals seeking a reliable watch. Whether you're looking for a classic piece or a modern innovation, OMEGA has something for everyone.
About the Seamaster
Once upon a time, in the enchanting world of horology, there existed a timepiece that would become an emblem of unrivaled luxury and performance. The Omega Seamaster collection, a masterpiece of Swiss craftsmanship, has enchanted watch connoisseurs for decades with its captivating blend of sporty utility, nautical elegance, and vintage charm. This multifaceted collection offers a fascinating array of case materials and colorways, from rugged steel to sophisticated titanium, high-tech ceramics, and proprietary gold alloys. Today, let us delve into the rich history of the iconic Omega Seamaster and marvel at its evolution over the years.
In 1948, the Omega Seamaster was unveiled on the centennial anniversary of the firm's inception. This captivating dress watch, designed for gentlemen of distinction, offered unparalleled waterproofing technology, featuring a rubber O-ring gasket used in submarines. This innovation would lay the groundwork for the Seamaster's future as a world-renowned divers' watch.
By the mid-20th century, the Seamaster had captured the hearts of recreational divers and horological enthusiasts alike. The legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, an emblematic figure in the world of diving, donned the Seamaster on numerous occasions, further cementing its status as a symbol of exceptional performance and style.
Omega continued to push the boundaries of water resistance and innovation, culminating in the 1970s with the release of the Seamaster PloProf 600, a watch designed for professional divers. This avant-garde timepiece, with its asymmetrical monobloc steel case, boasted water resistance up to 600 meters and was yet another model worn by Cousteau.
The 1990s witnessed the rise of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, a timepiece that would soon become synonymous with the iconic British secret agent, James Bond. With its scalloped-edged bezel, skeletonized hands, five-link bracelet, and engraved wave pattern on the dial, the Seamaster Diver 300M became a staple on Agent 007's wrist, further propelling the collection into mainstream popularity.
The new millennium heralded the expansion of the Seamaster family, with the introduction of the Aqua Terra in 2002 and the Planet Ocean in 2005. The Aqua Terra, a refined, understated sibling to the sporty Diver models, harkened back to the original 1948 Seamaster with its streamlined design and nautical-inspired dials. Meanwhile, the Seamaster Planet Ocean embraced both luxury and sporty utility, offering a contemporary dive watch with a water resistance of 600 meters.
In 2017, Omega celebrated the 50th anniversary of its watershed year with the release of the Trilogy, featuring period-accurate reissues of the Railmaster, Seamaster 300, and "pre-Moonwatch" Speedmaster. The Trilogy edition of the Seamaster 300 paid homage to the highly collectible Ref. CK2913, with its black dial, "Broad Arrow" hour hand, and recessed triangular hour markers. This vintage-inspired model proved to have enduring appeal, leading to the introduction of new case materials, bracelets, and colorways.
The Seamaster collection continued to evolve, with the resurrection of the very first Seamaster from 1948 in a modern incarnation. The Seamaster 1948, offered in both three-hand and small-seconds versions, featured opaline domed dials, 18k white gold hands and applied numerals, and the vintage-style, Greek-letter Omega logo. These elegant timepieces served as the template for many of Omega's city-specific boutique editions.
in the majestic realm of horology, there was a fierce duel between two legendary watchmakers, Omega and Rolex, both determined to conquer the underwater domain. Their spirited rivalry would lead to the creation of a magnificent timepiece – the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional.
In 2019, Omega astonished the world with its Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional prototype, which delved an unprecedented 10,928 meters (35,853 feet) into the enigmatic abyss of the Marianas Trench. Guided by the intrepid ocean explorer Victor Vescovo, this astonishing feat dethroned the previous record holder, the Rolex Deepsea, and crowned Omega as the creator of the world's most water-resistant timepiece.
This majestic prototype, forged from titanium and boasting an imposing 55 mm diameter and 28 mm thickness, was an ode to the miraculous depths it had conquered. Yet it was not intended for the delicate wrists of mere mortals. In 2022, Omega unveiled a more wearable incarnation, the Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, available in grade 5 titanium or the revolutionary O-megasteel alloy. With a reduced 45.5 mm diameter and 18.2 mm thickness, these timepieces still offered an impressive 6,000-meter water resistance and were tested to endure 7,500 meters.
The unveiling of the Ultra Deep marked a new chapter in Omega's storied history, demonstrating their relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence in both design and technical prowess. From the renaissance of the Seamaster 1948 to the diverse offerings within the Seamaster collection, Omega's tale is one of remarkable evolution.
The Seamaster Diver 300M, a modern marvel that pays homage to its 1993 ancestor, incorporates both classic and contemporary elements. Its wave-pattern dial and skeleton hands nod to the past, while its ceramic unidirectional dive-scale bezel, enlarged case size, and Omega's in-house automatic movement, the Master Chronometer certified co-axial Caliber 8800, propel it into the future.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra, a veritable kaleidoscope of sizes, materials, and colorways, offers an array of complications and enchanting designs, including Omega's first and only world-time watch. In 2022, new Aqua Terra models, in polished stainless steel and sunburst dials, captured the hearts and minds of horology aficionados.
The Planet Ocean collection, encompassing timepieces for both intrepid divers and sophisticated "desk divers," boasts a wide array of options. The Planet Ocean "Deep Black" models, introduced in 2016, were the first ceramic-cased dive watches tested to be water-resistant to 600 meters. The Deep Blue edition, successor to the Deep Black models, is the first Omega watch crafted from a monobloc of blue ceramic, featuring orange and blue accents and the Master Chronometer Caliber 8906.
The Seamaster 300, a modern reinterpretation of its 1957 predecessor, preserves the aesthetic charm of the original while introducing technical advancements, such as its water resistance, unidirectional bezel, and Master Chronometer certification. Options now include bronze, titanium, Omega's proprietary Sedna gold, and steel.
The Seamaster 1948, a limited edition and most elegant member of the Seamaster family, features 38mm cases made of steel or platinum, often with gold details on the dials, and Master Chronometer movements. The Railmaster sub-family, with its vintage design, has been winning over a new generation of enthusiasts since its recent revival for its 60th anniversary year.
And so, the tale of Omega's relentless pursuit of underwater mastery continues to unfold, as the brand carries on its quest for innovation and excellence.