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Omega Watches, history of an iconic brand

The story of Omega watches begins 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 passed away in 1879, leaving the company to his two sons Louis-Paul and Cesar. They moved the company to Bienne in January 1880.

The name OMEGA made it’s debut in 1894. It was used as the name of one of the Brandt brother’s watch movement calibers.

Both Brandt brothers died in 1903, placing the fate of the company in the control of four people. The oldest  was, Paul-Emile Brandt, was only 23 years of age.

Following a merger with Tissot in 1930 a new parent company, SSIH, Société suisse pour l’industrie horlogère SA, Geneva, was created. This group eventually grew to over 50 companies including, Lanco, Lémania and Hamilton. Eventually SSIH became the third largest producers of finished watches and movements in the world.

During this period Omega produced some of its most collectible vintage Omega watches it is famous for.

Omega Constellation watches, the Omega Speedmaster chronograph, the Omega Seamaster waterproof sports watch and Seamaster Diver watches were all developed during this period. Omega also made a name for itself proving military watches and pilots watches during World War 2.

Through an economic crisis in the 1980’s the Omega watches merged with another large Swiss conglomerate, ASUAG, makers of Swatch, Longines and Rado, to create a new company ASUAG-SSIH. Eventually this pairing fell on hard times and the company was taken over by a private group and renamed SMH, which still exists today.

Omega watches are rated as some of the most popular watches sold today.

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