Omega has been crafting some of the world's finest watches since 1848. They are legendary for performing under the most demanding conditions and doing so in style. The Swiss brand's mastery of form and function is exemplified in the Omega Speedmaster, an iconic timepiece made for men and women that more than deserves its widespread acclaim.
Since it was first launched in 1957, the Speedmaster has seen many iterations and traveled its way through air, land, and sea. It remains a highly sought-after accessory for collectors, sportsmen, and those who simply want an attractive watch that keeps good time. What makes it so special, and how has it found its way to so many famous wrists?
What Is the Omega Speedmaster Watch?
The Omega Speedmaster is a classic luxury sports watch that features chronograph and tachymeter functions. Made for both men and women, it was the world's first chronograph wristwatch, adding a stopwatch designed for precision timing in science, industry, and sports. It also features a tachymeter scale used for measuring speed.
The Speedmaster is one of Omega's most famous watches, worn by professional sportsmen, celebrities, and U.S. presidents. Many versions have been released since the first model in 1957, and it has achieved icon status among collectors. It continues to be one of Omega's top-selling models, coveted for both its appearance and function.
Is Omega a Reputable Brand?
Omega is one of the most trusted brands not just in the timepiece industry, but perhaps among all luxury accessories worldwide. It was originally founded in Switzerland in 1848, and along with Rolex was responsible for building the world-class distinction enjoyed by Swiss-made watches.
Originally launched as a family company, Omega developed revolutionary production techniques and quickly became one of the most popular brands in Europe. They made watches for the British Royal Flying Corps in 1917, and the U.S. Army followed suit a year later.
Omega watches are renowned for precision timing under the most demanding conditions. NASA famously put them through rigorous testing, which ultimately resulted in Omega being the first watch on the moon. They are the official timekeepers for the Olympic Games and multiple top-level sporting competitions.
Reasons You Should Have an Omega Speedmaster Watch
1. Perfect Timing
When buying a wristwatch, the first thing we want to know is how well it keeps time. Omega has gotten this right for 170 years, with multiple technical innovations along the way. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, annual observatory trials were held to promote advancements in precision timekeeping. It was basically the Olympic Games for watchmakers, and Omega set multiple world records over several decades at these trials.
The Omega Speedmaster continues this tradition, taking it one step further with the addition of a precision chronograph. Omega set standards in the field of chronometry and continues to push modern innovations in precision timekeeping. The Speedmaster is designed to perform for some of the most demanding professions on earth…and beyond.
2. Both Brains and Beauty
When it was first introduced, the Omega Speedmaster made a huge splash because of what it packs under the hood. Performance alone makes this watch a staple for collectors, but the beautiful design has turned it into a fashion icon. The Speedmaster has been one of the world's most popular watches for 60 years, a remarkable feat in the fickle world of fashion accessories. It's impossible to reach this lofty design-icon status without setting standards for both form and function. With so many designs to choose from, you will find something incredibly beautiful that highlights your individual style.
3. Classic Swiss Heritage
Owning a Swiss-made watch carries the same cachet as driving an Italian sports car. These are hallmarks of a life well lived and represent the pinnacle of our aspirations. With any significant investment, words like quality, tradition, and integrity come to mind. We want to feel we are investing in something greater than a simple object. Such is the tradition of Swiss watchmaking as exemplified by Omega, crafting beautiful timepieces with technical precision and world-class durability. When you own a Swiss-made watch, you know it will be around for a long time, and it will never go out of style.
4. Holds Its Value
Like baseball cards and rare works of art, certain wristwatches hold tremendous value for collectors. The Omega Speedmaster is one such watch, prized for its multiple technical innovations and iconic visual appeal. It was the world's first chronograph wristwatch, and subsequent models all benefited from Omega's relentless commitment in chronometry.
These innovations make the Speedmaster an important item for collectors as various models were the first to feature a particular technological advancement in watchmaking. All of this means that besides wearing a beautiful wristwatch, you own a collectible item that will hold and perhaps even increase its value over time.
5. Own a Piece of History
As mentioned, Omega was the first watch on the moon, worn by astronaut Buzz Aldrin during that famous lunar landing in 1969. John F. Kennedy wore an Omega watch when he was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States in 1961, and RCA Records once gave Elvis Presley an Omega watch to celebrate the sale of 75 million records. World leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Mao Zedong wore Omega watches as did Pope John Paul II. Prince William also wears an Omega watch, gifted to him by his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales. Own an Omega watch and you'll be part of this historic club.
6. To All Ends of the Earth…
Performing in extreme conditions is an important part of the Omega legacy. Its wristwatches are put through rigorous testing to ensure they function in demanding environments, and when being pushed to the limit by some of the world's great modern explorers. Ralph Plaisted and his team wore Omega Speedmaster watches when they made the first undisputed overland conquest of the North Pole, and famed Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, chose a Speedmaster in 1989 when he and his partner became the first to cross the entire continent of Antarctica on foot.
Famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau and his team collaborated with Omega in the development of watches made especially for divers. The partnership began in 1963 during the team's experiments in the Red Sea, leading to many innovations including the development of the iconic Omega Ploprof watch. Wherever you wish to travel, your Omega has been there and done that.
7. …and Beyond
Even before landing on the moon, Omega had already made its way into space. Astronaut Walter Schirra wore an Omega Speedmaster during the Sigma 7 mission of NASA's Mercury flight program in 1962. He initially purchased the watch for his own personal use, and its successful performance on that trip led NASA to seek an official watch for space exploration. Omega, Rolex, and Longines-Wittnauer each made watches for NASA, and they were all tested to the point of destruction. The Speedmaster emerged as the winner in 1965.
8. James Bond Wears an Omega
James Bond is a man of action. More accurately, he is an impeccably styled man of action. Since the movie GoldenEye in 1995, the world's most famous big-screen spy has worn an Omega wristwatch. The character embodies everything the legendary timepiece stands for: impeccably styled and ready for action.
9. Co-Axial Escapement
One of its many innovations in precision timekeeping, Omega introduced this technology on a large scale with the 1999 launch of the Co-Axial Caliber 2500. Without getting too technical, this greatly reduces friction in the watch's internal components, improving timekeeping while extending product lifetime. The technology was enhanced in 2007 with the Co-Axial Caliber 8500, setting a new standard for mechanical efficiency.
Magnetic fields are all around us in everything from cell phones and tablets to clock radios and sound systems. These can damage mechanical timekeepers, causing erratic timing and sometimes complete stoppage. Omega is a pioneer in the development of anti-magnetic watch technology, and they continue to innovate in this field. In 2013, they announced the first watch movement resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. Subsequent models further added Omega's patented Master Chronometer movement to this anti-magnetic technology.
There's so much to love about Omega Speedmaster watches. They look great, with a wide variety of beautiful styles dating back to the original design in 1957. They also perform under the most extreme conditions, having been rigorously tested by the likes of NASA, the U.S. Army, and some of the world's most famous explorers. They also bear the famed “Swiss-made” trademark, a rich tradition of precision watchmaking that goes back to the company's founding in the 19th century.
Avid sportsmen and sportswomen will enjoy the same world-class timekeeping functionality trusted by Olympic athletes, professional divers, and race car drivers. Collectors will love owning a piece of history as Speedmasters were worn during some of the most iconic moments in modern times. Just as importantly, no matter why you wear it, you will look good doing it.