Midlands Watches Showcase Omega

Midlands Watches has built a reputation specialising in buying and selling genuine vintage and pre-owned luxury watches. We offer fantastic savings on the most prestigious brands of precision timepieces ever made. In the world of timekeeping it has long been recognised that there aren’t many who could boast of being a true competitor of Rolex as the king of Swiss watches, but one watchmaker that has proved itself worthy of a seat at the top table is Omega.

The History of Omega

Back in 1848 in La Chauux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, a 23-year-old watchmaker named Louis Brandt began assembling key-wound precision timepieces from parts manufactured by craftsmen in his local area. He soon built a market for them in England from where they found their way right across Europe and Scandinavia.

Following his death in 1879, the company and reputation that Louis Brandt had built passed on to his two sons: Louis-Paul and Cesar. His successors were unhappy with late deliveries and the increasingly poor craftsmanship of the parts that they were buying. Therefore they took the huge step of bringing it all in-house and manufacturing everything themselves, thus moving away from the traditional workbench assembly work that their company had been built upon.

To make this happen they were going to have to make changes, starting with a move to better and bigger premises with improved communications and energy supply and a town with a bigger population to meet their demands for a larger workforce. They moved the company to Biel/Bienne in 1880, taking over a small factory; within a year they owned the entire building.

Within two years they were moving again, this time to take possession of a converted spinning factory in the Gurzelen district of Biel/Bienne, where their headquarters are still found to this day.

The Growth of Omega 

In 1903 both Louis-Paul and Cesar died. They were to leave behind the largest manufacturer of watches in Switzerland, with 800 employees producing almost a quarter of a million units a year, and this giant fell into the hands of four people, the oldest of which was Paul-Emile Brandt who, like his grandfather Louis, was only 23. Despite his tender years, Brandt took the company to even greater heights than his forebears could possibly have imagined.

Running into financial difficulties following the First World War, Paul-Emile brought together his firm with fellow watchmakers Tissot, a merger that became SSIH Geneva in 1930. Brandt’s hard work coupled with that of his successor in 1955, Joseph Reiser, helped SSIH see exceptional growth, taking over or creating fifty companies including Lanco and Lemania. By the 1970s, Omega was the largest producer of finished watches in Switzerland and third largest in the world.

Omega has strived to stay ahead, despite pressure from Japanese manufacturers who introduced quartz movements. Omega, unlike Rolex who continued mainly producing traditional mechanical movements, competed with the Japanese with Swiss made quartz movements.

Due to recession in the late 70s, SSIH had to be bailed out by the banks and came close to being taken over by Seiko. Omega finally merged with another struggling watch manufacturer, ASAUG in 1983 to form a holding company which was taken over two years later by private investors and renamed SMH (Société de Microélectronique et d'Horlogerie); this became the Swatch Group and over the course of a decade became one of the largest watch producers in the world.

The First Watch on the Moon 

A well-deserved reputation for accuracy and reliability has followed Omega throughout the years. That reputation lead to the adoption of Omega as the trusted brand of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and boasted a similar honour with the US Army. 

Since 1932 Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. It has replaced Rolex as the preferred choice of the world’s most famous spy, James Bond, being seen on his wrist in every Bond film since Goldeneye, and even commented upon by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, how’s that for product placement? Their biggest claim to fame is that they were the timekeeping choice of NASA and became the first watch on the moon in 1969.

Omega deserves its place as one of the most famous and sought after watch brands in the world and Midlands Watches is proud to include Omega among its wide selection of some of the finest watches ever made. All have been lovingly returned to the condition they were in on the day they left the factory by our watch repair experts and come with authenticity papers and presentation box.

Visit www.midlandfinewatches.co.uk  and see for yourself.
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