When we look at advancements in horology Omega immediately comes to mind. From the early beginning, quality and precision were at the bases of what the company was known for even before it became known as Omega.
Omega, quite literally, is defined by its incredible movements. Even the current name of the company Omega is based on a revolutionary movement created by one of the watchmakers that worked for the Brandt brothers in 1894.
CALIBRE 19"' 1895
François Chevillat created a movement with a winding stem time setting capabilities, incredible accuracy and the ability to be mass produced using an assembly line process with interchangeable parts. The ingenuity of the movement mechanics as well as a new process of mass production drastically cut the coasts of the movement making the product more accessible to the public. Pocket watches equipped with the 19"' calibre movement also appeared slimmer and lighter than their predecessors.
This movement was so unique that at that time it was considered to be the final step in watch making history, which is why calibre 19" 1895 was named Omega after the last letter of the Greek alphabet. The popularity of the movement spread through the rest of the Swiss watchmaking industry and soon other watch companies began coping Chevillat's design.
CABLIBER 19"' DDR
Chevillat, however, was determined to take his innovation to the next level. In 1905, Chevillat surprised the industry yet again with and incredibly precise and well finished factory produced movement made during the early 1900s. Calibre 19" DDR featured 23 jewels and allowed for particularly precise adjustment.
CALIBRE 24"' CHROR
With the acquisition of Lemania Lugrin in 1932, a company that produced movements for specialty watches with chronograph complication, Omega entered another specialty field of sports watches and timekeeping. The first movement that Omega and Lemania Lugrin produced together was a 24’’’ calibre CHROR. This particular movement equipped a "split-second" chronograph that recorded to 1/10th of a second. The precision and reliability of the Omega movements earned the company a contract with 1932 LA Olympics. This marks the first time in history of both Olympic sports as well as watchmaking where a single company was the official timekeeper for all of the Olympic events through the duration of the Olympic Games.
THE 30MM 1939
The next iconic Omega movement was produced in 1939 and over time evolved into a series of movements that were produced for over thirty years. The designer responsible for one of the most popular Omega movement was Henri Kneuss who worked under the direction of Henri Gerber. The movement, like all other Omega produced movements, was highly precise and boasted ease of maintenance and durability. Due to its merits, British Military and Royal Air Force (RAF) bought over 110 000 watches made with this calibre during World War II. As the war came to end, the popularity of the 30mm movement grew. Omega continued improving the movement well into the late sixties.
CO-AXILE CALIBRE 8500
If calibre 19"' was where it all started, Co-Axile Calibre 8500 is modern day equivalent if not more important. This movement earned its place in horologic history due to the fact that this is a movement completely built from scratch. Prior to 2007 most other movements were based on the time tested designs and principles that were around for decades. The design of Co-Axile Caliber 8500 marks the first new movement launch in almost 250 years.
Of course, this is not a complete list of the extraordinary Omega movements, however, we believe that it highlights the important calibres that contributed to the world wide popularity of the company. Omega continues to innovate and improve on already existing designs to produce phenomenal timepieces.
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