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Louis Brandt 1848 - Louis Brandt(1825 - 1879) established a watch store in La Chaux-de-Fonds(a Swiss small town). Louis Paul & César Brandt 1877 - Its watches began to be sold after the name Louis Brandt & Fils. 1880 - Louis Brandt & Fils Co. was moved to Biel, and their watches started to be named as Jura, Patria, Helvetia and Gurzelen, etc. 19 jeweled movement 1885 - As the first movement in mass production, the 19 jeweled movement was issued in Gurzelen. The first minute repeater watch 1892 - The first minute repeater watch Louis Brandt was born, it was 13 jeweled. 1894 - The 19 jeweled movement was named Omega which has later been the brand of this company. The first Omega wristwatch 1900 - The first Omega wristwatch was born, which was also the first wristwatch in mass production. 1903 - The Louis Brandt & Fils Co. was renamed Omega. 1905 - Omega launched the 19 jeweled Grade DDR, which has the highest quality, and it was an accurate movement that was mass pruduced at that time. 1909 - Omega first stepped into the sports field and took charge of timing in the flight competition of Coupe Gordon Bennett held in Zurich. 1917 - The British Royal Air Army chose Omega as their appointed wristwatch supplier. 1918 - The American Army also chose Omega as their appointed wristwatch as well. 1919 - Omega first won the Observatory Competition in Neuchatel. 1930 - The two famous brands Omega and Tissot merged as the headquater of Swiss Watch, and the other companies have later joined this group in succession. 1932 - Omega has been always the official timekeeper in Olympic Games since its first time to be the formal chronometer in Los Angeles Olympic Games. 1933 - Omega has created the first world record of accurate timing in Teddington observatory. 1936 - Created the second world record of accurate timing in Teddington observatory (97.8 points of 100). Chronometer 1941 - The first observatory watch named Chronomètre was launched, its diameter is 30mm. Calibre 30 I Cosmic moon phase 1947 - One of the first batch of tourbillon movement in the world - the Omega 30 I was launched. And the first Omega Date watch - the Cosmic moon phase was launched. Seamaster 1948 - Seamaster watch was launched. 1950 - Omega created two records of accurate timing in Geneva observatory. 1951 - Omega had modified the former techniques and created a new record in Geneva observatory. Constellation 1952 - Constellation series was launched. Geneve 1953 - Geneve series was launched. Constellation Grand Luxe 1954 - Constellation Grand Luxe was launched. Ladymatic 1955 - The first women's automatic watch in the world - Ladymatic was launched. Speedmaster Railmaster 1957 - Railmaster and Speedmaster were launched. Ranchero 1958 - Ranchero was born De Ville 1960 - Omega released De Ville series. 1965 - NASA chose Omega Speedmaster Day-Date as the appointed wrist watch for space missions. Geneve Dynamic 1968 - Omega launched Geneve Dynamic wrist watch. Speedmaster Day-Date Flightmaster Calibre 910 Memomatic 1969 - Omega Speedmaster Day-Date was the first watch that has been to the moon worn by Armstrong and Aldrin. In the same year, the first generation of Flightmaster that adopted Calibre 910 was launched, and the automatic alarm watch Memomatic was published. Electroquart Seamaster 600m 1970 - The first watch that adopted an analog quartz movement - Electroquart (base on Beta 21 sample) was launched as well as the Seamaster 600m. The second generation of Flightmaster Calibre 911 1971 - The second generation of Flightmaster that adopted the Calibre 911 was launched. 1310 Ant 1973 - 1310 Ant came out, it's the first Omega analog quatz movement and the first Swiss electronic movement that was mass produced. Megaquartz 2400 1974 - Megaquartz 2400 came out, it's the most accurate wristwatch that passed diver's watch standards. Calibre 1611 The first hybrid electronoic watch 1975 - Calibre 1611, also named Albatros. And the first hybrid electronoic watch all over the world have been producted and launched in the following Montreal Olympic Games. Dinosaur Calibre 1355 Sensor Quartz Calibre 1640 Megaquartz Deck Chronometer 1980 - The ultra-thin quartz watch Dinosaur came out, it was equipped with Calibre 1355 quartz movement. Sensor Quartz, the first watch adopted the multi-memoery LCD display of microprocessor that has 9 functions, uses sensor technology and Calibre 1640 that was also called "Okapi". Megaquartz Deck Chronometer came out, it's a watch that was vertified by the observatory and produced for French army. Equinoxe 1981 - Equinoxe, the first turnover wristwatch came out, it has two screens, one is for analog display, the other is for digital display. Omega Seamaster Titane Omega Constellation Manhattan 1982 - Omega Seamaster Titane quartz watch and Omega Constellation Manhattan came out. 1983 - Swiss horologe industry company united with the headquater of Swiss horologe into Holding ASUAG-SSIH. Nicolas Hayek 1985 - ASUAG-SSIH was recombined and renamed SMH Group and directly led by Nicolas Hayek. Seamaster multi-function 1986 - Seamaster multi-function watch came out. Seamaster Professional 1988 - Seamaster Professional 1/100 was launched before the Olympic Games held in Seoul. Omega 1894 1994 - Omega launched 1894 series for commemorating its 100 anniversary. Seamaster in Golden Eyes Cindy Crawford & My choice 1995 - The Seamaster was chosen by Golden Eyes that is one of the 007 series movies as its pointed wrist watch. And the Constellation became international model Cindy Crawford's appointed watch. 1998 - SMH was renamed The Swatch Group. George Daniels Co-axial escapement De Ville 1999 - The De Ville series was launched, which used co-axial escapement and was researched by British watch master George Daniels. 2006 - Omega once again became the appointed chronometer in the Turin Olympic Winter Games. Automatic co-axial Calibre 8500/8501 2007 - On Apirl 14th to 15th, the Antiquorum Auctioneers held an auction for OMEGAMANIA. They issued the automatic winding co-axial movement Calibre 8500/8501 and equiped it in the Hour Vision. Omega has consecutive 12 years title sponsering the Omega Missionhill Golf World Cup. Automatic Co-axial movement Calibre 8601/8611 2008 - Omega became the official timekeeper in Beijing Olympic Games. And it has launched the automatic winding co-axial movement Calibre 8601/8611 that has annual calendar function. Re-designed and re-made Constellation 2009 - Re-designed and re-made the whole Constellation series. Ladymatic co-axial wrist watch 2010 - It launched the Ladymatic co-axial wrist watch for women. More information about Omega, the series introduction: Constellation: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1331-constellation-a-star-in-omega-history/ Seamaster: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1310-the-historical-development-of-omega-seamaster/ Speedmaster: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1127-legend-of-the-moon-watch-omega-speedmaster/
Diver's watch has become more and more popular in the mechanical watch market these years because of the prevalent trend of sports and leisure, as well as the popularity of modern people's strong self-expression. Every summer, there are many articles about the introduction of diving watches in the newspapers, magazines and horological journals. Of course, people who wear diving watches may not be those who love diving authentically; and the watches that divers really wear into the water are probably mostly professional diving quartz watch with capabilities of calculating the depth of water, time of decompression and keeping a record of diving, rather than expensive mechanical watches. Nevertheless, diving mechanical watch has both masculine appearance and extraordinary taste which keep up with the fashionable trend, furthermore, it has excellent waterproof performance and its practicability enable itself suit for the suburban activities, bathing or even swimming occasions. There is no wonder that it can become a great option on the modern watch candidate list. The diver’s watch, as its name suggests, refers to the wristwatch which is accepted waterproofing process and only for the diver, but it doesn’t mean that it can be called diver’s watch for its powerful water resistance. Usually diver’s watch should have the following characteristics: 1, Waterproof performance must reach the depth of at least 200 meters. 2, There is the unidirectional rotating bezel for measuring the diving time. 3, Diver is usually under deep water, therefore, the hands and hour markers of diver’s watch are usually coated with luminous material to allow users to read time easily. 4, Strictly speaking, only the watch that meets the specifications, standards and tests made by ISO international organization can be called diver’s watch, and the control of such standards, of course, is for the safety of divers. However, owing to the market acceptance and popularity of diver’s watches, the high end mechanical watch factories which are not only selling for divers will compete to launch diving watches, and the watches does not necessarily meet the standards set by the professional organizations. Compared with the watches and pocket watches hundred years ago, the advancement of science and technology has brought much progress on the waterproof performance of modern watch. Today, most of the sports watches possess 100 meters of water resistance, and diver's watches generally have water resistance more than 200 or 300 meters. However, if we review the history of the watch's waterproof performance, we will find that the waterproof performance that we take it for granted today is hard-won sweet fruit after a long trip of developing, it is really worth being tasted bit by bit by watch fans. Therefore, we do not intend to introduce the new diver's watches by some articles like other media, and we just make a brief introduction of the history about the development of the diver's watch as well as share the happiness of understanding the present by reviewing the past with you. Since the advent of watch hundred years ago, water, dust, magnetism and shock are four enemies of watch. In the 1920s and 1930s, watch manufactures began to study the measures against these external forces intensively to increase the watch's durability and endurance. Although before the 1920s, there were a few watchmakers, such as Francis Baumgartner, Paul Perregaux and Georges Peret, they could produce the case with high quality which was well sealed, and thus it had good waterproof performance, then Omega and Longines adopted this case one after another. However, Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, was the first one who understood the potential of waterproof watches thoroughly, he made further devotion and indeed launched waterproof watches to public, and he won the popular acclaim. At present, the vast majority of watches experts have recognized the fact that Rolex and Omega are pioneers and promoters in studying waterproof performance of watches. Hans Wilsdorf continually improved the precision of the case, the adaptation of crystal face and crown system. In 1927, Mercedes Gleitzes swam across the English Channel wearing the Oyster watch of Rolex, and it took her 15 hours and 15 minutes, and Rolex became famous overnight by the reports from media and the advertisements. Durability, accuracy, water resistance, with incomparable athletic breath and the symbol of courage made the image of Rolex leave deep impression in people's mind. Marine was launched by Omega in 1932, and it was worn by the adventurer Charles William Beebe who was diving up to 10 meters under the water and setting the record at that time. Louis Cartier granted Pasha of Marrakesh's request to make a watch that could let him know the time when swimming. Cartier invented a kind of brand-new screw-in crown, and applied it to The Pasha launched in 1932. It could be said that it was the first luxury waterproof watch in the world. It is generally believed that mode of battle and the prevalence of military watches during the World War II is another reason to promote the rapid progress of diver's watch. The US Navy adopted Hamilton's Sea Bees Diving Watch at that moment, and its waterproof depth had been made up to 50 meters and its technology was mainly known as using twin-lock crown to strengthen its water resistance, and the Russian Navy also had similar military watch, the opposed countries like Germany and Italy adopted Officine Panerai which used its unique pressurized crown system to make the diving watches'effective working depth reach 30 meters. The scope of the use of these watches and the impact on the war was actually far less than other military watches in the same period, such as famous British WWW (waterproof wristwatch, its water resistance was at least 10 meters) or legendary Mark IX and Mark X, etc. As previously mentioned, Marine was launched by Omega in 1932 and it was worn by Beebe who was diving up to the depth of 10 meters, and Omega launched famous Seamaster in 1948. However, seriously speaking, Marine and Seamaster of that day, both of them could not be called real diver's watches. So far, most horological people have recognized the fact that diving watches came into ordinary people's real life should be started from 1954 when Rolex launched its revolutionary Submariner Ref. 6204. In 1956, Rolex launched Ref. 6538 which is now known as James Bond Submariner, and its waterproof depth could reach the standard of 200 meters (660 feet). During the postwar years, sports and adventure had prevailed in civil society, with the addition of the far-reaching promotion from media, the popularity of diving and sports watch had became unstoppable. After Rolex produced the world's first waterproof watch in 1926, it spared no effort to develop the diver's watches. In 1960, Rolex had ever produced a few diver's watches called Deep Sea Specials which were only for experiments, and hung it on the US navy ship which was called Trieste, and then the ship dived into the world's deepest trench - Mariana Trench which is amounted to the depth of 10,908 meters. After that, Rolex had laid the leading position in the field of diver's watch. In 1971, Rolex invented Sea-Dweller which possessed helium escape valve and its water resistance reached the depth of 2000 feet (600 meters). At the beginning of next year, M. Patrice Chemin and M. Robert Gauret worn this watch under the environment of helium and oxygen mixture and dived into the water of 2000 feet (600 meters) depth, furthermore, they continuously did that for 18 days and set the official world records. Blancpain declared that the time it launched 50 Fathoms was a few months earlier than the Submariner, that was the end of 1953. The performance of 50 Fathoms was indeed well-reputed. Famous diver Jacques Cousteau created successful grad wearing the diver's watch of Blancpain. (However, nowadays, people strongly believed that Submariner is the pioneer of diver's watch, it can not be changed only by the illumination of historical argument). After that Blancpain launched famous diver's watches called Aqualung and Bathyscaphe one after another. Otherwise, do not forget that Omega launched Seamaster 600 and Seamaster 1000 in 1970 and 1971 successively, and their waterproof depth reached the standards of 600 meters and 1000 meters respectively after it launched Seamaster 300(waterproof performance was only 200 meters) in 1957 and got great response. Leave the argument and confusion about who is the No.1 in history alone, we can fairly say that it was the efforts and innovation of these watch companies that created the vast world for the diver's watches and other sports watches jointly. Ten or twenty years later, except a few watch companies like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, etc, almost all of the Swiss big brands put into the production of diver's watches. For example, Eterna launched its famous Kon-Tiki in1955; in 1964 , IWC launched its first generation of Aquatimer, JLC launched its diver's watch Polaris which was equipped with alarm, and Vulcain launched Cricket-Nautical which was equipped with depth gauge. Even the top luxury watch brands Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe who took the wait-and-see attitude originally launched sports watches Royal Oak and Nautilus which were full of the breath of marine theme in 1972 respectively. It was a matter of course that these two watches were not really diver's watches, but both of them had reflected the charm and the trend of sports watch and diver's watch. The invention of helium escape valve is a very important milestone for the development of the diver's watch. General diving (also can be called scuba diving), the ingredients of the compressed air that divers take when they dive into the water are the same as the natural air, including 1/5 of the oxygen, and 4/5 of the nitrogen (N2). The nitrogen in the gas cylinder would integrate into the neurons under the high pressure and cause different levels of anesthetization. After having stayed in the water about 30 meters depth with its pressure for one hour, human's body would begin to produce so-called “nitrogen drunk” in paralysis. Whereas, if one is under the pressure of the water of 30 meters for more than one hour with using pure oxygen, it will also lead to the oxygen toxicity of human brain. Therefore, if divers have to stay in the water for a long time, they must replace nitrogen oxides with helium oxides, and according to the appropriate proportion to use helium-oxygen gas mixture when diving, which is called helium-oxygen diving. However, the volume of the helium molecule is very small, even several times smaller than the water molecules, so when using helium-oxygen gas mixture in diving, even though the water does not penetrate the watch, helium is also possible to enter the wristwatch under the high pressure from outside. On this occasion, no matter how powerful and professional for the diving watch's water resistance it is, it can not avoid that. The probability of the invasion of helium to watch is higher when using the PTC─DDC during the gsaturation diving. In the deep sea, helium would enter into the case due to external high pressure, and the process of this gas flow would make the pressure inside the watch be the same as the outside world. On the contrary, once divers rise, it will form the situation that the pressure inside the case is greater than the outside. The major brands began to attach importance to the exclusion of the nitrogen during the developing of the diver's watches. In 1971, Rolex produced Sea-Dweller that was equipped with helium escape valve and water resistant to 610 meters (2000 feet). Since 1980, the waterproof depth of Sea-Dweller had enhanced to 1220 meters, and today it is 3900m. Now Sea-Dweller is equipped with sapphire crystal, self-winding movement which is authenticated by COSC, and date display window. Its helium escape valve is on the left case, when the pressure inside the case is greater than the outside, the valve will automatically open to exhaust gas, while maintaining its water resistance. The characteristic of automatically opening the valve makes the divers do not have to take a toothpick to poke it, it can also automatically exhaust helium. In addition to SeaDweller, the Seamaster 300 of Omega is also equipped with helium escape valve. Besides the helium escape valve, there are other ways to overcome the limitation of water-resistant depth. IWC, which always stress the combination of performance and sports, launched a series of highly sporty watches with FA Porsche in the 1980s, among them, the most prestigious watches were the Ocean 2000 and Ocean 500, whose water resistance reached the standard of 2000 meters and 500 meters respectively. Ocean 2000 set record of the highest water resistance in the mass production of mechanical watches and maintained the record nearly two decades, and until 2002, it was broken by Breitling Avenger Seawolf that adopted the same titanium case and waterproof to 3000 meters. Ocean 2000 did not possess any designs like helium escape valve, IWC declared that there was a metal gasket in its titanium case to prevent the heat expansion which would affect the tightness ofcase. Although it could not resist the helium from entering, the helium could be evaporated quickly, so the helium escape valve was needless because the time of exudation of helium was sufficient to meet the time of rising. After finishing the partnership with Porsche for 20 years, IWC launched a new series of professional GST sports watch, GST was available in 18K Gold, Steel and Titanium. IWC GST Aquatimer possessed the waterproof performance of 2000 meters, which inherited the excellent waterproof tradition from its early Aquatimer, to replace the Ocean 2000 of Porsche Design by IWC which was very popular even had been out of print. And then IWC launched GST Deep One in Basel Fair in 1999, this was the first fully automatic diver's watch which could allow water to flow into the inside of the case and measure the depth of the water of 45M. With regard to Deep One, the crown located at 2 o'clock position was responsible for adjusting the depth gauge on inner bezel, while the button at 4 o'clock position was the Inlet valve. It could also caution the time consumption of oxygen cylinder. The design of patented stainless steel or titanium bracelet made this extraordinary diving sports watch become greatly valuable. Interestingly, this deservedly "professional" diving watch was only water resistant to100 meters. IWC claimed that 100 meters has far exceeded the limits of human non-mechanical diving, it's enough. When IWC gave Porsche Design Ocean 2000 (BUND) that was the first water resistance of 2000 meters in the world to the German Navy divers in that year, it was marked only 300m conservatively. Argon movement protection device and self-testing system of movement's humidity are the mentionable inventions in dive's watch developing history. These two inventions first appeared in Sinn 203 diving watch. All well-designed movements need the protection of lubricant grease to ensure the accuracy of operation. However, all-pervasive dampness will accelerate the aging process of the lubricant grease and movement, such damage is especially obvious for diving watch which is necessary in the water for a long time. Sinn developed an unique argon movement protection system. It poured the argon into the case, and after the case was sealed, it could resist the invasion from the oxygen and other extraneous dampness substances to prevent the aging of movement and maintain the high degree of accuracy. Sinn is specially equipped with a small tube which is filled with cupric sulfate powder and covered by transparent sapphire crystal, it will turn to blue from white when moisture is invading. When it turns to dark blue, the watch owner will know that the watch should be sent to do inspection and maintenance. Finally, we are going to talk about another interesting situation, which is also another reason for explaining why the diver's watch can be rooted in the people's hearts deeply and become popular watch: the film and media. In 1956, the Submariner Ref. 6538 and its follow-up watches launched by Rolex were widely popular because it appeared on the screen as it was worn by intelligence agent 007, and was even nicknamed James Bond Submariner. Omega Seamaster 300 replaced Submariner of Rolex and became agent James Bond's watch since the 007 movie named "Golden Eye" in 1995, and this mode of cooperation also continued to the later "Tomorrow Never Dies"(1997) and "the World"(1999) as well as "Die Another Day". In the 007 series, the Omega Seamaster had portrayed as life-saving magic that rescued him from desperation, even it had been given weapons capabilities that could cut steel plate with laser performance, or have detonated device, or could pull the cable wire to hang on a helicopter for escaping and so on, and these performances deepened the impression of doughty performance of diver's watch in the masses's mind. Whatever the Submariner of Rolex or the Seamaster of Omega, smart and brave James Pound climbed a mountain of swords or plunged into a sea of flames in the company of it during the series of 007 movies, the diver's watch always could be considered the symbol of having the courage to take adventure. Although part of the reason that Submariner and Seamaster could become James Pound's secret weapon was commercial operation and publicity, its excellence in its professional diver's watch field is recognized as quite an achievement that complement with the fictional smart character in the film. No matter how many you know about the diver's watch, we hope that you can become interested in diver's watch though you have never worn it after we have reviewed the history and interesting news of diver's watch, and we hope the readers who have owned the diver's watches can cherish the memory of the history and treasure, enjoy the free, colorful, inconstant life that watches have brought about.
A Brief Overview of The Brand The forerunner of Omega was founded at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1848 by 23-year-old Louis Brandt, who assembled key-wound precision pocket watches from parts supplied by local craftsmen. He sold his watches from Italy to Scandinavia by way of England, his chief market. After Louis Brandt's death in 1879, his two sons Louis-Paul and César, troubled by irregular deliveries of questionable quality, abandoned the unsatisfactory assembly workshop system in favour of in-house manufacturing and total production control. Due to the greater supply of manpower, communications and energy in Biel, the enterprise moved into a small factory in January 1880, then bought the entire building in December. Two years later the company moved into a converted spinning-factory in the Gurzelen district of Biel, where headquarters are still situated today. Their first series-produced calibres, Labrador and Gurzelen, as well as the famous Omega calibre of 1894, would ensure the brand's marketing success. Louis-Paul and César Brandt both died in 1903, leaving one of Switzerland's largest watch companies — with 240,000 watches produced annually and employing 800 people — in the hands of four young people, the oldest of whom, Paul-Emile Brandt, was not yet 24. Brandt was the great architect and builder of Omega (Omega SA, 2009). His influence would be felt over the next half-century. The economic difficulties brought on by the First World War would lead him to work actively from 1925 toward the union of Omega and Tissot, then to their merger in 1930 within the group SSIH, Geneva. Under his leadership, and from 1955 that of Joseph Reiser, the SSIH Group continued to grow and multiply, absorbing or creating some fifty companies. By the seventies, SSIH had become Switzerland's number one producer of finished watches and number three in the world. Omega made its debut in sports during the international ballooning for the Gordon Bennet cup contest timing several events. The British Royal Flying Corps decided to choose Omega watches in 1917 as their official timekeepers for its combat units, as did the American army in 1918. Omega was the first company to be entrusted with the official timekeeping of all disciplines at the Los Angeles Games in 1932. From sports to scientific scuba-diving, the Omega Seamaster line was created. One of Omega's most noteworthy achievement was the world record of accuracy granted by the English observatory of Kew-Teddington in 1936. In 1952, Omega was also awarded the Olympic Cross of Merit for "exceptional services to the world of sport". The Omega Speedmaster was created in 1957. After rigorous evaluation and testing, NASA decided to use the "Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph wristwatch in 1965 as its official timekeeper. In 1967, the one millionth chronometer was certified. On 21st July 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. As he made the famous steps quoting "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", he was wearing his Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph. With this unique accomplishment came a unique nickname: the Moon Watch. In April 1970 the Omega Speedmaster rescued the Apollo XIII mission from a potential disaster, earning Omega the "Snoopy Award", the highest distinction granted by NASA. The Russian Space Agency also chose the Omega Speedmaster chronographs to accompany their astronauts. While Omega watches and Rolex had dominated in the pre-quartz era, this changed in the 1970s. That was when Japanese watch manufacturers such as Seiko and Citizen rose to dominance due to their pioneering of quartz movement. In response, Rolex continued concentrating on its expensive mechanical chronometers where its expertise lay (though it did have some experimentation in quartz) while Omega tried to compete with the Japanese in the quartz watch market with Swiss made quartz movements. In 1974 Omega produces Marine Chronometer 2400 which is the most accurate and the most technologically advanced wristwatch in the world. This legendary "Omega Megaquartz" marine-chronometer had a daily timing variation of just two thousands of a second, in a trial lasting for 63 days. In its search of elegance, Omega has relied on the most prestigious jeweler designers and created real masterpieces of the highest refinement. As a result, in 1985, Omega received the Triomphe de l'excellence européenne prize for the quality and originality of its models. On the 18th of May 1983, Omega received its 100,000th official rating certificate for quartz chronometers. A museum for the company was opened on 16th December 1983. Omega's brand experienced a resurgence with advertisements that focused on product placement strategies, such as in the James Bond 007 films. Bond had previously worn a Rolex Submariner but switched to the Omega Seamaster with GoldenEye in 1995 and has stayed with the latter ever since. Omega watches also adopted many elements of Rolex's business model (i.e. higher pricing, tighter controls of dealer pricing, increasing advertising, etc.) which was successful in increasing Omega's market share and name recognition to become more of a direct competitor to Rolex. The "Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph" was the first watch on the Moon, worn by Buzz Aldrin. Although Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong was first to set foot on the moon, he left his 105.012 Speedmaster inside the Lunar Module as a backup because the LM's electronic timer had malfunctioned. Buzz Aldrin elected to wear his and so his Speedmaster became the first watch to be worn on the moon. Armstrong's watch is now displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Aldrin's is lost. He mentions in his book, Return to Earth, that when donating several items to the Smithsonian Institution, his Omega was one of the few things that was stolen from his personal effects. In 2007, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph, the Omega watches company unveiled the commemorative Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Moonwatch. The watch had the distinctive features of the first hand-winding Omega Speedmaster introduced in 1957. It was sold in an edition of 5,957. Omega has frequently been the official timekeeper for the Olympics, beginning with the 1932 Summer Olympics. It was the official timekeeper for the 2006 Winter Olympics and for the 2008 Summer Olympics, and did the same for the 2010 Winter Olympics. For the 2008 Olympics, Omega watches brought out an Olympic edition with its logo on the second hand. Providing support to Emirates Team New Zealand and representing the team's official watch, in 2007 Omega introduced the Seamaster NZL-32 chronograph, with the name suggested by the name of the boat that won the America's Cup in 1995. On July 1, 2011 Omega became the official timekeeper of PGA of America through the signing of a five year agreement that will carry through 2016. Brand Identity Core Identity: precise and consistently reliable time-keeping. Product scope: Time keeping mechanisms Product Attributes: Timepieces incorporating pioneering technology and aesthetic design. Longer service intervals and accuracy over time, through the coaxial escapement movement developed by the finest craftsmanship in the art of watch making. Quality: High quality products that have been screened through numerous stringent laboratory tests including temperature-resistance, shock-resistance, vibration-resistance and ultraviolet tests. Use Occasion: General time-keeping as well as for situations requiring consistently precise time-keeping such as aviation, pioneering space missions and highly competitive sports including under water aquatics. Users: Sophisticated, elegant and elite high-achievers and champions from the world of fashion, sport and science. Brand ambassadors include- Cindy Crawford (model), George Clooney (actor), Abishek Bachchan (actor), Michael Schumacher (formula 1 driver), Dean Barker (yachtsman), ,Michael Phelps (swimmer), Capt. Eugene Cernan (astronaut)and James Bond (fictional super-spy). Country of Origin: Switzerland (Bienne) Functional Benefits: Consistent time-keeping with long service intervals and accuracy over time. Emotional Benefits: Pride in owning a high-quality, premium watch with a rich heritage and feeling the joy of a watch aficionado. Self-expressive Benefits: Owning an omega identifies one as an elite and sophisticated high-achiever and part of an exclusive group of watch connoisseur. Brand Identity Implementation System Omega and Space Exploration For 150 years, the Omega spirit has been behind an impressive series of achievements in fields as varied as technology, design and the human adventure. The selection of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph as the official watch worn by American astronauts was the subject of a famous space-race era rivalry between Omega and Bulova. All subsequent manned NASA missions also used this hand wound wristwatch. NASA started selecting the chronograph in the early 60s and automatic chronograph wristwatches were not available until 1969. However all the instrument panel clocks and time-keeping mechanisms in the spacecraft on those space missions were Bulova Accutrons with tuning fork movements, because at the time NASA did not know how well a mechanical movement would work in zero gravity. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was the first watch on the Moon, worn by "Buzz" Aldrin. In 2007, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph, the Omega company unveiled the commemorative Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Moonwatch. The watch had the distinctive features of the first hand-winding Omega Speedmaster introduced in 1957 (Infoniac, 2009). Omega and Sports: Omega has frequently been the official timekeeper for the Olympics, beginning with the 1932 Summer Olympics. Seeing the commercial impact of major sports events, Omega remained the undisputed pioneer in official sports timekeeping with the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1932. This was the first time a watch company officially sponsored the Olympic Games, and Omega continued to do so until recently, being "Official Chronometer" over 20 times. Over the past decades, Omega has timed not only the Olympic Games but also the world's largest sports events in all disciplines, which has undoubtedly contributed to the image of Omega as a superlative sports watch in the minds of consumers. It was the official timekeeper for the 2006 Winter Olympics and for the 2008 Summer Olympics, and will do the same for the 2010 Winter Olympics. For the 2008 Olympics, Omega bought out an Olympic edition with its logo on the second hand. Olympic swimmer and multiple gold medalist, Michael Phelps is an Omega Ambassador and wears the Seamaster Planet Ocean. The Olympics, wherever they are held, offer "a rare advertising opportunity for a global company to reach billions of potential customers throughout the world as they are glued to TV screens and cheering for their national teams. Competition, strength, perfection, beauty and endurance are the Olympic values corporations like to associate themselves with." Omega also sponsors sailing tournaments like the America's Cup and the iShares Cup. Providing support to Emirates Team New Zealand (Sailing) and representing the team's official watch, in 2007 Omega introduced the Seamaster NZL-32 chronograph, with the name suggested by the name of the boat that won the America's Cup in 1995. The watch was developed in cooperation with Dean Barker, skipper of Team New Zealand and Omega Ambassador. Omega also sponsors a number of golf tournaments around the world such as the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, the Omega European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland and the China Tour. Sports timing and measurement technologies, although not a core business, play a key role in Omega's brand and corporate visibility. Sports in the U.A.E Golf: 'OMEGA's involvement in golf is longstanding and includes such world-renowned tournaments as the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the Dubai Desert Classic, the Dubai Ladies Masters and the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup in China.' Horse racing: Endurance is a relatively young sport but one that is exceedingly challenging for the competitors and their steeds as well as the timekeepers due to the distances involved. The 160-km race requires the horses to be checked by veterinarians at regular intervals along the way before being allowed to continue. Competitors' times must be clocked at the different gates and a complete overview of time maintained throughout the race which can last well over 10 hours. OMEGA earlier this year reinforced its partnership with the Dubai Equestrian Club as second-year sponsor of the H.H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup Endurance Race. Media Analysis Cinema: The product placement and marketing of Omega through the fictional super-spy James Bond would have to be among the most effective success stories as far as using cinema as a media vehicle for marketing is concerned. Omega has been associated with James Bond movies since 1995. That year, Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond and began wearing the Omega Seamaster Quartz Professional (model 2541.80.00) in the movie GoldenEye. In all later films, Brosnan wore an Omega Seamaster Professional Chronometer (model 2531.80.00). The association between James Bond and the Omega watches began with Goldeneye when Lindy Hemming, the costume designer chose not to equip Bond with the customary Rolex that we had seen so many times before with Connery, Lazenby, and Moore. Hemming thought that the Rolex had become a bit common in the marketplace and was not as distinct and unique as it had been back in the 60's. She felt the Omega gave Bond a more ‘Euro' look, matching his needs as a sophisticated British gentleman. Rolex as a brand has changed a lot since the late 1950's when Fleming chose one for Bond to wear. At that time, Rolex was known as a uniquely well made, durable and "waterproof" watch that cost somewhat more than other watches. Now, decades later, many inexpensive watches meet the functional needs of durability, accuracy, and water-resistance that people used to turn to Rolex for. In this time, Rolex has shifted from being a technically superior, but only modestly well known watch make to being the publicly perceived "leader of the pack" in the luxury watch market. Because of this, many Bond afficionados believe that the OMEGA Seamaster is closer in spirit to what author Ian Fleming would choose for Bond today. The literary Bond would not have chosen a watch based on luxury and flashy name recognition, but on performance. To him, any watch, car, or other implement's primary function is as a tool. Any tool is expendable. The Seamaster offers the comparable performance, style, and weight Bond would have wanted, but without attracting extra attention or making the statement a Rolex does today. With OMEGA's much heavier bracelet on the Seamaster, it would probably make an even better "knuckle duster" as the literary Bond once used his Rolex in a fight. Another possible reason for the change from the Rolex Submariner that Bond had previously worn was a change in the business environment surrounding modern high-profile films and product placement. Omega was eager to participate in high profile co-promotions/product placement opportunities, especially the James Bond franchise, to further its brand image/awareness. It accomplished this by supplying products and finance (something that the conservative Rolex company avoids, presumably because it sees no benefit for itself). For the 40th anniversary of James Bond (2002) a commemorative edition of the watch was made available (10,007 units). The watch is identical to the model 2531.80.00 except the blue watch dial had a 007 logo inscribed across it and also machined into the caseback. The band also had 007 inscribed on the clasp. Daniel Craig, the current James Bond of Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace also wears the Omega Seamaster: the Seamaster Planet Ocean (model 2900.50.91) in the first part Casino Royale, and in the latter part (from travelling to Montenegro,) and even goes so far as to mention Omega by name in the film when questioned by Vesper Lynd. In connection with the launch of the film, Omega released an 007-special of the Professional 300M, featuring the 007-gun logo on the second hand and the rifle pattern on the watch face, this being a stylized representation of the gunbarrel sequence of Bond movies. Omega released a second James Bond limited edition watch in 2006. This was a Seamaster Planet Ocean model with a limited production of 5007 units. The model is similar to what Craig wears earlier on in the film; however, it has a small orange colored 007 logo on the second hand, an engraved caseback signifying the Bond connection, and an engraved 007 on the clasp. In the newest movie, Quantum of Solace, Craig wears the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean with a black face and steel braclet (42 mm version). Another limited edition was released featuring the checkered "PPK grip" face with the Quantum of Solace logo over it. In other markets like the U.S. Omega has gone further with a direct marketing promotion aimed specifically at James Bond fans. Moviegoers nationwide will receive a unique movie theater "playbill" (similar to those produced for Broadway shows) with the purchase of a James Bond movie ticket. The "playbill" will contain information about Omega, the film, how to win 007's watch and a trivia challenge. In the U. A. E, like in other parts of the world James Bond has a huge fan following and had massive openings for their latest sequels. As a marketing partner of the production house, Omega, especially for the last two sequels of the movie, made optimum use of the opportunity by advertising their brand by way of co-branding posters and related product displays all over the U.A.E especially in the shopping malls that housed their retail partners and boutiques such as the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Lifestyle Magazine: Omega has created "Lifetime", a global lifestyle magazine, as a present to its customers, strongly believing that outstanding print magazines are precious collectors' items and carry emotional and relevant messages very well. The magazine is available to Omega customers worldwide through the company's unique global network of flagship stores and boutiques, all located in the best shopping streets of the most important cities in the world from Beverly Hills to Dubai. Issues are out every March and September and had an initial print run of 100,000 copies. "Lifetime" makes an attractive gift for men and women of 30 years of age and up who share a taste for quality and a strong interest in fashion and urban living. Each issue will focus on a particular theme strongly related to the emotions and interests of our clients and readers. Top journalists and photographers will contribute articles on lifestyle, luxury, sport, design and art, as well as fashion and urban living. Other Events (non sport): Product Launch: In 2006, to commemorate its lunar success, Omega had set up a Lunar Exhibition by presenting Dubai Duty Free passengers a display of the Lunar Rover and space equipment. The event was inaugurated by Christophe Savoiz, Head of the Swatch Group in the presence of Milvin George, Omega Middle East and Africa Brand Manager, Abdul Hamid Seddiqi, the Omega Official Dealer in Dubai alongside Dubai Duty Free officials. The special Speedmaster model created for Baselworld 2005 was launched for the first time in the Middle East and also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the models flight qualification for manned spaceflights missions. The important milestones are celebrated with a distinctive model with a blue dial and matching blue aluminium ring on the steel bezel. Incidentally, the Speedmaster Omega was worn by astronaut Edward H. White during his 36-minute space walk on 3 June 1965. They also participate in annual industry exhibitions and trade shows in the region like International Watch & Clock Fair (IWCF), Watch & Jewellery Dubai and the Dubai International Jewellery Week. Advertising Design Omega has used little or no advertising as far as Television and radio in the region are concerned. Outdoor advertising has also been used at a minimum in comparison to their competitors like Cartier and Zenith. Omega's major strategy here in the U.A.E has been the use of print ads in magazines like Friday, Weekend and the Arabian Business Week and in newspaper dailies like the Gulf News. Print ads of the brand are also found to be displayed in major malls around the region like Bur Juman and the Wafi Shopping Mall in addition to the Dubai Duty Free. Below are samples of the kind advertisements that have been used by Omega as of late. It can be observed that these ads have been designed with the objective of building Omega's brand image, especially through the use of their ambassadors. The ambassadors used for their ads here in the region are some of their more famous ones in the region such as celebrities like George Clooney and fictional super-spy James Bond as opposed to their other brand ambassadors from fields like sports and science. Theoretical Framework: A theoretical approach used by Omega to design their advertisements is the means-end chain. This approach suggests that an advertisement should contain a message or a means that leads the consumer to a desired end state which includes the consumer's personal values. The means end theory is the basis of a model called the Means End Conceptualization of Components for advertising strategy. According to this model the attributes of the product are linked to the specific benefits consumers can derive which in turn lead to the attainment of personal value. The leverage point is the message in the ad that links the the attributes and benefits with consumer values.The common message theme of Omega's advertisements is that the successes of individuals are owing to their value for time and a high quality, premium and consistently accurate time piece such as those of the Omega brand makes it possible enabling the consumer to achieve personal values like a sense of personal accomplishment and self esteem. Omega's ads predominantly employ emotional appeals. Emotional appeals are based on 3 ideas. Firstly, consumers ignore most advertisements. Second, rational appeals go unnoticed unless the consumer is in the market for a particular product at the time it is advertised. Third, and most important, emotional advertising can capture a viewer's attention and foster an attachment between the consumer and the brand and this is what Omega strives to accomplish. Message Strategies: A message strategy is the primary tactic or approach used to deliver the message theme, which in the case of Omega has been predominantly, if not completely, affective in nature here in the U.A.E. Affective message strategies invoke feelings or emotions and match those feelings with the product/ service/ brand. Such ads are prepared to enhance the likeability of the product, recall of the appeal, or comprehendsion of the advertisement. Omega implements this affective strategy through emotional advertising that elicit powerful emotions that , in turn, lead the consumer to act, preferably to buy the product and subsequently affect the consumer's reasoning process. Executional Frameworks: In the ad itself, the executional framework is the plot or scenario used to convey the message designed to complete the linkage. An executional framework is the manner in which an ad appeal is presented. It is chosen after an advertising appeal has been selected. Each appeal can be matched with the appropriate executional framework. The executional framework employed by Omega for their ads are mainly authoritative in nature in conjunction with their endorsers. When using the authoritative executional framework, the advertiser is seeking to convince their audience that a given product is superior to other brands. Omega does this successfully through the use of their ambassadors each of whom are individuals in their respective fields be it fasion, arts, science or sports. This is likely to convey to the audience the message that the successes of these individuals are owing to their value for time and if the consumer wants to be a high achiever as well they would be better off with a high quality, premium and consistently accurate time piece such as those of the Omega brand and hence taglines such as "George Clooney's Choice" or "Nicole Kidman's Choice". Conclusion and Recommendations Though Omega has been successful in creating a powerful brand image in the region and the status of being one of the major competitive players in its chosen segment, there are certain recommendations that could be made: - Omega is often mistaken for a prestige watch that just because it competes (with certain select models) in the luxury watches and jewellery category. But this is just the partial truth, the fact that makes it a premium/ prestige watch is not precious jewels/metals that adorn its physical matter used in its manufacture, but is due to that exceptional movement of the time-pieces themselves. OMEGA presents an innovation that redefines the entire theory of mechanical watchmaking especially through its coaxial escapement movement developed in conjuction with master watchmaker George Daniels. To increase the awareness of this trait it is suggested that Omega also use advertisements that employ cognitive strategies and an informational executional framework in combination with their current advertising strategies to highlight their superior quality against competing brands. - Omega could also use their direct marketing strategies that they use in the U.S markets. As the English speaking population in the expat dominated U.A.E is huge can capitalise on the huge visibility available to them through the James Bond movie franchise. Aimed specifically at James Bond fans, moviegoers nationwide could be targeted through unique movie theater "playbill" (similar to those produced for Broadway shows) with the purchase of a James Bond movie ticket. The "playbill" could contain information about Omega, the film, or how to win 007's watch and even a trivia challenge. - As mentioned earlier in the report Omega has numerous ambassadors for their brand around the world, including sports and arts celebrities in developing markets like India and China. Omega could do well by signing on one more brand ambassador from the Arab world from the fields of either science, sports, arts or even fashion in the Middle East, somebody who embodies the qualities inherent with the Omega brand and an individual that nationals from the region can identify with.
have some spare money in hand, so planning to buy a watch to award my hard work, after a serious of comparision, now with only three watches enter into the final, Daytona, Submariner, Seamaster, which one you will recommend? I do love the look of Daytona, but submariber is somehow a must-have, timeless watch, Seamaster also has its strengthes, so what's your opinoin? which one i should opt for?