A Brief History On Omega and Rolex (Part 1)

The battle between Rolex and Omega is one that has baffled me for quite some time. The name Rolex is synonymous with luxury and success. If you ask anyone what is the best watch manufacturer, without hesitation a majority of people will say Rolex. There is just something about it that so many people gravitate too. However, in my opinion, Omega is the superior watch manufacturer and here is why.

Rolex was founded in 1905, by Hans Wildorf and his brother in law, Alfred Davis. The company was called “Wilsdorf and Davis” until 1919 when they changed the name to Rolex. Hans Wildorf wanted a name that was easy to pronounce in every language and looked good on a watch face. In 1945 they created the first watch with a date that changed automatically, the DateJust. In 1953 they created the first waterproof watch to go 100 meters, the Submariner. In 1954 they created the first watch that could display two timezones at once, the GMT-Master.

Omega on the other hand was founded in 1848 by a gentleman named Louis Brandt in Switzerland. (Note that Omega was founded 57 years before Rolex) In 1969, Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon wearing an Omega Speedmaster Professional on his wrist. In 1999 George Daniels created the Co-Axial escapement which is one of Omega’s in-house movements (more on this later). Since 1932, Omega has been the offical timekeeper of the Olympic Games, Palaympic Games, and Youth Olympic Games. Omega has a close relationship with the PGA of America, the swimming group FINA, and the sailing Team ALINGHI. Also important to note is Omega’s Role in the James Bond 007 franchise. Since 1995 Bond has worn a version of the Seamaster in every film.

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The Omega Speedmaster worn on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist. Photo Credits: @drbuzzaldrin

A more detailed look at each brands history is coming soon!


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