The History Of The Omega Watch Company

Posted by david Hall on

   Louis Brandt, a watchmaker who created key-wound pocket watches from parts given to him by local craftsman, founded La Generale Watch Co, a predecessor of Omega, in 1848. He sold his watches throughout Europe, and eventually with the help of his two sons, César and Louis-Paul.

Louis Brandt, Father of the Omega Watch Company

After Louis Brandt's death in 1879 his sons, César and Louis-Paul, go to Biel, Switzerland where they acquired a factory and a manufacturing technique which allowed component parts to be interchangeable. Wristwatches made with these techniques were promoted under the Omega brand of La Generale Watch Co. In 1903, with the success of the Omega brand  of La Generale Watch Co, the company used the Omega brand as its official company name.

the Brandt Brothers, Cesar Brandt & Louis-Paul Brandt

  The Brandt Brothers, Louis-Paul and Cesar Brandt, both died in 1903. The company at the time was one of Switzerland's largest, it consisted of around 800 employees and produced around 240,000 watches yearly all of which would be inherited by Adrien and Paul-Emile, the sons of Louis-Paul Brandt, and Ernest and Gustave, the sons of Cesar Brandt. The Brandts at the turn of the first World War suffered economic difficulties and so in 1925 worked toward the union of Omega and Tissot, then in 1930 merged with the group SSIH, Geneva.

The one's with hair are the sons and the baldies the fathers.

  In 1955 the Brandts' and Joseph Raiser lead the group SSIH, Geneva to prosperity and created some fifty companies, some of which included Lanco and Lemania. By the 1970's the group SSIH earned its place as Switzerland's number one manufacturer of finished watches and number three worldwide. The group SSIH suffered greatly in 1975 to 1980 due to the economic recession, and so the banks bailed them out in 1981. One of Switzerland's other suffering watchmaking giant, ASUAG, and SSIH merged production operations to stay alive. Both companies merged completely in 1983, forming ASUAG-SSIH, a holding company. Finally the holding company, ASUAG-SSIH, was bought out by a private investor named Nicolas Hayek who by virtue of the ownership now holds the rights to the Omega Brand. Today the holding company is called the Swatch Group and now manufactures brands like Blancpain, Swatch Breguet and Omega. 

The Swatch Group



For more information on the history of the Omega watch company visit our sources below;
"Fathers of Omega." Praetexto VIP Watches Magazine. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.
"Omega SA." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.
"Omega." Omega - Watch Wiki: The Best Watches and Watch Brands. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.