The selection of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph replica as the official watch worn by American astronauts was the subject of a famous space-race era rivalry between Omega replica and Bulova.
All subsequent manned NASA missions also utilized this hand wound movement wristwatch. NASA started selecting the chronograph in the early 60’s 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 conditions.
First watch on the moon
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph replica was the first watch on the Moon worn on the wrists of Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin. Unfortunately this historically notable watch is now considered lost. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin 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 were stolen from his personal effects.
Omega Watches in Popular Culture
Omega Watches and James Bond
The Omega Seamaster replica, a deep diving watch. The second crown (at 10 o’clock) is a helium release valve to allow helium out of the watch after diving at great depth. The watch is similar to that featured in recent James Bond films, in which this valve is transformed into improbable hidden gadgets.
Omega has been associated with the famous James Bond movie franchise since 1995. That year, Pierce Brosnan took over the role of James Bond and he began wearing the Omega Seamaster Professional (Model: 2531.80.00). The producers wanted to update the image of the fictional “super-spy” to a more distinctly sophisticated “Euro” look.
Another reason for the change from the Rolex Submariner replica watches that Bond previously used to wear is the change in the business environment that surrounds modern high-profile films. Omega was amenable to participating in high profile co-promotions and product placements in the movies (something that the conservative Rolex replica company avoids).
Its Seamaster 300M Professional Chronometer replica is the current official James Bond watch, used by Pierce Brosnan in each of his Bond movies since, but not including, GoldenEye. In the GoldenEye film, the quartz Omega Seamaster 300M Professional, model: 2541.80.00 was featured.
For the 40th Anniversary of James Bond (2002) a special commemorative edition of the watch was made available (10,007 units were produced). The watch is identical to the model: 2531.80.00 except the blue watch face had a 007 logo inscribed across it. The band also had 007 inscribed on the clasp.
Daniel Craig, the current James Bond of the film “Casino Royale” also wears the Omega Seamaster. In the film, he wears two different models, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (Model # 2900.50.91) in the first part of the film, and in the latter part (from traveling to Montenegro), he wears the “official” Bond-watch, the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M. In connection with the launch of the film, Omega released a special 007-special of the Omega Professional 300M, featuring the 007-gun logo on the second hand and the rifle pattern on the watch face. The face design is a stylized representation of the iconic gun barrel sequence of Bond movies.
Omega has also released another James Bond limited edition watch in 2006, an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (limited production of 5007 units), similar to what Craig wears earlier on in the film, with a discrete 007-logo integrated on the second hand.
Omega Watches in Other Popular Media
• Luc Besson’s movie The Big Blue featured an Omega Seamaster Professional 600 which has become a collectible.
• Bill Paxton first wore the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch replica he received in 1993 in the movie Apollo 13, however he grew so attached to the piece that he continues to wear it throughout his new show Big Love.
• Top Gear host and celebrity Jeremy Clarkson wore an Omega Seamaster Professional replica James Bond watch for a few years until due to lack of service it started acting erratically; he recently replaced the watch with a new large size Omega Planet Ocean.
• NCIS actor Michael Weatherly used to wear a Rolex Submariner at the outset of the show but has since switched his timepiece of choice to the Omega Planet Ocean with the orange bezel.
• Actor Peter Weller wore the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch in the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.
• In the movie War of the Worlds, actor Tom Cruise wore a vintage Omega chronograph that stopped running when the aliens first started to attack.
• Seven times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher is sponsored by Omega, and has been recently seen wearing an orange Omega Planet Ocean model.
• In the movie Minority Report, actor Tom Cruise wore an Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 disguised as a Bulgari watch.
• David Duchovny, in the TV show The X Files, was repeatedly shown wearing an Omega Deville Prestige watch.
• In the movie The Edge, Alec Baldwin is given an Omega Seamaster Chronograph as a gift from Elle Macpherson.
• Sarah Michelle Gellar was wearing the Omega Constellation in the film Simply Irresistible.
• Chow Yun Fat is seen wearing an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch in the film The Corruptor.
• Will Smith wears an Omega DeVille Prestige, in the film Enemy of the State.
• David James Elliott wears an Omega Seamaster Professional Diver in television series JAG.
• Dennis Quaid wears an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch in the movie The Right Stuff
• Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel both wear Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon watches in the movie Frequency.
• “The Man” in the movie Undercover Brother wears an Omega Seamaster chronograph.
Movements and the Co-axial Escapement
• In 1999 Omega made history by introducing the first mass-produced watch incorporating the revolutionary Co-axial escapement – invented by English watchmaker George Daniels. Considered by many to be one of the most significant horological advancements since the invention of the lever escapement, the co-axial escapement functions with virtually no lubrication thereby eliminating one of the shortcomings of the traditional lever escapement. Through utilizing radial friction instead of sliding friction at the impulse surfaces the co-axial escapement significantly reduces friction, theoretically resulting in longer service intervals and greater accuracy over time.
• On January 24th, 2007 Omega unveiled its new Omega Calibre 8500 and 8501, two co-axial movements created exclusively from inception by Omega.
A list of the current Omega watch models:
• Seamaster Series – includes Planet Ocean, Aqua Terra, and Seamaster Bond
• Speedmaster: includes Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon watch
o includes their skeleton Seamaster and Central Tourbillon DeVille.
One of the most sought-after vintage watches (of any brand) is the Omega Constellation ‘Pie Pan’. It is referred to as the ‘pie pan’ because of the shape of its face (an inverted pie pan). That particular Omega Constellation has an in-house designed and produced movement with COSC official Chronomter Certification.
• The group of world-famous personalities endorsing Omega replica watches include celebrities such as George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig (representing the James Bond franchise), and world-renowned athletes Michael Schumacher, Ernie Els, Michelle Wie, Ellen MacArthur, Ian Thorpe, Dean Barker, Alexander Popov, Russell Coutts, Michael Phelps, and Sergio García. Collectively they are referred to as Omega Ambassadors.
• Omega has frequently been the official timekeeper for the Olympics, beginning with the 1932 Summer Olympics. Omega was the official timekeeper for the 2006 Winter Olympics and will be for the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics as well.