Watches

Omega Watches Are Precise Wrist Machines Worn by James Bond, Moon Men, and George Clooney

Omega's creations deserve space on your wrist.
IMAGE Omega
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Whether you’re serious about collecting watches or starting your journey into timepieces, you’ve most certainly come across watches by Omega. Maybe you’re eyeing the wrist candy of your granddaddy? Or maybe you’re drooling over the newest version of the watch that an immortal spy wears?

Both are good choices. Actually, any of the pieces from the Omega are excellent because the Swiss company, which has been around since 1894 (very old!), is known for making very precise watches dosed with flair. But if you have doubts about getting an Omega, we’re here to make things clear, and also suggest a few pieces that should be on your wrist.

How do you even pronounce ‘Omega’?

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It’s hard to give a definite answer to this one. Watch geeks say it is “o MAY guh” with emphasis on the middle syllable, while Google, the master of all knowledge, presents “o meh guh,” which is flatter and straightforward like white bread. Still, some say it is “o MEE guh” and others, “OW me guh.”

We’d go with the first or second. But, really, as long as the shopkeeper doesn’t roll his eyes when you call out its name, it should be okay. If all else fails, point to the watch. 

But what does Omega even mean?

Quick origin story: In 1848, watchmaker Louis Brandt opened a workshop La Chaux-de-Fonds and, with a passion for precision, developed the most accurate watches, something he became known for in Europe.

After his death, his sons Louis-Paul and César took over the watch business. They, too, left a mark with the 19-ligne calibre, a revolutionary series-produced movement that changed how people made watches. The breakthroughs the calibre introduced are for another discussion. For now, know that the brothers christened the 19-ligne as... Omega.

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The brothers chose Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet because it symbolizes an ultimate accomplishment—much like the game-changing calibre. In fact, because of the success of the Omega calibre, they adopted the name for the company in 1903. And now you have a nice story for cocktails. 

Why do I think of George Clooney when I think of Omega?

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Well, Clooney has been an endorser since 2007, so you probably remember his good-looking mug on the watchmaker’s ads. It’s not a random partnership as Clooney has been a fan of Omega watches since he was a kid. More specifically, he enjoys one of its most well-loved lines, the Speedmaster.

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Though a premium label, Omega is not one to shy away from attaching its name to popular faces. Apart from Clooney, it has Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, and Eddie Redmayne in its roster of ambassadors. In Manila, Omega has shown that it knows how to tap into the power of celebrity. Do you remember that 2018 beach party with the ginormous peacock chair? This way please.

Doesn’t James Bond wear Omega, too? 

Fun fact: Book Bond was described as wearing a Rolex and earlier movie Bonds (Sean Connery to Timothy Dalton) wore Rollies, too. It wasn’t until the arrival of Pierce Brosnan when 007 switched to Omega. Today, the brand is linked to the world’s most famous fictional spy. 

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This year, in fact, Omega and Bond celebrate 25 years of looking suave while blowing up baddies and, of course, it marks the occasion with a very special watch, one that Bond himself—Craig—helped design. 

Are Omega watches good?

Return to its name. Omega symbolizes the shining achievement of the watchmaker: its very precise timepieces. This alone—watches that tell the most accurate time—places Omega in the company of the most coveted luxury watchmakers. Add its status as a Swiss watchmaker with a storied history and classic taste and you get watches that deserve your attention.

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So where should I start?

It’s always a good idea to begin with its greatest hits, the Omega watches that are associated with Clooney and Bond.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph 39.7MM

Photo by Omega.

There are flashier options but we refer you to the soberest choice, a steel-on-steel that speaks of Omega’s connection to the lunar landings. The case is inspired by the watch worn during America’s first spacewalk in 1965, and the Omega logo found in the contrasting black dial is a vintage design. Though you won’t use them every day (or at all), all the bells and whistles of time recording are here. Also, it is small because smaller watches are coming back in vogue.

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Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition

Photo by Omega.

Why not slap on the very watch James Bond will wear in No Time To Die? The special edition reflects 007 with its tough Grade 2 Titanium case and mesh bracelet (Craig prefers this) and a tropical finish—a fading effect on the bezel and dial—that gives it a worn and weathered feel (like Craig).

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And if I want something else?

Of course, there are Omega watches that exist beyond its debonair spy or moon landing storylines. May we suggest these hidden selections.

Omega Prestige De Ville 39.5MM

Photo by Omega.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, our taste leans toward elegant, classic, and expensive. The De Ville hits the right spot with its opaline dial finished with a silk pattern, domed Roman numeral markers, and a chic gray leather strap. The reverse features a medallion of Chronos, the Greek god of time.

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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150MM 

Photo by Omega.

Okay, let’s have fun. With its warm gold case and a blue dial that mimics the wooden decks of sailboats, the Aqua Terra is a looker. Also interesting is the strap, a woven creation that—surprise!—is made from rubber. Wear this on the beach or when you’re pretending to be on the beach.

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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