WHERE ARE OMEGA WATCHES MADE?
Omega, a horological brand that needs no introduction, has been a watch brand that many have looked at and lusted after whilst staring into the perfectly lit AD windows. The seamaster, Moonwatch, Speedmaster, aquaterra, planet ocean are some famous model names that instantly spring into people’ minds when Omega is mentioned.
Having been the go to watch for the famous British spy James Bond and for most Astronauts, it is safe to say Omega watches are clearly very well made in order to have made these impressive achievements. However, have you ever wondered where an Omega watch is made? This article will explore where an Omega watch is born and the process from start to finish an Omega watch goes through before appearing in your local AD window..
It does not take a high level detective to quickly work out Omega watches are made in a country most known for its strong links and rich history in horology. Switzerland is home to some of the greatest horology makers in history, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex and many more to name just a few. Omega was founded by Louis Brandt in the late 1940s and was established in the Swiss city renowned for watchmakers starting their companies, La Chaux-de-Fonds. However, despite being made and assembled there in Omega’ early days, after the death of Louis Brandt, his sons took over the brand and made a few changes.
Source : Time & TIde
Source : Time & TIde
They wanted to compete with their rivals and make exceptional timepieces available to everyone. In 1894, they began to move their main facilities out of La Chaux-de-Fonds and over to Bienne. As you can imagine, making a watch requires more than just one facility to design, assemble, perform tests and checks, market and ship their watches from. Hence, over the many decades of their watchmaking history they have now also expanded into another region in Switzerland, Villeret.
Omega’ facility in Villeret is a sleek modern designed building which is where every movement in all Omega’ watch parts are made and assembled before being transported to their facility in Bienne. This facility is where the first steps of your Omega are taken, the case, bracelet links, bezels, movements, crystals and dials are all made inside the Villeret facility. 300 expertly trained watchmakers work within the facility, each watchmaker responsible for a specific set of parts to ensure the parts they make are made perfectly. Whilst Omega do make most of the parts themselves, they have certain parts produced by the Swatch Group such as ETA movements and hairsprings.
Source : Time & TIde
However, for Omega to proudly boast the ‘Swiss Made’ stamp on their watches and dials, they must have at the very least 60% of their watches made and assembled in Switzerland. Despite not having access to the exact percentage of parts not benign produced in Switzerland, it's safe to say the Omega produces virtually everything and assembles 100% of their watches in Switzerland. However, they do not assemble their watches in the Villeret facility that is done in another equally impressive building in Bienne. Once all the individual components are carefully assembled and built, they are then transported to their facility in Bienne where all the components will be assembled into the final product.
Source : SJX
Omega’ main facility and their headquarters is situated in Bienne, a place shared amongst other famous watchmakers as their main headquarters too. This 5 story building spans more than 63000 square metres and is home to both highly skilled watchmakers, robots, marketeers and many other vital roles to the business. However, focusing on the watchmaking side of operations, Omega uses both a combination of watchmakers who have been trained for many years to assemble specific omega watches and futuristic robots.
This balance ensures a perfect construction of all the parts made in the Villeret facility. The Bienne facility is sent all the cases, dials, movements and other parts needed to assemble the watch. Inside are the perfect working conditions for watchmakers, regulated temperatures and dust-free work rooms make for an excellent working environment for constructing a masterpiece.
Omega have also got another unique and intelligent system inside the Bienne facility, their packaging and watch boxes. When you look at an Omega watch box, you can instantly tell it’s a luxury product that has been both carefully and skillfully made. However, Omega makes thousands of watches per year, 720,000 to be exact (in 2020). To help save space, Omega created a special housing area for their watches in the box once fully constructed and ready to ship. Out of the 5 stories, 3 of them are for an emours storage room so house 30,000 Omega watches at one time, all tightly packed in, a small fast robot is used to locate and move the watches around according to shipping. A very intelligent system used by Omega to save space and time. That’s the final stage your Omega goes through before being shipped to your AD ready for the local AD watchmaker to size your new Omega perfectly to your wrist!
Source : Watchmaster
Source : ZEALANDE
However, sometimes even the best Omega bracelet might not be able to offer you a full sport watch feeling. If you’re looking for a sporty option or even a change of colour and feel of your strap then look no further than ZEALANDE. Here at ZEALANDE, our swiss manufacturer rubber straps are designed to fit your Omega perfectly and offer comfort, durability and sportiness to your watch so you can wear it whenever you want whenever you want. Select the perfect rubber strap to match or complement your Omega with us over on the ZEALANDE website.