These watches have gone to the moon, attended the Olympics, and saved the world

Omega creates a lot of damn fine tickers.

A company that has been around for over a century can credit consistency for its longevity. Well, that may not be the most immediate thing you’ll pick up from the Planet Omega exhibit, because what you’ll discover, upon surveying the installations that resemble geometric icebergs or the points of a star, is the how Omega’s timepieces have become part of several stellar moments in history.

Peer into the glass windows of the iceberg-stars to be reminded of its greatest hits, from the Speedmaster, the iconic chronograph that holds the distinction of being strapped on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist when he first stepped on the moon in 1969, to the Seamaster, which has accompanied fictional spy James Bond since GoldenEye in 1995. (Fun fact: The Seamaster’s blue dial was chosen for the Royal Navy Commander and was worn in several films by Pierce Brosnan, but black-dial versions were later added with Daniel Craig’s Bond.)


There are also pocket watches that declare Omega’s status as the official timekeeper of almost every Olympic Games since 1932, highlighting the watchmaker’s mastery of precision. And note, too, what may be less known: its partnerships with social causes such as The Flying Eye Hospital, which combats avoidable blindness in communities around the world.

“That's the beauty and strength of Omega. It’s being able to offer something to everyone,” says Frédéric Nardin, vice president for international sales of Omega, who points out that they have watches for men and women, in steel or gold or ceramic and more, in quartz or automatic, with no complications or a host of instruments. So, in case you are looking for a watch to give someone this Christmas, this is the place to start.

It’s certainly a good thing to have a robust portfolio of watches for many tastes and needs, but what is more important is how the company does things. Nardin highlights the quality of a steady evolution, qualifying Omega’s journey as not a revolution. While new editions are constantly dreamed up by their wizards, these are always created with the quality of finesse and top-end technology that have propelled Omega into one of the must-have watch brands in the world.

“It’s starting from our history and evolving along a line, where we remain consistent in what we do, evolving in terms of technology, materials, and innovations, and developing an added value for our consumers,” he explains.

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The Omega Globemaster, the world's first master chronometer

Which now leads us the newest value or the latest breakthrough in its history, the Master Chronometer certification. The new (and higher) watchmaking standard rates precision, water resistance, and magnetic resistance, among others, and the retro-styled Omega Globemaster, a watch that works for work and weekends, is the world’s first master chronometer.

Here’s one more reason to visit the exhibit: If you are one of the men who only admire watches from afar (maybe you are hesitant about stepping into the shop), this is great way to discover the story of Omega, take stock of its creations, and maybe find one that you like.

Planet Omega is currently installed at the East Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City.

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Clifford Olanday
Editor in Chief, Esquire Philippines
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