The Co-axial movement and the NATO bracelet are the iconic codes of Omega. A company that is the master of innovation.
The Omega NATO Bracelet
In terms of technical advances, Omega can boast about having brought more than one icon to the world. Seamaster or Moonwatch watches, each element represents the practical innovation of the house. The NATO Bracelet.
Omega And The British Army
It was in 1973 that Omega invented the NATO bracelet to meet the demand of the British Ministry of Defense, the British MOD. The Department wanted to equip its soldiers with a resistant bracelet, ideal for all terrains. If Omega was able to meet the requirements of the specifications, it was because the watch manufacturer already had expertise in the matter.
As early as the 1940s, Omega was commissioned by the British army and the Allies to manufacture water resistant watches, shock and magnetic fields. Precise and indestructible, Omega watches has built their reputation on the field.
The Seamasters in the waters and the Speedmaster became the Moonwatch, in space!
So in 1973, the NATO bracelet was invented to counter the disadvantages of leather bracelets, and the dangers of metal bracelets. The former style did not withstand the tropical climate, while the second, because it reflected light, risked spotting the soldiers. And, not to mention the shock and wear that would cause the loss of the watch.
The NATO bracelet therefore perfectly meets the specifications of the British MOD. One could read for example: “Gray woven nylon 1.2mm thick (color” Admiralty Gray “- BS4800). Designed from a single piece. Loop in one piece (irremovable, without pump). Thermo-welded loop and loops. 280mm in length to be attached to wetsuits, such as that of the Royal Navy. ”
The NATO Bracelet, Omega Icon
Its name, NATO, is an abuse of language. A reference to NATO, entered through the British army. Because, by adopting it, they had the bracelet coded via an inter-country signatory order reference – The NATO Stock Number reference.
Almost indestructible and willing to lend itself to military or worldly codes, the NATO bracelet was in great demand.
It must be said that with its comfort and resistance, NATO cheerfully associated themselves with key watches from the Omega repertoire. And there are a thousand and one possibilities in this area. Omega had clearly started the craze for this kind of bracelet. And as was the case with the Omega 19-line caliber, the Omega house set a new standard for the watch industry.
A standard, which in the James Bond movie Specter, it became an icon of popular culture. Agent 007, a former member of the British navy, wears a Seamaster stuck on a NATO strap on the screen. A legendary precision watch, driven by a revolutionary movement.
The Co-Axial, Omega Movement
If in 1894 Omega already innovated by inventing the Omega 19 caliber, it was at the dawn of the 2000s that the company reiterated its horological exploits.
It was through George Daniels that the Co-Axial movement entered the Omega vocabulary.
In the 1990s, the brilliant inventor George Daniels developed a revolutionary movement – an escapement that met the needs of an industry in turmoil.
The operation of the escapement is simple. At the heart of the watch, the escapement mechanism by George Daniels maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel, effectively, based on the energy available and its chronometric stability. Hence by resolving the problems of pendulum overturning and lubrication, George Daniels had solved one of the oldest problems in watchmaking.
When he finally presented it to Omega, the house could only endorse the invention. After a few years of trying to introduce it into a watch, Omega presented in 1999 a watch fitted with the Co-Axial escapement. It is the Co-Axial 2500 caliber.
The first functional escapement developed for a new generation of mechanical watch. The Omega caliber once again redistributed the standards of the watchmaking universe – but 21st century style. When we question the master watchmaker who invented it, George Daniels says it himself: “It [the Co-Axial escapement] was developed to perpetuate the affection of the 21st century public for mechanical watches. “
With the Co-Axial 2500 caliber, Omega has therefore achieved chronometric performances considered unattainable for mechanical watches, produced in series.
The Co-Axial 8500 calibers
In 2007, the launch of the Co-Axial 8500 caliber brought Omega back into the history books. For the first time, the house has just created a complete caliber, built around the Co-Axial escapement. 202 components specially made in-house by Omega, and a new caliber optimized to produce this movement in series!
It was a remarkable return for Omega to the heart of the very exclusive Swiss watch manufacturers. An appellation reserved for houses that design and produce their movements in-house.
From 2008, this same Co-Axial is based on silicon to optimize its performance. A material resistant to corrosion and wear. Lighter and harder than steel – Co-Axial silicon allows lubrication-free operation. This expertise has been certified since the 19th century by the Omega logo, which has since become historic.