Print advertisements from newspapers and magazines are perfect time capsules. They recall not only the products they are promoting but the era in which they appeared. What is particularly striking about more than a century of OMEGA advertisements is what hasn’t changed: the brand’s pioneering spirit and its dedication to precision, innovation and design.

Looking back at historic print advertisements for OMEGA watches, it is hard not to be impressed by how consistent the brand’s message has been through the years. The images of the men and women holding their pocket watches or wearing their wristwatches have changed but the advertising copy has constantly highlighted OMEGA’s quality, precision and tradition.

We invite you to look back at some classic advertisements from the past 120 years. The print fonts and illustrations may have changed but the OMEGA logo has remained the same and the watches whose dials it graces still deliver the same promises: innovative technology, flawless timekeeping and design excellence.

Newspaper advertisements from the end of the 19th century already refer to precision prizes OMEGA had won in the 1880s and 1890s and the first print adverts from the 20th century consistently refer to accuracy, value and quality of the brand’s products. 

Print ads from the roaring twenties extol OMEGA’s virtues as a sport watch, a regular Observatory Competition winner, and a watch which “satisfies all tastes: the simplest, the most distinguished, and the most modern.”  Some things never change.

In 1936, there was an advertisement highlighting OMEGA’s role as Official Olympic Timekeeper. The Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games had been the first at which a single brand had been entrusted with the timing of every event at an Olympic Games, the beginning of OMEGA’s long association with the International Olympic Committee. Olympic-themed advertising as been one of the company’s mainstays ever since.

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A 30 mm OMEGA Chronometer obtained the best results ever in the wristwatch category at the Geneva Observatory Trials of 1945 and an advertisement a year later celebrated the achievement. The fifties started with another 30 mm Chronometer besting the record held by OMEGA and again, the company was proud to announce the result to the world.

The publicity materials from the 1950s will be particularly interesting for OMEGA connoisseurs. The decade ushered in the Seamaster and Speedmaster lines and it is fascinating to look at the early advertisements for these watches which were destined to become true legends. 

While the early 1960s featured all the now-familiar contemporary watch families, an advertisement in 1965 was the first to tell a story which would figure prominently in OMEGA’s legacy. A photograph of a space-walking astronaut appears with the headline, “When Americans walk in space they wear this OMEGA.” An arrow indicates the Speedmaster strapped around the wrist of the spacesuit.

In the 1970s, OMEGA publicly launched the Seamaster 600m, known affectionately as the PloProf. This striking divers’ watch enjoyed a re-design in 2009 and its radical but now-familiar design is still breathtaking – don’t forget your air tank.

OMEGA continued to advertise its Olympic and space connections in the 1980s and introduced a number of interesting art and fashion watches but the enduring tale is the introduction in 1982 of the first Constellation to be equipped with the now famous “griffes” or claws.

The print advertisements combine to tell OMEGA’s story in a way that words alone cannot. Enjoy this journey through our past and observe that while the way the messages were delivered may have changed, the essence has remained constant: an innovative watchmaker delivering precision performance in space, at the Olympic Games, deep below the ocean’s surface and on your wrist.