From Presidents to Olympians
Considered one of the finest Swiss watch manufacturers, OMEGA has a long legacy of creating exquisite timepieces which find enthusiasts amongst the world’s elite, including politicians, astronauts, film stars, and athletes.
Despite being mostly associated with daring land and space explorations, OMEGA has long been considered a prestigious watch company making remarkable timepieces worthy of adorning wrists of eminent politicians. This famously includes John F. Kennedy and his ‘lucky watch’ – an OMEGA Ultra Thin wristwatch (2mm calibre) in 18 carat gold on a black leather strap. The watch was worn during his Inauguration Ceremony on the 20th of January 1961. The famous watch was gifted to the future President in 1960 by a Floridan businessman, with a fateful engraving on the back case stating: ‘President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant’. Unsurprisingly it was nicknamed his ‘lucky watch’. In 2005 the historic timepiece was sold at auction to the OMEGA Museum for 350’000 USD. It has been in possession of the museum ever since.
Credited with escalating the brand to stratospheric fame is Buzz Aldrin. Buzz’s claim to fame is of course his important role in the Apollo 11 lunar expedition. Following mission commander Neil Armstrong, Buzz became the second man to walk on the moon, setting foot exactly at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC). His close, lifelong relationship with OMEGA was sealed when he stepped out of the spacecraft with the watch firmly attached to the outside of his suit. To the great disappointment of many, the whereabouts of the original Moonwatch are now unknown. In its place, Buzz – a loyal OMEGA enthusiast wears not one but three OMEGA watches simultaneously. This consists of a Speedmaster Moonwatch on his right arm, and an unusual double watch combining an 18k yellow gold De Ville Chronoscope with an X-33 and its titanium bracelet, modified to connect both watch heads. The look is distinctive to say the least.
In line with its prominent legacy and association with world leaders, Joe Biden – the 47th Vice President of the United States is also an avid fan of OMEGA. Amongst Biden’s respectable watch collection, is the OMEGA Seamaster 300m quartz. The Vice President wears the watch so frequently, that it is safe to assume that it is in fact one of his favourite timepieces.
Biden’s version of the Seamaster contains a quartz movement, but automatic mechanical versions are also available.
Amongst the brand’s arch ambassadors is of course the onscreen secret agent 007. The brand has been associated with the fictional character since 1995, and has tightened its collaboration over the recent years. Like his hero, off-screen Daniel Craig has also become affiliated with OMEGA. The acclaimed British actor has said in interviews that his watch-collecting mania sprung from becoming familiar with OMEGA through his role as James Bond. When asked about his favourite timepiece, Craig stated it is the OMEGA Seamaster Ocean 600m Co-Axial chronometer. This is in fact the exact model he wore in the opening sequence of Casino Royale – his first film as Bond. Craig admitted that the watch is so precious to him that it never leaves his safe out of fear of losing it.
Michael Phelps is an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with an impressive collection of 28 medals. Holding 23 gold medals, he also broke the record for the most Olympic gold medals. He has been an honourable OMEGA brand ambassador since 2004, and has even launched a limited edition watch – The Seamaster Planet Ocean ‘Michael Phelps’. Having now retired from swimming competitions, Phelps wears less specialised watches. This is generally an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean model, however also amongst his favourites is the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon.