NEWS | February 25, 2013

A special exhibition at the OMEGA Museum

OMEGA’s pioneering technology

On April 25th 2013, the OMEGA Museum in Bienne unveiled a special exhibition featuring some of the most interesting of the brand’s earliest technological advances, including innovations that continue to be defining parts of the Swiss watch industry.

Among these will be some intriguing prototypes including an automatic winding movement developed in 1931 and a completely silent magnetic frictionless escapement created in 1938. Both of these important innovations are being exhibited publicly for the first time.

The magnetic frictionless escapement was designed for naval use in World War II, with the idea of making timing devices that could not be detected by sonar. The OMEGA watch prototype is the only known watch movement in the world to incorporate the escapement.

Another highlight of the exhibition is the prototype of an OMEGA Marine Chronometer with a Jaccard “shockless” escapement. It has no index, is free-sprung and significantly, requires no lubrication. In this respect, it can be seen as a direct ancestor of the Co-Axial escarpment developed by English watchmaker George Daniels and industrialized by OMEGA in 1999.

In fact, the exhibition will also include watches that belonged to George Daniels, who died in 2011. One is an Omega Speedmaster that Daniels himself fitted with an early version of the Co-Axial escapement; another is the OMEGA De Ville Co-Axial of 1999, numbered “0” and dedicated by OMEGA “To our friend George Daniels”. That watch represented the industrialization of the Co-Axial escapement and of the technology that has become such an important part of OMEGA’s story.

OMEGA has always dedicated energy and resources not only to the development of its innovative movement technology but to the materials used in its watch cases and bracelets. The exhibition will feature some of the brand’s most intriguingmaterials, including a watch from the 1920s with a crystal bracelet and some early applications of ceramics. These products will be displayed along with some of OMEGA’s newer alloys like Liquidmetal™ and Ceragold™.

The products on display at the special exhibition are united by an underlying theme: they show that OMEGA’s mechanical innovation has been perfectly complemented by material design that has always made the watches as aesthetically pleasing as they are technically compelling.

A special exhibition at the OMEGA Museum