The Story Behind The Omega Symbol

Jul 29, 2019
The Story Behind The Omega Symbol

The Omega symbol is one of the ancient symbols featuring multiple purposes. We can find it in various scientific fields that have nothing to do with each other. So no, we aren’t talking about the pills here.

The Omega symbol is also in use in branding and as a warranty of high quality. People wearing Omega watches, for example, are aware of that.

 

front view of omega watch on mountain range background

 

Without going further, you might have noticed Omega used by the entertainment industry (video games, movies) and the Christian religion if you have paid attention.

Still, how did this particular symbol became one of the most widely used symbols in the world? Also, what could be the meaning of it? For now, let’s say that it relates to the past and the future, something huge or rather small, and something we know or only sense.

To learn the exact story behind the Omega symbol and its relevance behind Omega watches, please continue reading.

1. A Short Lesson About The Symbolism Of Omega

As you can see in the photo below, there are two variants of the Omega symbol. One is uppercase, and the other is lowercase.

 

symbol of Omega Watches

 

Omega (Ω) is the 24th and the last letter in the Greek alphabet. To better understand the exact meanings of the uppercase and lowercase symbols, we need to point out that “mega” is the Greek term for great and “micron” for small.

When O precedes mega (Ωμέγα), it virtually means “Great End” since, as we said, Omega is the last Greek letter. In accordance, o (micron, ω) relates to something small. Curiously, the Ω symbol is derived from the broken version of its smaller counterpart (ɔ).

As a “Great End”, the symbol usually associates to a grand closure of something big or significant. It may relate to a successful conclusion of some monumental project or event. On the other hand, it can refer to some tragic end after which nothing remains the same.

Furthermore, the end doesn’t have to be significant or profound on a global scale at all. It can merely be of importance to a member of a large community. Finally, Omega may refer to something insignificant, such as the weakest wolf in a pack; or to the best, relating to a winner of a long or difficult competition, for example.

2. A Shorter Lesson About The History Of The Symbol

Although the Omega symbol first appeared in ancient Greece, its use wasn’t confined only to the Greek world.

 

symbol of Omega Watches

 

The first use of Omega took place in Asia Minor, which is today’s Turkey, in the 7th century BC. There, it appeared as a broken omicron with edges on the left side (ɔ). Furthermore, omicrons with edges on other sides emerged on the Aegean Islands of Paros, Thasos, and Melos.

Approximately at the same time, the capital Omega (Ω) appeared in Jerusalem, Israel. The nearby burial caves feature the symbol carved in stone that served as a headrest for the deceased.

Since these early beginnings, Omega has become a symbol that’s found use in many fields of study, such as cosmology, mathematics, statistics, and chemistry, to mention a few. However, the most profound meaning this ancient symbol has is in the Christian religion. In a religious context, the Omega symbolises the end of all things, but the doesn’t necessarily connote something negative.

3. Meaning Of The Omega Symbol In Other Fields Of Study

Both Ω and ω symbols are widely in use today. They even relate to some fields that form a big part of everyday life, such as physics, mathematics, and chemistry.

In cosmology, the Omega symbol refers to the density of the universe. Following the release of unimaginable energy during the Big Bang, the universe spread and chilled, allowing the formation of the substance. By the way, it is still spreading, as far as we know.

In physics, Omega denotes ohm, a unit defining the electrical resistance. In chemistry, the symbol is in association with oxygen-18, one of the oxygen isotopes.

We could go on and on with enumerating fields of study in which Omega stands for something. Let’s conclude the list with genomics, statistics, group theory, number theory, and mechanics.

4. A Brief Story of Omega’s Beginnings

Given the symbol’s long and significant history throughout various fields of study, it doesn’t come as a surprise that companies would incorporate the Omega into their logos.

 

brand logo of Omega watches
Photo from Omega

 

Before the luxury watch brand Omega was called such, it was known as La Generale Watch Co.  But the name didn’t stick. A few years down the line, things took a turn for the better, and the company underwent a huge change.

In 1894, La Generale released a brand new calibre that made history in the watchmaking industry — the 19-ligne movement. This groundbreaking movement was named OMEGA. It eventually became the company’s namesake because of the success it had garnered around the globe.

The calibre was one of the most precise movements during that time. Because of its outstanding capability, the company started gaining ground globally and became one of the biggest manufacturers of the most sought-after timepieces in the market.

5. Why Omega?

The Omega symbol found extensive use in time measurement, too. So, what could be the relevance behind the Omega watch symbol?

 

front view of Omega Speedmaster watch

 

If you recall, the term Omega means “Great.” Hence, it is a small wonder that a Swiss company producing watches had chosen this symbol for its logo. Of course, we all know how the Swiss are meticulous when it comes to watches (and cheese).

Hence, we could rightfully assume that an Omega watch decorating our wrist should allow us to keep track of time for a very long time. Aside from this, each timepiece from Omega represents not only luxury but also greatness — greatness in the creation, assembly, and design of each timepiece. No wonder Omega is one of the biggest brands in the industry today.

7. Omega Watches Fun Facts

 

front view of Omega Speedmaster Automatic watch

 

– Swiss Omega watches were the first to visit the depths of the sea. At least, the first that operated afterward.

– The Omega watch used to be, and still is, a status symbol for many famous individuals. Elvis Presley, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and James Bond (at least since 1995) are a few amongst them.

– Speaking of celebrities, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin left footprints on the surface of the moon in 1969, wearing Omega’s Speedmaster Professional.

– On its way to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Aldrin’s Speedmaster mysteriously vanished into thin air.

Ω Recap

So, whether you refer to the Omega symbol as a denotation or in terms of its relevance behind the Omega watches, you will always refer to something durable, significant, grand, and, in short, GREAT. The story behind the Omega symbol is a long one, and the durability of Omega watches makes it a worthy competitor in the industry.

If your newfound knowledge of the Omega brand has you itching to get your hands on one, check out the Omega Speedmaster!

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