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26 Jun

The Fascinating Backstory Of Omega’s Seahorse Symbol

The most common way to identify a watch brand is through its logos. Like Rolex has the crown, Omega has the Green symbol ‘Omega’. However, aside from its logo, one of the most distinguished symbols of Omega is the ‘Seahorse logo’ or the ‘Hippocampus’.

Engraved on the case back of the Seamaster and Speedmaster Omega watches and sometimes appearing on the dial, the Seahorse is an easily recognisable symbol every watch fanatic is familiar with. But have you ever wondered where this particular emblem came from?

Read on as we share the fascinating story of Omega’s iconic ‘Seahorse’.

History of the ‘HIPPOCAMPUS’

In Greek mythology, the Seahorse, or the Hippocampus, is a sea creature with the lower body of a fish and the head of a horse. These creatures resemble the Seahorse we know today; in fact, the genus of the Seahorse is Hippocampus.

It is said that the God of the Sea ‘Poseidon’ drove a chariot drawn by hippocampi. If you ever visit the beautiful city of Venice and ride a gondola through the canals, you’ll find a pair of metal ornamental hippocampus on each side of the boat. These are symbols of protection for the drivers, gondolas and the passengers.

Venice Inspired the ‘Seahorse’ In Omega Watches

The story started in the 1950s when Venice inspired one of Omega’s most significant symbols. A craftsman at Omega named Jean-Pierre Borle, responsible for creating the famed ‘Observatory’ symbol found on the case back of the Omega Constellation collection, took a trip to Venice.

During his visit to this city in Italy, Jean-Pierre Borle noticed the famous gondolas and the beautifully sculpted presentation of Poseidon’s seahorses on either side. At that moment, he knew what his following engraving would be.

He found the emblem for Omega’s Seamaster collection, which finally appeared on the models in 1957. The Hippocampus became the legendary symbol of the Seamaster, signifying the watch’s brilliant water-resistant capabilities.

It’s interesting how Omega refers to this symbol as a Seahorse when the logo clearly represents a Hippocampus complete with bridles.

Evolution of the ‘Seahorse’ Symbol

The initial versions of the Omega Seahorse logo were engraved onto the case back of the watches, eventually evolving into a more elaborate embossing of the emblem found on the contemporary models Omega sells today.

While the Seahorse first appeared on the Seamaster, the symbol was not exclusive to the Seamaster collection. Shortly after its introduction in 1957, Omega launched the Trilogy line comprising the Speedmaster, Railmaster, and Seamaster 300. All three watches were part of the Seamaster collection at that time and thus received the iconic ‘Seahorse’ symbol on their respective casebacks.

Omega used it to denote the impressive water-resistant quality of the models, along with their anti-magnetic (Railmaster) and chronograph functions (Speedmaster).

Today, the Seahorse logo is on selected Omega Seamaster, Speedmaster, and Railmaster models with solid case backs. The famous Seahorse medallion is laser engraved on the sapphire crystal case back, and the words ‘Edizione Venezia’ and ‘SEAMASTER’ are transferred onto the inner case back ring.

If this logo is a part of the watch design, this intricate laser engraving of the Seahorse is one of the hallmarks of an original Omega timepiece. It remains an essential insignia for the brand.

TO END WITH..

In conclusion, the Omega Seahorse symbol is more than just a decorative emblem. It’s a testament to the brand’s innovative excellence and rich heritage.

From its initial inspiration drawn from Venetian architecture to the logo’s evolution as one of the most important design hallmarks, the Seahorse, or the Hippocampus, as you may call it, has become an important and easily recognisable icon that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also reminds the wearer of Omega’s legacy of maritime adventure and horological innovation.

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