Omega Seahorse Logo

omega seahorse logo speedmaster

Omega Seahorse Symbol: The Backstory


Apart from their most popular designs, watch brands are also easily recognized for their logos. Rolex has the crown, Patek Philippe has the Calatrava, and Omega has of course, the Greek symbol Omega.

Aside from its logo, one of the most distinguished trademarks of Omega is the Seahorse logo or the Hippocampus. Engraved on the casebacks of Omega watches, and sometimes appearing on the dial, it’s a ubiquitous symbol that every watch aficionado is familiar with, whether or not they own an Omega timepiece. Read on for the story behind the Omega Seahorse.


The Omega Seamaster and the Origins of the ‘Seahorse’

The Omega Seamaster is the first family of watches under the Omega brand. Launched in 1948, the Seamaster was the lone collection of Omega until they launched the Constellation, a line of chronometer watches, in 1952; followed by the Lady-Matic in 1955.

To distinguish the collections from each other, Omega assigned the Constellation and Lady-Matic with logos. The Constellation received The Observer — an insignia of the Geneva Observatory surrounded by eight stars. The eight stars stand for Omega’s chronometric achievements at the annual observatory chronometer tests, held between 1945 and 1952. Meanwhile, the Lady-Matic was represented by a stylized star, representing the brilliance of a woman.

The Seamaster of course, as the first family of watches, also needed a distinguishing sign.


Vintage Omega Constellation and Omega Seamaster watch caseback
Vintage Omega Constellation and Omega Seamaster watch caseback


The Seahorse and the Venice Gondola

Omega’s engraver Jean-Pierre Borle was responsible for the Observatory logo; and was also tasked with coming up with a symbol for the Seamaster. On a trip to Venice, he noticed the hippocampi on the sides of the gondola, which became his inspiration for the logo.

In Greek mythology, the hippocampus is a sea monster whose upper body is that of a horse and whose lower body is that of a fish. The hippocampi ornaments appear on the gondola as a symbol of protection for the driver and his passengers.

In 1958, the hippocampi or seahorse became the official symbol of the Seamaster, signifying the line’s water resistant capabilities.


Omega Seamaster 300M Titanium Watch with Seahorse logo on caseback
Omega Seamaster 300M Titanium Watch with Seahorse logo on caseback



Why does it appear on the Omega Speedmaster?

While the Seahorse first appeared on the Seamaster, it did not remain exclusive to the collection. In 1957, Omega launched the Trilogy line composed of the Railmaster, Speedmaster, and Seamaster 300. All three watches were under the Seamaster collection at the time, and thus received the Seahorse symbol on their casebacks.


Omega Speedmaster 50th Anniversary MoonWatch with Seahorse logo on the dial
Omega Speedmaster 50th Anniversary MoonWatch with Seahorse logo on the dial

Aside from initially being Seamaster watches, it was also a means to denote their water resistance, aside from their chronograph function (for the Speedmaster) and anti-magnetic properties (for the Railmaster).

Today, the Seahorse logo can be found on select Omega Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster models with solid case backs. If it’s part of the watch’s design, a well-detailed engraving of the Seahorse is one of the hallmarks of an original Omega watch.

With iconic timepieces bearing the logo, not only is the Omega Seahorse an important symbol for the brand, it is also one of the most significant trademarks in all of watchmaking history.





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