The well known watch company Omega caused a stir in 1999 with the unveiling of a production watch movement with a co-axial escapement. This invention by the English watchmaker George Daniels was hailed as one of the first real advances to basic timekeeping in over two centuries. Although many other watchmakers had considered adopting Daniels' design, only Omega moved to production, purchasing the patent from him in 1993. The Co-Axial movement was developed for Omega by ETA engineer Kilian Eisenegger after he suggested industrializing it. Daniels credited Eisenegger as his primary source of contact with ETA and Omega.
A co-axial escapement differs from the conventional Swiss lever escapement by a significant reduction of friction. Consequently this system requires less or no lubrication and runs for a longer period free of maintenance. In a co-axial escapement, there are two stacked (co-axial) escape wheels and a three-pointed pallet fork One of these star-shaped gears interacts with the outer “entry” and and “exit” pallets, while the other sends power impulses back to the regulator.
With the Cal. 2500 in the De Ville Co-axial, an automatically driven chronometer, the technology came to serial production for the first time. In the following years it was introduced in an increasing number of Omega movements, and is now found in most models.
In 2007, Omega introduced their first movement designed for the Co-Axial escapement. Cal. 8500 allowed the technology to be enhanced, with more room for the system. As of 2011, Cal. 8500 also features a silicon hairspring, as do later Co-Axial movements. The first in-house Co-Axial chronograph movement, Cal. 9300, was introduced in 2011.
Omega has adapted or designed in the Co-Axial escapement for the following movement families