Patria is a Latin word cognate with the Greek πατρίς (patris), both of which derive from the word for "father", or “fatherland”.
The watch brand Patria is commonly mentioned in the same breath as the brands of Brandt, Gurzelen, Labrador, Regina and Helvetia, all of whom are seen as “sister brands” of Omega.
Earlier this year I received this Patria as a gift.
Unfortunately, I don’t really have a horological book collection, so I have been somewhat limited in my primary and secondary material searches. What this has lead me to so far is puzzlement.
The puzzlement is about the actual Patria brand itself. There appear to be two schools of thought.
The first is that along with the brands mentioned above i.e. Brandt, Gurzelen, Labrador, Regina, Helvetia, it is a sibling of Omega in the sense that these brands are early manifestations of the brand as we know it today.
The second school of thought that I came across, with reference to Pritchard’s “Swiss Timepiece Makers” was that Patria was known in 1920 as “E.Matthey & Ed.Mathey-Grau, Patria Watch Co., Bienne). Omega Watch Co., New York, was listed in 1924 and 1925 as importing the brands Sada, Himalaya, Patria, Omega, Regina, Champ, Ethic, and Meric. According to this information, Patria was imported by Omega between 1910 and 1924 but Patria itself was not as a separate company until 1924.
I admit to having been rather restricted in my research to date, especially as I do not have a copy of that monumental Omega : A Journey Through Time, but I am interested in knowing a bit more about the brand. Coincidentally, another one of the Tarts also has a vintage Patria, which she was also given as a gift, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to photoraph it.
If anyone has any knowledge of these “minor” Omega brands, I’d love to learn some more about them.