Omega Constellation Watches
All About Omega Constellation Watches
Omega Constellation is currently one of the oldest collections of the brand and has been around for 69 years. It started out as a men’s chronometer in 1952. Since then, it has been through several aesthetic transformations. From the 1950s pie-pan dials to the 1970s ultra-thin line quartz watches to the 1982’s consolidation collection with the Constellation Manhattan and the hallmark claws, the brand has been quite popular over the past few decades. Today, several of the Constellation models come with Master Chronometer movements that combine precision and luxury while respecting the family’s original vocation.
The Omega Constellation watches are flagship in the Omega collection. Dating back to 1952, the Constellation collection was introduced to meet the high demand of the limited-produced Centenary collection. The Centenary was the first automatic chronometer watch from Omega. It was not made in series production, but had a high demand. So, Omega created The Constellation - a new family of automatic chronometer watches. Read on to learn more about the history of Constellation and some of the popular designs over the years.
At its 100th anniversary in 1948, the Omega released their first chronometer-certified, limited-edition wristwatch, Centenary, that came with an automatic movement. This unrivaled combination of practicality and precision was received with quite a positive reaction from the people. So, Omega decided that they were going to launch a collection of wristwatches that were automatic and had chronometry status. In 1952, they unveiled their serious-produced family of watches destined for men and fitted with calibre 354, Constellation.
The two salient features that distinguished the first members of the Constellation family. The first one was a star and the watch’s name right above the 6 o'clock marker. The second one was a medallion with a sealed caseback featuring the Observatory of Geneva and crowned by a constellation made up of eight stars. The observatory’s image was designed in a way to evoke the exploits of Omega in chronometry and the world precision records they set at Key-Teddington in 1933 and 1935.
In the first Omega Constellation models, the watches were fitted with Calibres 354, 352, and 351 with bumper rotors. Four years later, these were replaced by Calibres 505, 501, and 500. Then, in 1966, they were again replaced by Calibre 561 and eventually Calibre 564.
The pie-pan dials
The constellation watches of the 50s and 60s had an unusual feature - the domed dial, commonly known as the pie-pan dial. It had a sloping peripheral chapter ring as hour markers and raised central area that gave it the appearance of an upside-down pie-pan. It gave the watch originality and a lot of depth. Referred to as the 12-sided dial, these models were contested among several vintage collectors. In fact, this dial is what inspired the current Globemaster. Available in luxurious gold models as well as steel, the case shape was round, but the bracelets, hour markers, and lugs varied extensively.
Flat dials and integrated bracelets
By the mid-60s, the pie-pan dial was replaced by flat dials and other interesting sizes and shapes for the case. In fact, in 1968, the first integrated case/bracelet was launched. Available in both his and her format, these streamlined watches were the first in the world that were equipped with bracelets that were integrated truly with the case.
Around the 70s, Omega Constellation expanded their creativity and featured ultra-thin calibers (700) in their Omega Constellation ladies’ models. These watches were equipped with lavish gold brocade bracelets and semi-precious stone dials.
At the 1970 Basel Fair, Omega presented three lines of watches that were equipped with quartz calibres. One of these was the Constellation Electroquartz f8192 Hz that had the gold dial and was housed in a round, square gold case. The quartz movement’s ultra-thin properties were translated to a radical design chapter for the Omega Constellation. This marked the beginning of the space-age-looking watches with red digital displays, fancy watches with semi-precious stones for women, and wafer-thin dress watches for men.
Omega introduced the Manhattan in 1982. It was one of the few designs of the 80s that managed to stand the test of time. It is still powered by the quartz movements. However, its distinctive feature is the claws or the four screwed ‘Griffes’ extending from the case right over the dial. Positioned at 9 and 3 o'clock, the polished claws have become Manhattan’s hallmark feature. Apart from being aesthetically arresting, these claws had a practical function as well. They held the gasket and the sapphire casket firmly against the case to provide water resistance.
The design of the Manhattan was designed by Carol Didishiem. It featured a case in the shape of the barrel and was offered in gold, steel, and a combination of both to men and women. Another uncommon feature of this collection was that the hour markers were directly painted on the crystal and not placed on the dial. This was because the Omega wanted the design to be seated into the case well and they had to eliminate the bezel.
Even though the model appeared with a leather strap, the Manhattan is best known for the integrated metal bracelet that came with the hinged links. Since then, there have been countless variations of the model. The Omega constellation ladies’ watch collection was expanded with a host of models with the date window repositioned at 6’0 clock, polished bevels, with or without diamonds, stylish and skeletonized hands, thinner lugs, and a wide range of dial choices.
Introduced in 2015, this is a relatively newer model of the Omega collection. It continues the legacy and rich history of the Omega collection and features iconic design characteristics from the first Constellation models. These models come with the Omega Constellation vintage pie-pan dial from the 50s in the 39 mm case along with the 60s fluted bezel with rounded edges. It is also the first watch of Omega to feature their Master chronometer. Carrying the Omega Caliber 8901/8900 that is certified by the METAS. It has also passed the test proving its high performance on water resistance, magnetic resistance up to 15,000 Gauss, power reserve, and accuracy. These watches are available in classic gold, Sedna gold, and stainless steel.
Available in a wide range of designs, dials, and materials, the Omega Constellation watches can cater to the tastes and needs of a wide range of wearers. It is its aesthetic that makes it perfect for different types of customers. Having this watch in your collection will be a perfect fit for you as it is an extremely practical watch that can be easily translated into everyday life.