The History of the Omega Constellation

The Constellation family has been around for a very long time and is presently probably the most seasoned assortment. Which began as a chronometer for men in 1952 has gone through endless tasteful changes, from the pie-pan dials of the 1950s to the super thin quartz watches of the 1970s leading to the solidification of the assortment in 1982 with the Constellation Manhattan and its trademark hooks. Today numerous Constellation models are furnished with Master Chronometer movements respecting the original job of this family to combine extravagance and accuracy. How about we investigate how the Constellation got its star force and its claws.

Born as a chronometer in 1952

To praise its 100th commemoration in 1948, Omega delivered the Centenary, its initially restricted version chronometer-certified wristwatch with a programmed movement. Given the positive response to this unparalleled combination of accuracy and reasonableness, Omega chose that was the ideal opportunity for an assortment of programmed wristwatches with chronometry status.

In 1952, Omega uncovered the arrangement delivered Constellation, a group of watches originally destined for men fitted with type 354. Two notable highlights distinguished the principal individuals from the Constellation family: a star and the name of the watch over the 6 o’clock marker and a fixed caseback with an emblem featuring the Observatory of Geneva delegated by a constellation of eight stars. The picture of the observatory was intended to inspire Omega’s endeavors in chronometry and its reality accuracy records set in 1933 and 1936 at Kew-Teddington.

The first models were fitted with types 351, 352, and 354 with guard rotors and supplanted four years after the fact by types 500, 501, 505 and in this manner, in 1966 with type 561 for the date model, and in the long run type 564. The early programmed guard movements got their name from the slight crash the proprietor could see when the rotor hit a spring and knock back. Dissimilar to current automatics that play out an entire 360-degree spin, the rotor of these guard movements moved back and forward at around 120 degrees ‘bumping off’ a couple of springs on the contrary sides of the watch…an compelling method of accumulating kinetic energy invented by English watchmaker John Harwood in 1923.

Pie-Pan Dials

An abnormal component of numerous Constellation watches in the 1950s and 1960s was the domed dial, informally alluded to as a pie-pan dial. With its raised focal region and sloping fringe section ring for the hour markers, the dial looked much the same as a topsy turvy pie-pan investing the watch with depth and originality. Depicted as a ’12-sided’ dial, the pie-pan models are fervently challenged among vintage watch authorities and inspired the dial of the current Globemaster. Accessible in steel and sumptuous gold models, the case shape remained round yet the hauls, hour markers and bracelets differed extensively.

Flat dials, integrated bracelets and cases

By the mid-1960s, the pie-pan dial gradually offered approach to level dials and additional interesting shapes and sizes for the case. In actuality, the previously integrated bracelet/case made its presentation in 1969. These streamlined watches, introduced in the two his and her arrangement, were promoted as the “first watches on the planet to be furnished with bracelets genuinely integrated with the case… a framework invented in 1964 by Pierre Moinat” and ensured by a patent, with the Reference BA 768.0803 as ladies’ watch and BA 368.0847 as gents’ model beneath (Omega A Journey Through Time pg. 372)

Omega Constellation with integrated bracelet ref. BA 368.0847 (source web) Omega Constellation with integrated bracelet ref. BA 768.0803

Another disclosure for the Constellation was the introduction of more women’s models. Imagination expanded in the 1970s and women’s Constellation models included super thin types (700) with semi-valuable stone dials and luxurious gold brocade bracelets.

And at that point came quartz…

Unlike many watch marks that were pulverized by the appearance of quartz, Omega accepted the quartz upset and gave three lines of watches quartz types at the 1970 Basel reasonable. One of these models, the Constellation Electroquartz f8192 Hz, was housed in an adjusted square gold case with a gold dial (Omega A Journey Through Time pg. 374) and a sticker price of CHF 5,400, equivalent to another VW vehicle at the time.

Naturally, the super thin properties of a quartz movement converted into a totally different and extremist plan section for the Constellation with space-age looking ‘time computers’ with red computerized shows, skinny men’s dress watches and extravagant women’s watches with semi-valuable stones.

The Constellation gets its paws

In 1982 Omega introduced the Constellation Manhattan family, one of only a handful few watch plans of the 1980s that has figured out how to stand the demanding trial of time. Still controlled by quartz movements (the main models were outfitted with super thin type 1422 grew jointly with ETA), the distinctive element of this assortment was the four screwed ‘Griffes’ or paws extending from the case over the dial. Situated at 3 and 9 o’clock, the exceptionally cleaned paws would become the trademark highlight of the Manhattan. Tastefully arresting, the paws likewise played out a commonsense capacity holding the sapphire precious stone and gasket solidly against the case to guarantee water-resistance.

Designed via Carol Didisheim and protected in 1985, the Manhattan highlighted a barrel-formed case and was offered to the two men and women in gold and steel and combinations of the two metals. The adjusted case top was scalloped at the two closures and, as Omega Constellation master and blogger Desmond Guilfoyle points out in his exposition, there was not “one sharp line on the whole case and bracelet – even the case back edges are adjusted off“.

Another irregular element of the main Manhattan models was the way that the hour markers were painted straightforwardly on the gem instead of being set on the dial. The explanation behind this plan decision is explained by Desmond Guilfoyle: “The configuration required the gem to be situated all the way into the case and there was a need to eliminate the bezel and hence bring down the profile of the watch to coordinate the super thin patterns of the time.” By 1995, the Roman numerals on the dial had relocated to the bezel.

Although it showed up with the odd cowhide lash, the Constellation Manhattan was – and is –  best known for its integrated metal bracelet with hinged links. In 1995, the Constellation acquired star status with its “My Choice” crusade starring model Cindy Crawford, tennis player Martina Hingis and an assortment of characters from the universe of sports and expressions of the human experience, including Robert Wagner. Visited in endless varieties, with or without precious stones, the Constellation even showed up with a square case known as the Quadra in 1999, solely promoted to women.

Back to past mechanical movements

In 1984 a programmed variant of the Manhattan was introduced close by the standard offering of quartz. According to Desmond Guilfoyle, type 1111 was a certified chronometer movement based on the popular ETA workhorse 2892-2. It was, he says, the movement that “saved Omega’s bacon and was considered by numerous individuals of the finer watchmaking places of Switzerland to be complex and dependable enough to frame the base movement for their better quality offerings“.

In 2003, the Constellation Double Eagle – dispatched at the Omega European Masters Golf Tournament – was overhauled with Omega’s first Co-Axial type 2500.

The huge news, nonetheless, happened after the introduction of Omega’s Master Chronometer affirmation in 2015. Notwithstanding COSC chronometer confirmation, the Master Chronometer certificate goes eight stages further and imitates genuine wearing conditions to guarantee the watch is impervious to attractive fields and water. First introduced on the Globemaster in 2015 , a watch that denoted the comeback of the Pie-Pan dials in the Constellation family, the Master Chronometer status has been gradually introduced across Omega’s watch families, including the 29mm mechanical variants of the Manhattan.

All the 29mm Manhattan models are furnished with type 8700, a programmed movement with a 50-hour power save and Master Chronometry status. Converted into regular daily existence, this offers women a very reasonable watch that is unaffected by attractive fields produced by things like cell phones, metal attractive fastens, PCs, MRI checks, induction hobs and even programmed doors.

Makeovers

In 2009, the Manhattan was given a full makeover with new dials, more refined hooks, ‘mono-rang’ bracelets engineered for greatest comfort and new butterfly applauds. It likewise denoted the unmistakably feminine heading the Manhattan would take, delivered for women in three sizes, 29mm, 28mm and 25mm (note that the 28mm and 25mm are controlled by quartz movements).

The Constellation Manhattan assortment for women was expanded in 2018 with a large group of models with or without precious stones, the date window repositioned at 6 o’clock, thinner drags, cleaned slopes, more stylised and skeletonised hands and a scope of dial decisions. Dispatched in the midst of much exhibit with long-serving brand ambassadors Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman, the star allure of the Manhattan continues to shine.

As far as men are concerned, the Constellation family has two options; the 41mm Globemaster with its vintage-inspired pie-pan dial and Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement, and the Constellation in 38mm and 35mm with a blend of Co-Axial (not Master Chronometer) and quartz models.

Given the marginally confusing cluster of names comprehended in the huge Constellation family, here is a line-up of current models and their separate movements:

  • Constellation Manhattan for women, 29mm, Co-Axial Master Chronometer
  • Constellation Manhattan for women, 28mm and 25mm, quartz movement
  • Constellation Globemaster for men, 41mm and 39mm, Co-Axial Master Chronometer
  • Constellation for men, 38mm Co-Axial,
  • Constellation for men, 35mm, blend of Co-Axial and quartz
  • Constellation for women, 27mm, blend of Co-Axial Master Chronometer, Co-Axial and quartz movements
  • Constellation Small Seconds for women, 27mm, Co-Axial Master Chronometer
  • Constellation for women 24mm, quartz

More subtleties at omegawatches.com .