omega constellation history

omega constellation history插图


What is a Omega Constellation watch?

Omega Constellation Review History The year was 1952, and World War II had recently come to an end. In honor of the Lockheed Constellation jet or “Connie” that helped bring success to allied forces, Omega created and released the Constellation watch. Original Omega Constellation watches were offered in yellow gold, rose gold, and steel.

What kind of movement does a 1952 Omega Constellation have?

Despite some distinctive differences in exterior design, all 1952 Omega Constellation watches had Omega Caliber 35x bumper movement inside. In 1955, Omega replaced the Caliber 35x bumper movement with full rotor Caliber 50x series movement and over the years, additional improvements were made.

Are Omega constellations made out of gold?

A few months ago, we (Bert Buijsrogge and I) visited a collector of rare and vintage Omega Constellation and Longines Conquest watches and decided to do a photo shoot on both collections. All of the vintage Omega Constellation models you will see in this article are made out of gold and have this Milanese gold woven bracelets.

When did the Omega Constellation have its ‘glory days’?

The Constellation’s early ‘glory days’ are generally considered over by the 1970s. This was the first time Omega stopped using mechanical chronometer movements and switched to quartz. This was a volatile time for the traditional Swiss watch market.

What is the caseback of Omega?

The caseback medallion, with an image of the Geneva Observatory and exactly 8 night stars, represented the 8 chronometry records that Omega set in 1931. It is this picture, with the stars arranged as a constellation, that gave birth to the model’s name.

What was the first Omega watch?

What they came up with was the Omega Centenary Chronometer. The first Omega watch to be produced in a limited edition (6,000 pcs), the 1948 Centenary was also the first automatic chronometer ever offered by the brand. Omega Centenary. Instagram: @nicos9797.

What changes were made to the dial of the constellation?

The dial of the Constellation also saw some changes. No longer offered in the pie pan style, the contour of the dials were either flat or slightly domed. The indices, too, were re-imagined.

How many Globemasters are there?

By no means is the Globemaster the new face of the Constellation line. As a matter of fact, as of this writing, there are exactly 614 different Constellations on Omega’s online catalog, with only 20 of these being Globemasters.

What is the first coaxial chronometer?

Yet internally, the Constellation Globemaster is a different beast. Upon its debut, it boasted the first ever Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement, the Calibre 8900. Not only is the movement resistant to 15,000 gauss, it’s also certified as a “master” chronometer by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology.

What is a Globemaster?

The Globemaster is an amalgamation of many different Constellation references over many decades. Generally speaking, this kind of move on behalf of a brand does not work well, often appearing as a cheap play on previous successes. This is precisely not the case with the 2015 Globemaster.

What is the claw on a Constellation watch?

Nicknamed “griffin claws”, these brackets were in fact what helped grant the watch its water resistance rating, and would eventually become synonymous with the Constellation watch. Later, when advancements in case construction were made and the claws were no longer necessary, the symmetric structures remained as part of the aesthetic design in one way or another.

What Omega movement was used in the Constellation collection?

Throughout the 50s Omega incrementally improved the movements used within the Constellation collection. The bumper winding mechanism was replaced with Omega’s first bi-directional rotor automatic movement in 1954 with the calibre 470. This was followed shortly afterwards by the calibre 501 in 1955, which upped the jewel count to 19 and swapped the earlier monometallic balance with a two-arm beryllium alloy balance, a harder and more robust material with improved resistance to magnetism and changes in temperature. Calibre 504 introduced the first date complication (non-quickset) to the collection in 1956, while the subsequent calibre 505 upped the jewel count yet again to 24 to reduce click wear in the winding system.

How accurate is Omega 551?

Akin to how the Omega calibres 551 and 561 in the mid-60s achieved average daily accuracy ratings of -0/+5 seconds per day and “especially good results” on their chronometer certificates, the present-day Master Chronometers are also certified to a level twice as precise as a standard chronometer. The modern calibre 8900 offers advantages in anti-magnetism and the technical interest of a Daniels’ co-axial escapement, but I feel like the Globemaster and the “famous 100K” Constellations are close cousins of each other, irrespective of their 60-year age gap.

What is the Constellation family?

For vintage collectors, the Constellation family offers the finest watchmaking Omega had to offer from their “golden era” of the 1950s and 1960s. For neo-vintage enthusiasts, the “Manhattan” Constellations of the 1980s included chronometer certified quartz movements for trouble-free timekeeping precision, coupled with charming art-deco vibes and modest case proportions. For modern watch lovers, the current production Constellation and the Globemaster channel the history and story of Omega perhaps better than any reference barring the Moonwatch, drawing on design elements from distinct eras of the past, while benefiting from the latest cutting edge Master Chronometer movements of the present.

What is a 354 Constellation?

The calibre 354 was not new when the Constellation was launched in 52, having been in service for almost a decade by that point. The design for a uni-directional winding mass that “bumps” off against springs on the inside of the case had itself existed for more than 25 years, being patented in the mid-20s by English watchmaker John Harwood. The calibre 354 featured 17 jewels, with a monometallic balance and flat balance spring, a swan neck regulator and an incabloc anti-shock system. A fine movement by the standards of the time, but limited by an aging winding system that took a considerable amount of wrist movement to wind the mainspring fully. Parts to maintain these movements are now very scarce, so collectors looking to buy an early 354 Constellation would be wise to invest in an additional 354 movement for spare parts.

How accurate is Omega chronometer?

I like to think of this as the first “Master Chronometer” Omega produced, accurate to -0/+5 seconds per day just like their modern counterparts, over half a century earlier.

How many chronometers were made in the Centenary?

By all accounts they didn’t expect the Centenary to be much of a commercial hit, producing it in a limited run of 6,000 units made exclusively in solid gold and presented in a luxe sterling silver box along with an individual chronometer certificate. The public reaction surprised Omega, with collectors proving keen on the combination of precision and practicality that an automatic chronometer wristwatch offered. The success of the Centenary led to the launch of a new series-produced collection of chronometers to capitalise on this emerging market, and in 1952 the Constellation was born.

What is double eagle?

In 2003 the Constellation Double Eagle was launched at the European Masters golf tournament, in which a “double eagle” (better known as an albatross, for non-Americans) is a score of three-under-par on a single hole. The rebranded collection featured the new Omega calibre 2500, a heavily modified version of an ETA 2892-A2 that included the George Daniels co-axial escapement. Quartz versions were also available, equipped with a temperature-compensated quartz calibre 1680 with a perpetual calendar. Both of these calibres were problematic in their own ways.


Since the beginning of the last century, OMEGA has been famous for its’ great accuracy and broken many records in the games. In 1948, multiple limited-edition wristwatches were designed to celebrate this brand’s 100 birthday.

Development of OMEGA Constellation

In the 1950s, the constellation series usually were slender with rich gold. However, sport style captured the total market since the mid-1960s. So OMEGA Constellation invited Gerald Zunda to design a sports watch with a hale outer appearance.

In 1982, a great revolution of constellation happened then- Manhattan

In order to strengthen the waterproof function, OMEGA invented a classical base to faster the sapphire crystal and the gasket firmly on the case. The integrated design made OMEGA Constellation have higher recognition and became a fashion classic for more than 30 years.

The latest design

OMEGA launched a new Constellation series-29mm wristwatch. The dial is made of blue aventurine, in sharp contrast to the color of the watch case and chain.

Cindy Crawford

Besides the technology and quality, famous star Cindy Crawford also contributes much effort to strengthen the promotion of the brand. She even participated in the design. Constellation represented fashion, grace, and intellectuality.

What is Omega watch?

Omega is an integral piece of Swiss watchmaking history. Originally begun in 1848, the brand has been present for everything from the Olympics to the first moon landing. While there are plenty of histories to be written about a wide variety of their historical timepieces, we here at Times Ticking have decided to turn our heads up toward the stars (so to speak) in today’s writing. We are of course referencing the Omega Constellation series —as the title would suggest. It is a wristwatch line that has been perpetuated by the company for nearly 70 years. It is a wristwatch line that features Genevese astronomy on its caseback and has been worn by plenty of stars throughout its tenure at Omega.

What movement did Omega use in the 1950s?

The 1950s Constellations used bumper movements (a bit jarring), but by the 1960s would utilize rotor -driven automatic movements. At the dawn of the 1970s, Omega experimented with applying a highly accurate MegaQuartz movement in their constellation series—a movement that would garner high industry praise.

Why is the Geneva Observatory on the back of the 1952 Constellation?

The observatory’s presence on the back of the 1952 Constellations was meant to imply the scientific accuracy of their Caliber 35X bumper-driven movements. Beyond accuracy, each Constellation went through rigorous physical testing against the elements before being released to the public.

What time period was the Omega Constellation?

In terms of chronometer timekeeping, the 1950s-1970s are lauded as a heyday of innovation regarding the Omega Constellation. Visual designs from this time period tend to be met with high praise from watchmakers and collectors alike.

How did Omega’s constellation get its name?

Omega’s Constellation got its name from a unique source. While its name implies extra-terrestrial bodies, its namesake was derived from the Lockheed Constellation (“Connie”)—an airliner from WWII. Keeping the dauphine hands on the Constellation’s dial was a clever (albeit unintentional) pun/nod to the dolphin-shaped fuselage …

When was the Omega Centenary made?

Pre-dating the Constellation by four years was the Omega Centenary. It was released in 1948 as a limited edition—meant to celebrate the 100year anniversary of the company. Omega only released 6,000 of these timepieces but they were a hit chronometer for watch lovers around the world. They were also Omega’s first automatically wound chronometer (a big step for Omega).

How long has Times ticking been in business?

Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.

What is Omega De Ville?

Omega De Ville. This was originally part of the Seamaster family in the 1960s before it eventually branched out into an independent line in 1967. Its simplicity and classic design aspects give a timeless quality to it. Omega combined this with modern elements to produce an award-winning watch collection.

What is the James Bond watch?

Today, the Seamaster is popularly known as the James Bond watch. It first appeared on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan in 1995 when he starred Golden Eye. This was a Omega Seamaster Professional 300 model. The present day 007 Daniel Craig alternates between a Omega Seamaster Diver 300M and a Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M.

What is the Globemaster made of?

The Globemaster is made available in stainless steel, Sedna gold or classic gold with a silver dial. Thus the Omega watches have been curated using a wide range of material and designs of the dial – the reason behind its perfect aesthetics, making it the best for all sorts of customers.

What is the size of the Globemaster?

The design of the Globemaster has been inspired by its first Constellation models. It has a case size of 39 mm and features a pie pan dial. One of its distinctive characteristics is its fluted bezel with rounded edges. The Globemaster is made available in stainless steel, Sedna gold or classic gold with a silver dial.

What is the history of Omega Constellation watches?

History of Omega Constellation Watches. The timepieces by Constellation are simply known for their style, precision, and craftsmanship. The Pie Pan is admired because of its iconic shape which is a bit domed with twelve corners that are facing the hour-markers resembling an upturn pie pan.

What is the Omega Constellation?

It is popularly known for its exquisite style, precision, and quality craftsmanship.#N#The Omega Constellation is an ideal luxury watch. It started with its “Pie Pan” Constellation which came out with the ref. 168010 and is amongst the most sought-after vintage models. This model simply initiated the success of the Constellation collection.

When did the Omega watch go to the moon?

Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph. Omega was the first watch brand to make it to the moon on July 21, 1969 . This was worn by Buzz Aldrin as he stepped out unto the moon’s surface during the Apollo 11 mission.

What watches were made in the 1950s?

1950s – 1960s. The vast majority of the Omega Constellation watches from the early 1950s and 1960s followed the same design language and featured the now-iconic pie-pan dials, diamond-shaped hour markers, and a 10-sided winding crown.

How many stars are in the Omega Constellation case?

Regardless of the specific Constellation model, you will find that there is a picture of the Geneva Observatory engraved on the back of its case, sitting under a sky with an arrangement of eight stars. Each star represents the awards won by Omega in the world chronometer competition.

What is the difference between Omega Constellation and stainless steel?

Today, collectors love these watches that feature steel and gold for the classic aesthetic that they offer, while stainless steel and solid gold models provide a slightly more modern take on this instantly-recognizable design.

How long has Omega Constellation been in production?

Given that the Omega Constellation has been in production for nearly 70 years, older examples are plentiful on the secondary market. However, an incredibly wide range of diversity exists within this collection, and there are a few more key things to keep in mind when shopping for one to add to your collection.

What is a constellation dial?

The most iconic vintage Constellation dials are the pie-pan ones from the 1950s and 1960s. These dials are characterized by their raised central area that slopes downward at the chapter ring, making it look like an upside-down pie pan. Many collectors either love or hate pie-pan dials, as they typically offer an inherently vintage overall aesthetic.

When was the Omega Constellation made?

To understand the Omega Constellation and its value on the market, you have to know its history. First released back in 1952 , the Constellation was the brand’s first mass-produced chronometer wristwatch. Coming on the heels of Omega’s incredibly popular centenary timepiece from 1948 (the brand’s very first automatic chronometer watch), the Constellation was Omega’s effort to feed this new precision-focused market and quickly became the brand’s flagship timepiece.

When did Omega get rid of the pie pan dial?

After the 1960s, Omega got rid of these pie-pan dials and replaced them with traditional flat dials that came in a slew of their own variations over the years. For many collectors that favor vintage Constellation watches, a pie-pan dial is an absolutely essential feature.

What is the Omega Constellation Megaquartz f2.4 MHz?

The 1970s saw yet more changes for the Constellation, modernizing and streamlining its appearance and shifting the design even further from the classic “dress watch” appearance that made it so popular during the 1950s. The Omega Constellation Megaquartz f2.4 MHz was revealed at the 1970 Basel Fair. This marine chronometer came in a few different iterations, all 1500 calibre series. These are broken down into caliber 1510 and caliber 1511-1516.

How many Omega Constellation watches were made?

Only about 1,000 calibre 10 Omega Constellation watches were produced and another 9,000 calibre 1511-1516 watches. The dress version normally had a unique aventurine stardust dial, a gold case, a solid gold strap, a gold chapter marker, and gold hands although a few aventurine dial models had stainless steel cases and bracelets. Other models had stainless steel bezels and black, blue, or brown dials, many with Omega’s characteristic waffling. Consumers could choose between a heavy link bracelet, a hollow light link bracelet, or a sharkskin strap in black or brown.

How many versions of Omega Constellation watches are there?

Currently, Omega’s Gent’s line offers more than 25 different versions of the Omega Constellation to choose from. The ladies’ collection offers several options as well. Most versions showcase the characteristic “claws” as well as roman numerals. All Constellation watches prominently feature a star on the dial and many are adorned with accent diamonds.

What year was the Omega Constellation made?

Omega Constellation Review & History. The year was 1952 , and World War II had recently come to an end. In honor of the Lockheed Constellation jet or “Connie” that helped bring success to allied forces, Omega created and released the Constellation watch. Original Omega Constellation watches were offered in yellow gold, rose gold, and steel.

What caliber is the Manhattan?

Although the first Manhattan was equipped with caliber 1422 , newer versions incorporated Omega’s automatic caliber 1111. 2003 saw the release of the Constellation Double Eagle, and in 2009, the ladies’ Omega Constellation line was introduced. In 2015, Omega released the Globmaster, which many consider to be part of the Constellation collection.

When did the Omega Constellation watch come out?

The exterior features of the Omega Constellation watch remained virtually unchanged for nearly two decades, although a rectangular version was released in the 1960s . The Omega Constellation ref. 168.009 not only distinguished itself by featuring a slightly rounded rectangular case, but by offering a choice of integrated bracelet or leather band.

What to look for when spotting an Omega constellation?

Lower than market average price. Missing the signature “claws” or the star. Roman numerals should be engraved, never painted or drawn in place.

What makes the Omega Constellation stand out?

One of the things that make the Constellation stand out – in my opinion – from the other Omega families of that time, is that the dials on these Constellation models were richly decorated. The use of gold dials, gold hour markers, onyx hour markers, gold hands and gold applied logos and wording is something that wasn’t seen on any of their other collections to this extent. Some of the gold dials had a satin-brushed finish, others had a sun-guilloché pattern or a cross-hatched dial. There were many different dials available for the Omega Constellation in the 1950s and 1960s.

How small is an Omega Constellation?

One of them is that it is a small watch for today’s standards. With a diameter of approx. 34mm it is quite small. In retrospect, it was quite smart of Rolex to create their Oyster Perpetual Day-Date (ref.1803) in 36mm, as that was considered normal for a long time while 34mm is considered small for 10-15 years now. Since I mentioned the Rolex Day-Date anyway, it is interesting to know that a full gold vintage Omega Constellation with gold bracelet was a bit more expensive in those days than the Rolex Day-Date 1803. Although the Omega Constellation Grand Luxe on a gold Reinhor bracelet fetches more than the average gold Day-Date on President bracelet, most gold Constellations are still cheaper to get than a gold Day-Date.

What is the Constellation watch?

The Omega Constellation watch was once the flagship in the Omega collection. This particular family within their collection dates back to 1952 and according to Omega’s Journey Through Time publication (2007) it was because their limited produced Centenary collection was so high in demand by customers. This 1948 Omega Centenary commemorated the 100th birthday of the Omega company and was their first automatic chronometer watch. It wasn’t made in series production but the demand for them was so high, that Omega decided to create a new family of automatic chronometer watches in 1952: The Constellation.

What is the dial on an Omega Constellation watch?

The pie-pan dials (see photo below) were commonly used in the vintage Omega Constellation watches. The use of the gold diamond-shaped hour markers is less common and only seen on the earlier models. In the 1960s Omega added the use of the Onyx stick markers on some of the Constellation models. Better said, these are gold hour markers with an Onyx inlay.

What makes a constellation attractive?

Another thing that makes the Constellation attractive to a lot of collectors are those nice fancy lugs. Those early Omega Constellations have rounded lugs and were later a bit more restyled to the 1960s. A bit more rectangular, sharp edges but still very elegant (2nd photo below).

When did Omega start making chronometer watches?

It wasn’t made in series production but the demand for them was so high, that Omega decided to create a new family of automatic chronometer watches in 1952: The Constellation. The first Omega Constellation models had bumper movements and distinctive diamond shaped hour markers.

Can you have an Omega Constellation on a gold bracelet?

If you want to have an Omega Constellation on a gold bracelet, like pictured in this article, the price might even double. However, always keep in mind that it is all about condition! Although Omega is able to service a lot of their vintage watches, having a calibre 354 (bumper), 50x, 55x or 56x serviced will cost you.