|Year of production (circa)
Omega Constellation Ref. 568.018
This Omega Constellation lady is the pinnacle of subtle, introverted beauty. It is all in the details…
The 25mm case is surrounded by a razor-sharp white gold fluted bezel. Within its perimeter we find a surgically clean silver dial. The black-filled stick indices are deceptively simple, but the keen observer finds some nuances: the twelve o’ clock marker is executed in double width and the quarters are non-lumed, whereas the in-between markers a fitted with a tiny tritium lume plot on the outside. The date frame is faceted, for more subtle light play.
The charming “Constellation” font adds a playful touch, bringing the dial to life.
This is a watch with slow-release beauty. You may overlook it at first glance. But it will lure you in and hold your attention with all the super fine details. Come and have a close, close look and be prepared to fall in love!
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When Omega celebrated its centennial in 1948, it launched its first chronometer-rated wrist watch, the Centenary, to commemorate the event. The watch was an instant hit and in 1952, Omega decided it was time to expand its chronometer efforts. The Constellation was born as its top line of officially chronometer-rated watches.
The Constellation would be easily recognizable through a star on the dial and a caseback featuring an image of the Geneva observatory and eight stars. A nod to the accuracy records Omega set at the Kew-Teddington observatory in the 1930’s.
The first models featured bumper-automatics. A variation on the common free-spinning rotor, where the rotation is limited to 120 degrees, before the rotor hits a spring. This can be felt when handling the watch as a little bump. After four years, these calibers were replaced by free-spinning automatics.
The earlier models from the 1950’s and 1960’s featured the iconic pie-pan dial. The dial would slope down at an angle around its outer perimeter, providing a very cool sense of dimensionality. Since the look is reminiscent of the underside of a pie-pan, a nickname was quickly born. Halfway through the sixties, flat-dial versions slowly took over. The pie-pan remains a highly sought-after Constellation variant today.
In the 1970’s, all sorts of creative case shapes and integrated bracelets were launched. Different sizes were introduced for men and women. Countless dial variations were sold. Steel, gold and gold-cap versions can be found.
The Constellation is clearly Omega’s high end range. More effort was put into finishing techniques and accuracy. Where the Seamaster and Speedmaster lines were more about utility, the Constellation was (and still is) a tour-de-force in watchmaking precision.
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