The Constellation family has been around for a very long time and is right now perhaps the most seasoned assortment. Which began as a chronometer for men in 1952 has gone through endless esthetic changes, from the pie-dish 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 paws. Today numerous Constellation models are outfitted with Master Chronometer developments respecting the original livelihood of this family to combine extravagance and exactness. 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 development. Given the positive response to this unmatched combination of exactness and reasonableness, Omega chose that was the ideal opportunity for an assortment of programmed wristwatches with chronometry status.
In 1952, Omega disclosed the arrangement delivered Constellation, a group of watches originally destined for men fitted with type 354. Two striking 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 summon 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 consequently, in 1966 with type 561 for the date model, and in the end type 564. The early programmed guard developments got their name from the slight crash the proprietor could see when the rotor hit a spring and knock back. Dissimilar to present day automatics that play out an entire 360-degree spin, the rotor of these guard developments moved to and fro at about 120 degrees ‘bumping off’ a couple of springs on the contrary sides of the watch…an viable method of accumulating kinetic energy invented by English watchmaker John Harwood in 1923.
An uncommon component of numerous Constellation watches in the 1950s and 1960s was the domed dial, conversationally alluded to as a pie-dish dial. With its raised focal territory and sloping fringe section ring for the hour markers, the dial looked much the same as a topsy turvy pie-container investing the watch with depth and originality. Portrayed as a ’12-sided’ dial, the pie-container models are fervently challenged among vintage watch authorities and inspired the dial of the current Globemaster. Accessible in steel and rich gold models, the case shape remained round yet the hauls, hour markers and arm bands differed extensively.
Flat dials, integrated wristbands and cases
By the mid-1960s, the pie-skillet dial gradually offered approach to level dials and additional interesting shapes and sizes for the case. In actuality, the initially integrated arm band/case made its presentation in 1969. These streamlined watches, introduced in the two his and her organization, were promoted as the “first watches on the planet to be outfitted with arm bands 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 underneath (Omega A Journey Through Time pg. 372)
Omega Constellation with integrated arm band ref. BA 368.0847 (source web) Omega Constellation with integrated arm band ref. BA 768.0803
Another disclosure for the Constellation was the introduction of more ladies’ models. Innovativeness extended in the 1970s and ladies’ Constellation models highlighted super thin types (700) with semi-valuable stone dials and extravagant gold brocade bracelets.
And then came quartz…
Unlike many watch marks that were devastated by the appearance of quartz, Omega accepted the quartz upheaval 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 development converted into a totally different and extremist plan part for the Constellation with space-age looking ‘time computers’ with red advanced presentations, skinny men’s dress watches and extravagant ladies’ 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 developments (the primary models were outfitted with super thin type 1422 grew jointly with ETA), the distinctive component 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. Esthetically arresting, the hooks additionally played out a reasonable capacity holding the sapphire precious stone and gasket immovably against the case to guarantee water-resistance.
Designed via Carol Didisheim and protected in 1985, the Manhattan included a barrel-molded case and was offered to the two people 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 article, there was not “one sharp line on the whole case and arm band – even the case back edges are adjusted off“.
Another strange element of the main Manhattan models was the way that the hour markers were painted straightforwardly on the precious stone instead of being put on the dial. The explanation behind this plan decision is explained by Desmond Guilfoyle: “The configuration required the precious stone to be situated into the situation and there was a need to eliminate the bezel and subsequently 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 moved to the bezel.
Although it showed up with the odd leather tie, the Constellation Manhattan was – and is – best known for its integrated metal wristband 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 human expressions, including Robert Wagner. Visited in innumerable varieties, with or without precious stones, the Constellation even showed up with a square case known as the Quadra in 1999, solely advertised to women.
Back to old fashioned mechanical movements
In 1984 a programmed form of the Manhattan was introduced close by the ordinary offering of quartz. According to Desmond Guilfoyle, type 1111 was a certified chronometer development dependent on the celebrated ETA workhorse 2892-2. It was, he says, the development 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 shape the base development for their better quality offerings“.
In 2003, the Constellation Double Eagle – dispatched at the Omega European Masters Golf Tournament – was redesigned with Omega’s first Co-Axial type 2500.
The large news, be that as it may, happened after the introduction of Omega’s Master Chronometer affirmation in 2015. Notwithstanding COSC chronometer certificate, the Master Chronometer accreditation 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 renditions of the Manhattan.
All the 29mm Manhattan models are outfitted with type 8700, a programmed development with a 50-hour power hold and Master Chronometry status. Converted into regular day to day existence, this offers ladies a very viable watch that is unaffected by attractive fields produced by things like cell phones, metal attractive catches, PCs, MRI filters, induction hobs and even programmed doors.
In 2009, the Manhattan was given a full makeover with new dials, more refined hooks, ‘mono-rang’ arm bands engineered for most extreme comfort and new butterfly applauds. It additionally denoted the unmistakably feminine bearing the Manhattan would take, delivered for ladies in three sizes, 29mm, 28mm and 25mm (note that the 28mm and 25mm are controlled by quartz movements).
The Constellation Manhattan assortment for ladies was extended in 2018 with a large group of models with or without jewels, the date window repositioned at 6 o’clock, thinner drags, cleaned slants, more stylised and skeletonised hands and a scope of dial decisions. Dispatched in the midst of much ballyhoo with long-serving brand represetatives 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-dish dial and Co-Axial Master Chronometer development, and the Constellation in 38mm and 35mm with a blend of Co-Axial (not Master Chronometer) and quartz models.
Given the somewhat confusing exhibit of names comprehended in the huge Constellation family, here is a line-up of current models and their individual movements:
- Constellation Manhattan for ladies, 29mm, Co-Axial Master Chronometer
- Constellation Manhattan for ladies, 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 ladies, 27mm, blend of Co-Axial Master Chronometer, Co-Axial and quartz movements
- Constellation Small Seconds for ladies, 27mm, Co-Axial Master Chronometer
- Constellation for ladies 24mm, quartz
More subtleties at omegawatches.com .