The Constellation was once Omega’s flagship model. A contemporary of the Speedmaster Professional, Seamaster SM300, Railmaster and DeVille, the Connie was top dog - known worldwide for its accuracy and high design.
Throughout its years, Omega has produced many different Constellation models, with a wide variation in case shape and dial design. Perhaps the most desirable configuration amongst collectors are those featuring so-called “Pie-Pan” diala, nicknamed for their close resemblance to the design of a baking dish. Three-dimensional dress watch dials are a rarity, and it is this unique and elegant design element that has made the Pie-Pan sought after.
A large number of Pie-Pan Constellations are gold-plated, as was en vogue in the 1960s, and quality steel examples are rarely seen today. This particular example, finished in stainless steel and fitted with a stunning rice bead bracelet, is a gorgeous example of one of the rarer variants, featuring a non-luminous dial. slim baton makers and a matching dauphine handset.
This Constellation is driven by a Calibre 551 no-date automatic movement and dates to circa 1957, an important year in Omega's history. It also comes complete with a later red Omega Constellation box. This watch simply oozes mid-century style and elegance, and it’s hard to name a more interesting -- or better quality -- vintage dress watch for the money.
The Constellation Story
The Constellation line was launched by Omega in 1952, after a limited production of a watch commemorating their centennial in 1948 that was aptly named the Century. While the Century was never intended for retail production, it received such wide acclaim for both its sumptuous case design and it's chronometer-level accuracy that Omega decided to launch a new line. Beginning with their self-winding movement, Omega built a watch that matched their ideal for what a modern (at the time) watch should be.
Omega adorned the newly-minted Constellation line with a likeness of the Cupola of the Geneva Observatory. This observatory was one of several in Europe that put watches through a rigorous testing process with accuracy standards much more stringent than those of the Control Officiel Suisse des Chronometres, or COSC. These tests, lasting between 30 and 50 days, were broken down into eight categories of overall accuracy. Watches that passed the rigorous scrutiny were dubbed Observatory Chronometers and were awarded a special Bulletin de Marche from the Observatory that tested it. The cupola is a reminder of the watch's superior engineering, the eight stars a nod to Omega's acing of every category of the observatory accuracy tests in 1931.
For a closer look at the history of the Constellation line, have a look at the Omega Museum Online, HERE.
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