The Constellation line, with its distinctive dial and case configurations, stands out as a beacon of nonconformity among all of Omega's lines. Once the flagship of Omega models, the Constellation was launched by Omega in 1952, after a limited production of a watch dubbed the Century, which commemorated their centennial in 1948. Omega never intended to produce the Century for retail, but it received such wide acclaim for both its sumptuous case design and its chronometer-level accuracy that Omega decided to launch a new line. Omega built this watch around their new automatic bumper movement, a watch that matched their ideal for what a modern (at the time) timepiece should be.
Omega adorned the case back of the new 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.
The Constellation saw many different dial and case designs over its run. The first bore a distinctive "pie pan" dial, so-called because of its resemblance to a pie pan. Its hour markers and hands were also distinctive: diamond-shaped markers and sharp sword hands that would characterize the model from its earliest inceptions. This particular example hails from the late 1960s, when the Constellation shifted to a difference case design. Dubbed the "C"-shaped model, the shape of the case subtly foreshadows the integrated case design that would be seen on current models of the Constellation.
Driven by a Calibre 564 Automatic movement, this Constellation offers excellent wearability with Omega's classic quickset date function operated by pulling the crown out to its final position. All in all, this Connie is a handsome example of a watch with a rich horological history; an artifact of Omega's innovations in both technology and design.
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