The Omega Constellation Co-Axial 38mm11:40 am
In 1952, when Omega introduced the Constellation family to their universe of watches, they knew exactly what they were putting out to the world. A line of luxurious watches with elegantly refined opulent cases, dials and designs that would set them apart from the rest.
68 years ago in a watch galaxy far far away…
Back in 1948, on the occasion of Omega’s 100th birthday, the brand introduced ‘Century’ – a limited edition self-winding chronometer. The watch was an immediate success as it was their first automatic chronometer. It wasn’t supposed to be made in series production but the resultant demand was so high, that Omega decided to create a new family of automatic chronometer watches in 1952: The Constellation.
Over the years, the Constellation has gone through tremendous transformations. Interestingly, given a trademark conflict which was later resolved in 1956, this line of watches was first known as the Globemaster in the United States of America. Till 1964 the Constellation saw small changes but among the most significant were the ones brought by the ‘Integral’ line launched in 1969, when the hand-finished bracelet and case formed a consistent and flowing design from one element to the other and back. This style was adopted by numerous other brands and was a trendsetting feature for luxury sports watches.
It was the Constellation ‘Manhattan’ launched in 1982 though, that brought about the biggest evolution to the series. Manhattan was the line that introduced the famous ‘griffes’ or as we call them claws, to hold the sapphire crystal in place and ensure that the watch was waterproof. The Manhattan turned out to be a phenominal success and it was a design that was loved by all. Omega knew that it had created a masterpiece, which is probably why the design is now standard for the Constellation line. The half-moon facet on the lugs is the most distinctive feature of the Constellation design, along with the indexes on the bezel and the integrated hinged bracelet, of course. The Constellation star at the 6 o’clock position and the famous ‘claws’ are also features that set the collection apart.
The Omega Constellation Co-Axial 38mm
The Omega Constellation Co-Axial 38mm comes in various tone variations but our favourite are the red gold on steel (126.96.36.199.02.008), steel on steel with a blue dial (188.8.131.52.03.001) and just steel on steel (184.108.40.206.02.003) ones. When paired with the right attire, they make for the perfect dress watch. As gorgeous as these watches are to look at, they are a storehouse of features when it comes to the workings.
Further exclusivity is added by the embossed lozenge pattern on the dial which is available in silver and blue hues. The watches are powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8500, visible through the sapphire crystal case back. A look into the intricate mechanics of the watch make you feel more connected to time and the timepiece. With a power reserve of 60 hours and a water resistance of 100 metres, these Constellations are a great fit for your dapper style. Equipped with a date function at 3 o’clock, the perfectly sized 38mm steel body sits beautifully on every wrist. The bracelets with the familiar horizontal links are engineered for maximum comfort.
The self-winding movement has a free sprung balance, Co-Axial escapement. The crown has the Omega logo engraved on it. The barrels of the watch are mounted in series, and the bridges and the oscillating mass are decorated with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque. The Omega Constellation is a distinct combination of the old world charm and new technology and has found admirers in Elvis Presley and former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev for a reason.
The engraved Roman numerals on the bezel are distinct to the Constellation series. Interestingly, in the late 1950’s the watch was appropriately advertised as the watch “for the man who already has a watch”, an allusion to the fact that a Constellation was so much more than just a regular time telling device.
The Omega Constellation represents an essential part of Omega’s heritage and 2016 will mark the 64th anniversary of the series which continues to set a calibre for luxury watches across the globe. The watch is in fact, an expression of impeccable taste, class and unconventional timekeeping.
Which is your favourite Omega collection? Let us know in the comments section below!
(Image courtesy – Omega and Omega Museum)
By Akshmin Kaur
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Compulsive shopper, hooked to books, sitcoms and movies, watch dork in making, an experimenting cook, chocoholic, socializer, conversationalist.