So, it is about time to give the vintage Omega Constellation a bit of well-deserved attention here on Fratello Watches. All of the vintage Omega Constellation models you will see in this article are made out of gold and have this Milanese gold woven bracelets. Just because the owners loves them by the way. Although some Omega Constellation watches were delivered this way, they also came on gold rice grain bracelets and leather straps. The Omega Constellation replica watch was once the flagship in the Omega collection replica. This particular family within their collection dates back to 1952 and according to Omega's Journey Through Time publication (2007) it was because their limited produced Centenary collection was so high in demand by customers. This 1948 Omega Centenary commemorated the 100th birthday of the Omega company and was their first automatic chronometer watch. It wasn't made in series production but the demand for them was so high, that Omega decided to create a new family of automatic chronometer watches in 1952: The Constellation.
The first Omega Constellation models had bumper movements and distinctive diamond shaped hour markers. The watches in the photo above also feature the diamond shaped hour markers on their pie-pan shaped dials. The Dauphin hands were used till the late 1960s. After a few years, around 1955, the Omega caliber 354 bumper movement with chronometer rating was replaced by the caliber 50x series. This movement had a normal rotor and came in several versions (date/no-date). In 1959 this range of movements was succeeded by the caliber 55x (nodate) and 56x (date) movement families. Note that some of these movements were also used in Seamaster models, but only in very rare cases they were chronometer certified. One of the best on-line resources on this topic is the Omega Constellation Collectors blog by Desmond. He also features a nice overview of the different dials and cases that were used in the Constellation collection. One of the things that make the Constellation stand out – from the other Omega families of that time, is that the dials on these Constellation models were richly decorated. The use of gold dials, gold hour markers, onyx hour markers, gold hands and gold applied logos and wording is something that wasn't seen on any of their other collections to this extent. Some of the gold dials had a satin-brushed finish, others had a sun-guilloche pattern or a cross-hatched dial. There were many different dials available for the Omega Constellation Gents in the 1950s and 1960s.
The pie-pan dials (see photo below) were commonly used in the vintage Omega Constellation watches. The use of the gold diamond-shaped hour markers is less common and only seen on the earlier models. In the 1960s Omega added the use of the Onyx stick markers on some of the Constellation models. Better said, these are gold hour markers with an Onyx inlay. Another thing that makes the Constellation attractive to a lot of collectors are those nice fancy lugs. Those early Omega Constellations have rounded lugs and were later a bit more restyled to the 1960s. A bit more rectangular, sharp edges but still very elegant. Omega also used Deluxe, Grand Luxe and Deluxe Calendar to indicate some of there Constellation models. It gets a bit unclear whether these watches had a more refined finish, more expensive dials or gold bracelet. The vintage Omega Constellation 168.010 I inherited came originally on a gold Milanese mesh bracelet for example and was also dubbed 'Constellation II Deluxe Calendar'. It has a quickset calendar (caliber 564) and was the successor of the Constellation reference 168.004. This model was indicated as the 'Constellation II'. For some models it is quite clear why they call it the Constellation Grand Luxe, as they came with a beautiful gold Reinhor brick bracelet and a silver box. However, these models – despite their indication of Deluxe, Grand Luxe or whatever – used the exact same movements with the same finish. Then there are some white gold and even platinum models, which are very rare and indicated Deluxe and Grand Luxe.
All gold Constellation models have the observatory of Geneva hand-engraved on the back. The stainless steel models and gold/steel models have a (gold) medallion on the back with the observatory of Geneva. Where the dial features this gold star highlighting the model name 'Constellation', the case back has the observatory engraved under a starry sky. The eight stars on the case back stand for the many exploits of Omega in the world chronometer competition. Besides the Constellation, some other families of the Omega collection also included watches that had a chronometer rating. However, the vintage Omega Constellation being the flagship of the brand at that time were all rated chronometer. The vintage Replica Omega Constellation Ladies watch is most interesting between 1952 and 1970. The elegant shaped cases, fancy lugs, 10-sided crowns, beautiful copper-colored movements and rich dials of those early vintage Omega Constellation watches were replaced by clunky shaped 1970s models. There are some beautiful 'iconic' models in there such as the rectangular Constellation Marine Stardust with a dial made of aventurine quartz. But in general you could say that they don't breathe the same class as those earlier models.