Three is the magic number for Omega’s Constellation watch collection. Three distinct characteristics – the four claws on the bezel – the golden star – the integrated bracelet. But the new Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master Chronometer ref: 22.214.171.124.03.001 comes on a stylish deep blue leather strap and a stunning mix of patented materials, as well as a chance to admire an in-house developed engine through an exhibition caseback. It does, however, follow in the faithful footsteps of the iconic Constellation series in many ways. Let’s see how…
The Omega Constellation series – classic and distinguishable since 1952
The Omega Constellation was a flagship series for the Swiss brand from day one. The first wristwatch was originally a celebratory piece to mark the manufacturer’s centenary and was released in 1952. Its design caught on, spurring the company into producing a line to precede its magnificence. Some of the first models feature a pie pan dial with diamond-shaped hour markers, yet over the years there have been some modifications that nod to more contemporary styling. In addition to its inimitable style, every Omega Constellation watch must pass several performance-driven tests that match up to other standards of excellence, such as a chronometer-certified movement and such like. These tests include subjecting the watch to temperature variations and impact.
The Constellation Manhattan in 1982
When the Constellation was first launched, the Biel-based manufacturer gave the timepiece a very classic look which varies slightly from its sportier feel today. The claws integrated into the design of the bezel resembled small grips and subsequently, from around the year 1982, they became the most prominent feature of the Constellation design thanks to the launch of the Constellation Manhattan of which the new Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master Chronometer takes inspiration from. The Constellation series was (and still is) powered by a mix of quartz and automatic movements. The four screwed “Griffes” located at 3 and 9 o’clock on the bezel became the hallmark of the Manhattan generation, delivering an arresting aesthetic to the wrists of both male and female collectors.
The design of the Omega Constellation Manhattan watch was created by Carol Didisheim and featured a barrel-shaped case whose silhouette is very much present in new models like the new deep blue Constellation ref: 126.96.36.199.03.001. The sub-family offers men and women’s versions in steel and gold with a rounded case top, scalloped at both ends. This unusual half-moon design remains one of the most desirable features of the Constellation Manhattan watch today an can be admired in the new Co-Axial Master 41mm model.
In 1995, Cindy Crawford joined tennis players and others porting personalities including Robert Wagner and Martina Hingis to launch the “My Choice” campaign which promoted many variations of the Constellation watch, both with and without diamonds and even appearing in a square-shaped form called the Quadra, geared towards women.
In 1984 Omega returned to fitting the Omega Constellation Manhattan with automatic movements such as the certified chronometer movements like the Calibre 1111 based on the ETA 2892-2.
The Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master ref: 188.8.131.52.03.001
Bringing an innovative new colour to the Constellation family, the new 41mm model presents the time on a magnificent sun-brushed blue dial. Omega has cleverly combined this shade of blue with sumptuous 18K Sedna™ gold tones and lustrous stainless steel to meld both a traditional and modern look into one compact and functional design. The Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master watch features a polished blue ceramic bezel with Roman numerals in Ceragold™. This play on materials demonstrates Omega’s confident and experimental approach to watchmaking. The brand’s patented 18K Sedna™ gold is a proprietary mix of gold, copper and palladium elements, which was mastered specifically for the Constellation series. Ceragold™ refers to the brand’s smooth-to-the-touch technology used in the manufacture of its sleek ceramic bezels with gold scaled numbers.
The date window featured at 6 o’clock on the new 41mm Constellation Co-Axial Master watch’s dial sits just below the five-pointed gold star, which has featured on the dial of these watches since 1952 as a symbol of the tested chronometer quality found in the Constellation’s beating heart. The name “Constellation” of course, is a nod to the world of astronomy since it refers to a formation of stars that form a particular shape in the sky. In addition to the date and star, the dial is also equipped with faceted 18K Sedna™ gold indexes for easy reading of the time.
Inside the steel and 18K Sedna™ gold case of this watch is the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8900 which has been protected inside Omega’s anti-magnetic technology. Resistant to magnetic forces up to 15,000 gauss, the chronometer-certified movement is also fitted with a free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring, two barrels mounted in series and automatic winding in both directions. The engine provides an impressive 60-hour power reserve and boasts elegant Geneva waves decoration applied to the rhodium-plated rotor and bridges. These exquisite details can be admired through a transparent caseback feature, equipped with a sapphire crystal glass lens, (as seen on the front of the case) with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties. To complete the svelte, compelling look of the new 41mm Constellation Co-Axial Master watch, Omega chooses to fit the watch with a dark blue leather strap to match the shades of the bezel and dial.
Despite the Constellation undergoing a series of changes over the years, the core design of the new Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master Chronometer ref: 184.108.40.206.03.001 certainly shares some characteristics that have run throughout the famous family since its inception. Its does, however, sit on a podium of its own when it comes to the intensity of its deep and dramatic blue dial, its stunning blue bezel and its Calibre 8900 movement, which has previously been used in the Seamaster, Globemaster and De Ville family. The Omega Constellation Co-Axial Master 41mm will appeal to those gentlemen with a preference for elegant, luxurious colour palettes but also faithful collectors of the universally loved Omega Constellation series. The watch is priced at £7,410 and can be ordered directly here at Berry’s.