The Constellation family – like this just serviced and all original 1968 example here – has been around for nearly 70 years as one of Omega’s oldest collections. First appearing in 1952 with the chronometer Calibre 354 automatic movement, the Constellation was designed to be Omega’s bellwether watch, taking full advantage of Omega winning yet another chronometer competition – meaning the movement was tested for precision in five different positions and temperatures, certified, and stamped with a caliber number as a signifier it passed inspection – at the Geneva Observatory.
The Constellation was named in honor of the Constellation jet that flew during World War II. Constellation casebacks commonly feature a medallion with the Observatory of Geneva crowned by a constellation of eight stars – the stars represent eight big chronometer competition wins, which was a world record.
Since 1952, the Constellation has undergone countless aesthetic transformations, from the pie-pan dials of the 1950s to the ultra-thin quartz watches of the 1970s leading to the consolidation of the collection in 1982 with the Constellation Manhattan. Constellation movements were constantly upgraded and for decades it remained the watch to first see the best new movements from the manufacturer.
The first run of Constellations used the Omega Caliber 35x bumper movement which was replaced in 1955 by the full rotor Caliber 50x series; the 50x family of slow-beat automatics represented the ultimate in production watch manufacturing, with the mid-500 series as the best automatic production movement Omega ever produced.
The Constellation was originally branded as the “Globemaster” in the United States, dropped in 1956 as Douglas Aircraft – manufacturers of huge transport planes of the same name – held the trademark. Fast forward to the 21st century, which featured Omega purchasing the same trademark in preparation for the debut of its Globemaster watch, which channels the spirit of the original.
This Omega comes with a leather rally strap, nylon NATO strap, springbar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1968 Omega Constellation Ref. 168.017 Chronometer Cal. 564 Automatic
DIAL: Original Omega and Chronometer-signed dial, with original hands.
CASE: Original 35mm (w/o crown, 37mm with) x 40mm stainless steel case, with sharp caselines; original caseback features a clear and defined Constellation emblem case.
CRYSTAL: Flawless Omega-signed domed crystal, no imperfections.
BAND: Brown leather strap, with off white-colored accent stitching – a nice compliment to the vintage nature of this Omega. This Constellation also comes with a dark blue and red nylon NATO strap, with stainless-steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Original 24 jewel Omega Calibre 564 automatic and hand wound mechanical movement. This watch was serviced in May 2020.
CROWN: Original Omega-signed stainless-steel crown.