Omega fabulously create their watches according to the time, so an Omega from the Art Deco period of the 1920's embraces the style of the era, an Omega from the 1950's were more larger, and the 1970's resulted in some truly amazing designs, and when this is combined with Andrew Grima, you end up with an Omega watch that is as much a work of art as it is a watch, as can be seen in this Omega Constellation watch made in 1973.
Its full title is the Omega Constellation Jeux d'Or (Gold Games) and has so many incredible aspects about it.
To begin with it was designed by the amazing jeweller, Andrew Grima who was approached by Omega to design a collection of 85 jewellery watches in a unique and captivating style. These were titled 'About Time', and the collection included designs that used a gemstone in place of a watch glass, that would allow the wearer to see time through stone, and instead of having glass protecting the dial, in this case it is a piece of faceted citrine (which is again used as the crown). The way the golden colour of the citrine catches the light as well as it being facetted instead of flat really adds another element to the watch.
And all of this is protecting the Omega Sigma dial beneath. At the bottom of this dial, on each side of the word "Swiss made", there is the Greek letter, Sigma which can be seen here "Õ". What this subtle yet important mark designates, is that the hands and index markers are in solid gold. Used by approximately seven watch companies in Switzerland from 1970, it was among its main reason to signify when gold parts were on the dial to subsequently add to both the financial and intrinsic value of a watch.
Then there is that incredible bracelet that feels so tactile and smooth and wraps itself around the wrist beautifully. The texture of the bracelet is truly amazing and itself is just as important as the citrine, crown and dial. With such an elegant look to it, the bracelet truly completes the look of this watch so well. With the case measuring 29mm across plus the crown, and the bracelet 19.4cm in length, this was actually designed as a mans watch when it was made in 1973, yet could easily be worn by a woman today and still look so fashionable and elegant.
Inside the watch is powered by the just as rare 17 jewelled manual wind Omega calibre 700, which is an ultra-thin movement at an astonishing mere 1.75mm thick! This still remained Omega's thinnest manual wind movement every produced and this has just come back from a complete service and overhaul from our Omega certified watchmaker and comes with our twenty four month warranty.
And then finally this watch comes with Omega archive papers, stating in part that it was sold in 1973. This same model is featured on page 373 in the brilliant book, "Omega, A journey through time".
Every once in a while a vintage watch comes along that is truly exciting and like no other, and this statement certainly applies to this magnificent Omega watch.
Model: Omega Constellation Jeux d'Or
Rare 18 carat Omega Constellation Jeux d'Or watch with citrine glass
Who was Andrew Grima?
A brief history on Andrew Grima:
Andrew Grima (1921-2007) was known as an innovative jewellery designer, whose designs won him prestigious commissions from numerous patrons. These includes Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Onassis, and HM Queen Elizabeth II. Earning multiple awards and accolades, including a Royal Warrant, in 1969 Omega commissioned him to design a collection of 85 jewellery watches. These were to be made in a unique and captivating style. Titled 'About Time', the collection included designs that used a gemstone in place of a watch glass, that would allow the wearer to see time through stone.
Here is a brief edited article taken in part from the Omega Museum's website about the Omega Constellation:
The progenitor of the Constellation line is without doubt the appropriately named Century. A limited edition self-winding chronometer wristwatch launched in 1948 to celebrate the firm's 100th anniversary. This watch, not intended for series production, was greeted with such enthusiasm that the decision was taken to create a watch with all the same qualities on an industrial scale. It started with the movements, which were all self-winding chronometers. These were so good that had received the mention of "Especially good results" during testing.
The line would soon develop into a series of watches which were finished to different degrees. The Constellation Deluxe was available in gold with applied gold indexes on the dial. And finally the Constellation Grand Luxe, which was available in gold and platinum with corresponding dial and the so-called Brick link bracelet.
The form of the Constellation remained little changed until 1964 when the so-called "C-case" watches were introduced. The name was a reference to the form of the case, which resembled two interlocked Cs. The change would also be incorporated in the first ladies Constellation, launched in 1967.
The 1970s saw the introduction of quartz technology to the wristwatch and this also applied to the Constellation line. Some of the most accurate watches ever produced in series were developed for the Constellation line. These included the famous Marine Chronometer which is, to this day, the most accurate autonomous wristwatch and the only watch to be certified as a marine chronometer. However it wasn't a Constellation Marine chronometer that stunned the watchmaking world with a 0 error rating. It was a calibre 1021 self-winding movement destined for a Constellation that held the distinction of achieving absolute perfection when it received its certificate marked "Especially good results", showing a variation of 0.00 after 15 days of testing in five positions and at varying temperatures.
What is a Sigma dial?
A brief history on the sigma dials:
The history behind sigma dials is a very interesting one which has now made watches with these dials highly sought after. The sigma dial is discreetly marked with the Greek letter sigma (Õ) on each end of the T SWISS T or SWISS at the bottom of the dial. From 1970, watch companies who were members of the Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de Or (APRIOR), such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, IWC, Omega and Vacheron & Constantin to name a few, produced dials with the sigma letter to notify that the hands and index markers are made in gold. This was used at a time when the Japanese "quartz revolution" started coming in. Sigma dials were produced for one main reason to notify when gold parts were used on a watch. This also included the dial to subsequently add to both the financial and intrinsic value of a watch. An important and quite interesting point to note, is that the sigma dials can be found on watches that are made all in stainless steel ie case, band and bezel, but with a sigma dial, not the index markers and hands.
As per official OMEGA guidelines, the service frequency depends on the use of the watch and the environment in which it is worn. The water resistance can, for example, be affected by the aging of the gaskets or by an accidental shock. Therefore, we recommend that you have the water resistance checked once a year and a complete service performed every 5 to 8 years.
Kalmar Antiques are now an authorised OMEGA watch service centre, based in the heart of Sydney in the Queen Victoria Building.
Taking your watch to an authorised OMEGA watch service centre such as Kalmar Antiques, will ensure that not only is your watch serviced to the highest standards, but only genuine Omega parts are used. This will also allow the watch to be covered by a two year warranty.
Click here to see some of our other Omega watches currently in store:
Click here to go to the Omega website: