Here is a very rare solid 18ct gold Omega Constellation model 368.0847. The Omega Constellation has always been the highest grade of all the Omega models and the one that uses a chronometer rated movement. Below has been shortened and is taken from Omega’s own museum collection website: (http://www.omegamuseum.com/constellation )
In astronomy, the term constellation refers to a group of stars whose movement through the celestial vault is consistent and predictable. What better name could there be for a line of watches whose name became synonymous with the world’s chronometers?
In watchmaking, the name Constellation has been closely linked with the art of creating luxurious precision watches at the highest level since 1952, when Omega launched the family. It has always been defined by the combination of sumptuous yet elegantly refined cases and dials with ultra-precise movements.
The symbol of this line was to be the Cupola of the Geneva Observatory, where Omega had just reset its own record for precision in 1951, surrounded by eight stars representing its greatest chronometric achievements at the worldâ€™s observatories including the 1931 â€śclean sweepâ€ť at the Observatory of Geneva where Omega broke the record for precision in every category.
The progenitor of the Constellation line is without doubt the appropriately named â€śCenturyâ€ť, a limited edition self-winding chronometer wristwatch launched in 1948 to celebrate the firmâ€™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 that had received the mention of â€śEspecially good resultsâ€ť during testing.
The line would soon develop into a series of watches which were finished to different degrees. The Constellation available in steel or gold, the Constellation Deluxe only 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 Grand Luxe model was delivered in a solid silver presentation box.
In the United States this line of watches was at first known as the Globemaster due to a trademark conflict which was resolved in 1956. Many of these watches simply have the Constellation star on the dial. Later OMEGAâ€™s American agent would produce a line of lower quality watches under the â€śGlobemasterâ€ť name.
In 1958 the Constellation line was further expanded with the Constellation Calendar. It was available in the three different levels of finish from standard to Grand Luxe. At the same time the Constellation was advertised as being â€śFor the man who already has a watchâ€ť, an allusion to the fact that a Constellation was so much more.
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.
This period would see much diversification in the form of the Constellation line including square watches and many pavĂ© diamond models. Probably the most significant would be the “Integral” line launched in 1969 based on a 1965 patent, whose hand-finished bracelet and case were integrated, thus forming a consistent and flowing design from one element to the other and back again. This form of integration would soon be adopted by many other brands and has become one of the main features of the luxury sports watch.
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, including 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 wasnâ€™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 â€śEspecially good resultsâ€ť, showing a variation of 0.00 after 15 days of testing in five positions and at varying temperatures.
2012 marks the 60th anniversary of this line which continues to set the standard for luxury watches and remains, as its original advertising claimed, for those â€śwho want the finest watch that man can makeâ€ť.
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