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Vintage Omega Constellation watch reference 168.042 made in 1970

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Vintage Omega Constellation watch reference 168.042 made in 1970

This vintage Omega Constellation dates from 1970 and is fitted with the 20 jewelled automatic Omega calibre 1001.

A brief history on the Omega 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?

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 Constellation range, it has always been defined by the combination 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 chronometer achievements at the world’s observatories. This included the 1931 “clean sweep” 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 “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.

The line would soon develop into a series of watches which were finished to different degrees. The Omega Constellation available in steel or gold, the Omega Constellation Deluxe only available in gold and finally the Omega Constellation Grand Luxe. This 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 1958 the Omega 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 “For the man who already has a watch”. This was 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.

Some of the most accurate watches ever produced in series were developed for the Constellation line. These included the famous Marine Chronometer which is still the most accurate autonomous wristwatch. This is 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”. It showed a variation of 0.00 after 15 days of testing in five positions and at varying temperatures.


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