|The first constellation model was introduced in 1952, the
automatic movement calibre 354 28.10. seventeen jewels self winding mechanism
with rotor winding in one direction with bumper springs. These watches are
now known as bumpers.
|| These early constellations had snap backs rather than the
later screw down case back. The back is externally decorated with a solid
18ct gold medallion featuring a picture of an observatory set against the
|Rugged masculine styling and being marketed as an active sports
watch made the constellation the flagship of the OMEGA watch company. They
were very expensive when new, totally hand assembled and each one observatory
tested for positional errors and performance in extreme temperatures.
|1952.............13,952 watches certified
1963...........103,040 watches certified as chronometers
1969...........194,580 watches certified as chronometers
1972........2,000,000 certified to date
FOR INFORMATION ON TESTING CHRONOMETERS
|The calibre 505 was designed specifically as a precision chronometer
- but was used in non constellation watches before being fitted to constellation
The OMEGA 561 specifically designed for constellation models
was launched in 1959, its winding was created with exceptionally low gearing-the
slightest movement of the wrist would drive the rotate in either direction.
By using satellite and reduction wheels unique to OMEGA every movement of
the wrist is used to wind the mainspring.
Before the crash of the Swiss watch industry at the beginning of the 1970ís
the OMEGA range consisted of over 2000 different case styles, a large number
of these constellation.
Financial problems led to OMEGA cutting back on the number
of models and limiting the production of mechanical watches . This in my opinion
was the end of the golden years of wrist watch manufacturing.
On a personal note, after serving my apprenticeship with GIRARD PERREGAUX
watches I went to work for the OMEGA watch company. The constellations from
before 1970 are in my opinion the best high volume watches ever produced.
The reliability, finish of the movement, and the distinctive styling of the
cases is unsurpassed.