The Constellation collection has long been OMEGA’s symbol of unrivalled precision in watchmaking
With a name inspired by the stars above us, OMEGA’S Constellation has sought to redefine the standards by which we measure time and has always done so with elegance, beauty and class.
This year, the Constellation takes its next step in design and technology, offering a staggering 101 new models for women, which not only showcases exceptional variety, but also the excellence of precision for which this collection of watches has become famous.
Across the whole line, the craftsmanship truly stands out. The refined makeover has touched upon almost every part of the iconic design, while still keeping the central ‘Manhattan’ look that has been a firm favourite for more than 36 years.
WHEN THE CONSTELLATION WAS BORN
The OMEGA Constellation was first introduced to the world in 1952, yet its origins date back to the late 1940s. To celebrate the brands 100th anniversary in 1948, OMEGA released its first chronometer-certified wristwatch with an automatic movement. This model, named the Centenary, was greeted with such delight by watch connoisseurs, that OMEGA recognised the need for a fully-established collection with the same official status.
Four years later the Constellation arrived. This marked the first time that OMEGA had created a collection of watches that consisted only of chronometers. This further confirmed OMEGA’s commitment to the pursuit of absolute precision.
OBSERVATORY UNDER THE STARS
Since 1952, the Constellation collection has been symbolised by the inspirational ‘observatory under the stars’ medallion present on the casebacks of many models. Its meaning has a deep significance within OMEGA and also has a modern interpretation that is truly relevant to the brand today.
The story begins in 1933, when OMEGA achieved a world record for precision at the observatory of Kew-Teddington in England. OMEGA then repeated its achievement in 1936, when they returned to the same observatory and set yet another world record for precision in all categories, an accomplishment that still remains unbeaten.
In 1945, the Geneva Observatory introduced the ‘wristwatch-sized’ movement category to its annual precision contests, and in the years that followed, OMEGA won the award an incredible six times.
Their medallion was created with an observatory cupola reminiscent of the Geneva Observatory, while the eight stars represented those two world records in 1933 and 1936, and the six contests won between 1945 and 1952.
Today it could be argued that the eight stars have come to represent the modern achievements for OMEGA – notably the eight tests that each mechanical watch must pass in order to become a Master Chronometer. These tests, set by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), are the most stringent in the industry, proving a standard of precision, performance and magnetic-resistance that is not like any other.
THE CONSTELLATION MANHATTAN AND ITS MODERN LOOK
The original Constellation ‘Manhattan’ 1982 model introduced the four, now iconic, claws that seem to grip the bezel in place. At the time these did hold the sapphire crystal and gasket in place against the case, assuring the water resistance of the watch.
Other features that translate across the decades are the perfectly circular dial, the indexes on the bezel and the famous half-moon facets. Finally, the integrated bracelet with hinged links that added an air of sophistication and comfort.
It was in 1995 that the model was updated and the claws no longer became necessary for water resistance. To this day they now serve as an aesthetic addition only.
Throughout the last two decades the model has been reinvented and reimagined, each time updated to reflect the continuing development of OMEGA as a watch brand and their commitment to their female audience. Most recently the collection received a full makeover in 2009 which saw the arrival of more refined claws and new dials with half-moon indexes, but probably the most notable update was the ‘mono-rang’ bracelet. which were engineered for maximum wearer comfort and also included newly designed butterfly clasps.
INTRODUCING THE CONSTELLATION’S MANHATTAN COLLECTION
While OMEGA have worked hard to retain the original design features of this iconic collection, this collection has received a full makeover with subtle changes to each element.
Now available in 25mm and 28mm in quartz and a 29mm with automatic Master Co-Axial movement, the attention to detail is exquisite!
The new matte-finished Constellation is embellished by polished bevel edges along the case and bracelet. This detailing helps the models appear slimmer and more feminine, while giving a new sense of elegance and finesse.
The new slender bezel seemingly creates a wider view of the dial and the claws have been redesigned to fit the new proportions. Even the crown has been redesigned so the teeth are softer and more feminine.
Perhaps the biggest change is to the bracelet and clasp. Two designs have been developed, one for the quartz models and one for the automatic. These both feature polished ‘mid-bar’ links and a comfort release adjustment on the clasp that allows the wearer an additional 2mm of comfort when required.
In the 29mm models, mechanical supremacy is delivered through the inclusion of an OMEGA Master Co-Axial movement. Each piece is assured by the eight strict tests that every OMEGA Master Chronometer certified watch faces before it leaves the factory.
For OMEGA, the Constellation is a true jewel of ladies’ watchmaking. Women from all countries and backgrounds have come to know and love this watch. Over the decades, its beauty and precision has been universally adored, with a popularity that spans generations. Leonard Dews are proud to showcase this exquisite collection both in store and online.
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