Omega Constellation watches”
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The Constellation: Omega's Star Since 1952
The Constellation was Omega's very first mass-produced chronometer. This watch remains a symbol of precision and elegance to this day. Top models are made of platinum and can withstand magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss.
A Symbol of Elegance and Precision
Four claws, a golden star, and an integrated band – that's what defines the Omega Constellation. The Swiss watch manufacturer first introduced this collection in 1952, though the design has changed considerably over the years. For some three decades, the Constellation had a classic look; however, this was eventually replaced by a much sportier design. The claws at 3 and 9 o'clock resemble small grips and have been the watch's most prominent features since 1982. Then there's the integrated band in leather or metal. The latter comes with horizontal links for guaranteed comfort.
The Omega Constellation collection is truly vast. It contains everything from 24-mm women's watches in stainless steel and medium-sized two-tone models to 38-mm gold timepieces with diamonds. Most watches feature a date display at 3 or 6 o'clock; however, there are also day-date variants available, which show the day written out at 12 o'clock and the date at 6.
Other typical Constellation features include Roman numerals on the dial and bezel, as well as a golden star representing the timepiece's accuracy on the dial's lower half. Every model has the same medallion on the case back, which depicts the Geneva Observatory surrounded by eight stars. The eight stars stand for the eight precision records set by Omega in the 20th century.
While the Omega Globemaster is also part of the Constellation collection, its retro 60s design helps it stand out from the crowd. A so-called "pie-pan" dial, which resembles the namesake bakeware, and fluted bezel characterize this series. What's more, the Globemaster was the world's first watch to receive certification as a Master Chronometer, meaning it's not only extremely accurate but also anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss. Top models come with an annual calendar and are made of Sedna gold, Omega's proprietary rose gold alloy. Limited to a run of 352 pieces, the platinum edition with a blue leather strap is particularly elegant.
5 Reasons to Buy an Omega Constellation
- Master Chronometer and anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss
- A distinctive design with four claws since the Constellation Manhattan
- Vintage watches, some at very affordable prices
- A popular retro watch: the Omega Globemaster with a pie-pan dial
- Top models in gold with an annual calendar
Prices at a Glance: Omega Constellation
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Case material, diameter|
|Globemaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer, 18.104.22.168.99.001||24,000 USD||Platinum, 39 mm|
|Constellation Co-Axial Day-Date, 22.214.171.124.02.002||13,000 USD||Yellow gold, 38 mm|
|Constellation Co-Axial Date, 126.96.36.199.02.002||19,000 USD||Yellow gold, 35 mm|
|Constellation Co‑Axial Master Chronometer, 188.8.131.52.01.001||18,000 USD||Yellow gold, 41 mm|
|Constellation Co‑Axial Master Chronometer, 184.108.40.206.03.001||17,400 USD||Rose gold, 41 mm|
|Constellation Co‑Axial Master Chronometer, 220.127.116.11.53.002||8,800 USD||Two-tone, 29 mm|
|Globemaster Annual Calendar, 18.104.22.168.06.001||6,900 USD||Stainless steel, 41 mm|
|Constellation Co-Axial, 22.214.171.124.01.001||3,400 USD||Stainless steel, 38 mm|
How much does an Omega Constellation cost?
Affordable vintage Constellations can be yours for just a few hundred dollars. At the other end of the spectrum are diamond-studded gold editions with price tags over 87,000 USD. This means there's a Constellation out there for every budget and every taste. There are also a number of different designs to choose from.
If you're interested in the classic Omega Constellation with four claws, your options include watches made of stainless steel or gold, as well as two-tone versions combining both materials. In mid-2022, a new 38-mm stainless steel model with a Co-Axial caliber like the ref. 126.96.36.199.02.004 sold for about 4,200 USD. If you'd prefer a 41-mm watch in rose gold, such as the ref. 188.8.131.52.03.001, plan to spend around 17,500 USD.
Those who like a bit of 80s nostalgia should take a closer look at the two-tone watches in stainless steel and gold. Prices for the 38-mm ref. 184.108.40.206.02.006 sit around 6,400 USD new. Used editions are quite rare.
Constellation: Prices and Information
Top models in the Constellation collection come in gold with diamonds and an automatic Co-Axial caliber. The 38-mm ref. 220.127.116.11.52.005 in rose gold has diamonds on its dial, bezel, and bracelet and costs approximately 54,000 USD on Chrono24. That's 25,000 USD under the MSRP. The ref. 18.104.22.168.58.001 comes with diamond hour markers, diamonds on the bezel, and a gold case and bracelet. This watch changes hands for around 31,000 USD.
If diamonds aren't for you, you can get your Constellation for considerably less. The ref. 22.214.171.124.02.001, for example, is made of rose gold but comes on a leather strap. You can purchase this watch for roughly 16,500 USD new.
Prices for Women's Constellation Watches
The Omega Constellation collection is also home to numerous women's watches. These timepieces are especially finely decorated and often feature diamonds. Some examples only use these gemstones for the indices, while others have gold cases that are almost completely encrusted with diamonds, from the bracelet to the bezel and mother-of-pearl dial. The white gold quartz ref. 126.96.36.199.55.010 has an official MSRP of 130,000 USD. However, you can find this 27-mm edition on Chrono24 for about 74,000 USD in mint condition.
Significantly more affordable are simple, stainless steel Constellations with a Co-Axial caliber and 29-mm diameter, such as the ref. 188.8.131.52.06.001. You can purchase this watch for around 4,800 USD in mint condition. Models with a mother-of-pearl dial, diamond indices, and diamonds on the bezel cost around 8,300 USD.
The 24-mm models are especially delicate and are particularly suited to slender wrists. In fact, the yellow and rose gold versions look more like bracelets than watches. Precise quartz calibers guarantee these timepieces' accuracy. Diamond indices, as seen on the ref. 184.108.40.206.53.001, further enhance the watch's value. This particular model features 12 sparkling gems on its blue dial and looks really refined. You can call this watch your own for approximately 8,600 USD.
The Constellation With a Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber
In 2020, Omega treated the men's Constellation collection to several upgrades. The company introduced 39 and 41-mm models, which they've outfitted with the latest Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibers. These movements are more accurate than many of the other calibers tested by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Furthermore, Omega Master Chronometers are anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss. The 39-mm version uses the caliber 8800 with a 55-hour power reserve, while the 41-mm edition features the caliber 8900 and a 60-hour power reserve.
Omega partnered with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to develop a new and practical method for testing watches. These tests examine the watch's accuracy, water resistance, power reserve, and magnetic resistance. Those that pass earn the title of "Master Chronometer."
Perhaps the most important design detail of the 41-mm Constellation is its black or blue ceramic bezel. Like most of the series' stainless steel or gold bezels, these ceramic bezels feature Roman-numeral hour indices. There's also a date display at 6 o'clock. For the case, you can choose between stainless steel, yellow gold, or Sedna gold. Omega also offers models in a two-tone combination of gold and stainless steel. A stainless steel watch with a black ceramic bezel and gray dial, like the ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001, will set you back around 5,400 USD. The yellow gold version with the ref. 18.104.22.168.01.001, paired with a black ceramic bezel and black dial, sells for roughly 17,500 USD on Chrono24. Two-tone editions fall in the middle of that price range, costing about 7,300 USD.
The 39-mm Constellation has a slightly more classic feel than its 41-mm siblings. This is mostly due to the use of steel or precious metals for the bezel instead of ceramic. What's more, the four claws stand out more prominently on these watches than they do on those with a ceramic bezel. Again, you will find timepieces in stainless steel, gold, or a two-tone combination of both materials. Two-tone models like the ref. 22.214.171.124.02.002 exude the stylish charm of the 1980s and change hands on Chrono24 for approximately 7,800 USD. That's about 2,200 USD less than the official MSRP.
Stainless steel models such as the ref. 126.96.36.199.02.001 are even more affordable at around 5,000 USD. Yellow or Sedna gold watches with a matching bracelet occupy the top end of the price range and cost about 27,300 USD.
Prices for the Omega Globemaster
The design of the retro Globemaster makes it a bit of a black sheep in the Constellation family. In particular, its pie-pan dial and fluted bezel pay homage to Constellation watches from the 1960s. At 39-mm, modern Globemasters look great on most wrists. What makes this line truly special is how every watch comes with Master Chronometer certification, meaning they're anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss.
You can purchase a stainless steel watch like the ref. 188.8.131.52.02.001 on a leather strap for around 5,600 USD in mint condition. The same watch on a stainless steel bracelet costs an additional 300 USD.
The Globemaster is also available in several two-tone variants and in 18-karat gold. The latter, the ref. 184.108.40.206.02.002, costs 17,500 USD on a leather strap. The two-tone version (ref. 220.127.116.11.02.001) on a two-tone bracelet costs approximately 9,200 USD. These particular Globemaster models saw a 27-31% increase in value between July 2020 and July 2022.
Limited to a run of 352 pieces, the platinum Globemaster ref. 18.104.22.168.99.001 is one of the series' most expensive watches. In mid-2022, mint-condition timepieces were priced around 24,000 USD on Chrono24 - 16,700 USD cheaper than Omega's official list price.
The Globemaster was the first watch to pass all of the METAS tests and earn the distinction "Master Chronometer." The series' name comes from a line of watches produced for the American market in the 1950s. Since "Constellation" had already been trademarked in the United States, Omega marketed the watch in the USA under the name "Globemaster," and inscribed the dial accordingly.
The Omega Globemaster With an Annual Calendar
If you're looking for a platinum watch with an annual calendar, you may find the perfect timepiece in the Globemaster collection. You can purchase the ref. 22.214.171.124.99.002 new, and on a green leather strap, for approximately 40,500 USD.
Stainless steel editions are financially easier to swing: New models like the ref. 126.96.36.199.06.001 with a gray dial sell for about 6,900 USD. If you'd prefer a stainless steel watch with a Sedna gold bezel, look for the ref. 188.8.131.52.06.001, which you can purchase on Chrono24 for around 9,200 USD.
Omega introduced the ref. 184.108.40.206.99.002 in 2021. This watch comes in Sedna gold with a matching Sedna gold dial. Plan to spend approximately 25,300 USD on this timepiece. The same watch with a blue dial costs about 5,000 USD less.
How much do vintage Constellation watches cost?
The Constellation collection has belonged to the broader category of luxury sports watches since 1982. Its competitors include industry icons like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. However, the Omega is much more affordable than these legendary timepieces. For example, quartz watches from the 1980s often sell for less than 1,000 USD, depending on their condition. Well-maintained two-tone models with the automatic caliber 1111 cost less than 2,000 USD. However, you'll need over 4,000 USD on hand to purchase a yellow gold edition.
If the Constellation Manhattan's 1980s aesthetic doesn't speak to you, you may like something from an earlier decade. Round models from the 1960s with pie-pan dials are a much more budget-friendly alternative to the modern Globemaster. Examples include the references 168.004 and 167.005. The latter sells for about 1,800 USD in stainless steel and 2,400 USD in two-tone. The 168.004 is even less expensive. Stainless steel and two-tone varieties sell for roughly 1,400 USD. However, the gold variant demands around 4,900 USD.
Fans of oval watches should take a closer look at the ref. 168.017. This timepiece embodies 1970s watch design. At 35 mm in diameter, it is a fantastic option for men and women. Prices for steel watches in good condition begin around 900 USD. Those that combine steel and gold cost a few hundred dollars more.
The History of the Constellation
Omega first introduced the Constellation in 1952 and has produced it ever since. The design has undergone many changes over the years, and what began in the 1950s as an elegant dress watch had transformed into a modern sports watch three decades later.
The most long-lasting change came in 1982, when Omega started producing the Constellation Manhattan. Four claws were added to the fixed bezel, two on each side, at 3 and 9 o'clock. They would quickly become the distinguishing feature of the Constellation collection. These claws are purely ornamental; jewelers usually use them to set gemstones. Another characteristic detail of this collection is the five-pointed star on the dial above 6 o'clock. This feature debuted on the first model in 1952 and is a symbol of the watch's quality and prestige as a chronometer. The Constellation was the first wristwatch chronometer Omega produced in a series.
State-of-the-Art Co-Axial Caliber Technology
The Omega Constellation is a nod to the field of astronomy, as its name refers to a group of stars that form a particular shape in the sky. Over its 160-year history, Omega has participated in many observatory trials and was the only manufacturer other than Patek Philippe to participate every year. Omega has been setting precision records since the very beginning. The Constellation collection pays homage to these observatory trials. The star on the dial and the observatory cupola on the case back symbolize Omega's achievements.
Two barrels in the calibers 8500 and 8501 provide a power reserve of 60 hours. The 8501 features an 18-karat rose gold rotor and balance bridge. The 8500 and 8501 power the collection's 38-mm versions. In the smaller 35-mm editions, Omega uses caliber 2500, the very first Omega movement to feature a co-axial escapement.
The Constellation is available as a simple three-hand model without additional functions, with a date display at 3 o'clock, or with day and date displays. The day-date editions feature the day written out at 12 o'clock and the date at 6 o'clock. These watches get their power from the Co-Axial calibers 8602 and 8612. The date and day displays jump forward right on time at midnight. These calibers also have a 55-hour power reserve and feature a silicon balance spring. If you're interested in a comparable watch with a day-date display, you may enjoy the Rolex Day-Date. This Rolex is available exclusively in gold or platinum.