By 1970 the mighty Constellations had a pedigree that went back to 1952. Omega was one of the most desirable brands in watches, more so than the likes of Rolex or Longines . And of the Omegas, the Constellation was the zenith.
Omega’s reputation was built on decades of quality construction and superb engineering but, more than that, the styles where distinctively beautiful. The “dog leg” lugs and “pie pan” dials made these watches exquisitely pleasant on the eyes. I talk about the late fifties through to the mid sixties.
But style does not stand still and designers need to come up with at least subtle changes. Nobody wants to pay big money for a nice new watch that looks no different to the one his father is wearing.
And so change they did. We are now in 1970, the style is big and blocky and Omega followed the trend. A big case, flashing a lot of stainless steel with a solid, integrated bracelet. A distinctive feature, varying from typical Connies, is the corrugated bezel, the trademark of the Rolex.
The dial maintains the traditional printing style and font but why, oh why did they not include the 5 pointed star in this model? The hands also have the finesse of the traditional Constellation but the index markers are very 1970ish blocky.
The movement is one of the last of the 500 series which is actually not a “500”, it’s a 751 featuring a day/date display with a quick change date.
Now, when the 500 series was designed, it was designed with a date display although there was also a no date option. To keep pace with the Japanese, Omega needed to add a quick date change mechanism and a day display (standard on all Japanese watches) to these models but because they were never designed with these upgrades in mind, these modifications, although functional, were clumsy.
But the saddest thing was that Omega, along with most other manufacturers felt that they needed to compete more and more on price and therefore had to cut corners. We see it here in the finish…..gone is the mirror finish on the rotor that we have grown to expect with the Constellations.
This example is all original, the dial is pristine and the hands would be perfect if not for some damage at the centre as a result of a bad watchmaker. The case has been refinished (by me) and the glass buffed. It is signed 6 times, the movement, back inside and out, crown, glass and clasp.