One of the longest-lived models in the Omega line up, the Constellation with its characteristic “claw” bezel made its debut in 1982 as the Constellation Manhattan. Still looking like a 1980s design many years after that, the collection was face-lifted this year and given a smart new look that retained all of the key elements but with tighter, more modern lines.
Now Omega has just taken the covers off the flagship men’s model, the Constellation Gents’ 41 mm that features an unusual combination of a metal case, polished ceramic bezel, and an integrated strap or bracelet.
Offered in a variety of striking dial and bezels combinations – with the red gold and blue ceramic being the most striking – the latest Constellation is the most noteworthy of any recent model.
Despite the number of iterations, each model has a cohesive look with all the elements complementing each other. My favourite is undoubtedly the steel version with a irregularly textured dial thats adds visual appeal and intricacy compared to its counterparts with simpler dial finishes.
Regardless of iteration, the new Constellation also has a slightly sporty look that is appealing, unlike earlier attempts at a sporty Constellations – like the chunky Constellation Double Eagle – that fell flat. Overall its a good-looking but affordable luxury-sports watch in steel And it does look much better in 18k gold, but then it costs three times as much.
What makes them special are the polished ceramic bezels, a first for the line, which traditionally featured metal bezels. Providing a sharp contrast against the brushed case finish, the glossy ceramic transforms the watch. And the Roman numerals on the bezel are now engraved, filled with Omega’s proprietary Ceragold or Liquidmetal ceramic composites, and then polished to create a smooth, unbroken surface.
And the hallmark bezel “claws” – used to secure the sapphire crystal on the original Constellation Manhattan – are now vestigial, integrated to sit almost flush with the ceramic bezel. The result is a watch that looks a lot sleeker compared to its predecessors.
The ceramic bezel goes with a 41 mm case that is now the largest men’s Constellation, though the 39 mm gent’s model remains in the catalogue. Though the upscaled 41 mm diameter sounds big, the watch should wear small thanks to its short and angular lugs; the 39 mm model already felt a bit smaller than it is.
And the default strap for the 41 mm is rubber with an alligator top lining, although matching metal is an option (and no doubt extremely expensive for the all-gold model). Even though it costs more, I foresee the bracelet will be a popular option. Not only does it make the watch more versatile by giving it a more casual feel, but it also caters to the taste for luxury-sports watches with integrated bracelets.
The new Constellation 41 mm is powered by the METAS-certified, Master Chronometer cal. 8900 in the steel models, while the gold models get the cal. 8901, which is upgraded with a solid-gold rotor and balance bridge.
Amongst the most advanced automatic movements on the market, the cal. 8900/8901 boasts most of the technical innovations developed by Omega, including the Si14 silicon hairspring, free-sprung balance wheel, and lubrication-free Co-Axial escapement with non-magnetic parts, making it impervious to magnetic fields of over 15,000 Gauss.
But it also has more tangible practical features. One is the independent hour hand that is useful when travelling since it allows for a change of time zone without affecting the prior time setting. And the cal. 8900/8901 has a power reserve of 60 hours, a slightly increase over the cal. 8800 in the Constellation 39 mm.
Key facts and price
Omega Constellation Gents’ 41 mm
Ref. 18.104.22.168.03.001 (Sedna gold and blue ceramic)
Ref. 22.214.171.124.01.001 (yellow gold and black ceramic)
Ref. 126.96.36.199.06.001 (steel)
Diameter: 41 mm
Material: Steel, Sedna gold, yellow gold
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Caliber 8900/8901
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Strap: Alligator with rubber lining; matching metal bracelet optional
Availability: At Omega boutiques and retailers from September onwards
Price: 18,900 Swiss francs in gold; 6,000 Swiss francs in steel
For more information, visit Omegawatches.com.
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