When I think Mad Men and Don Draper specifically, this is the very first watch that comes to mind. Now, strictly speaking that is an anachronism. Madmen chronicles the insanity that was the early 1960s America. This Constellation comes to us from 68. However, the Constellation design DNA—which this latter example draws on—started in the mid 50s. This isn’t the pinnacle of Omega. It isn’t mechanically complicated or impressive. But it is a gorgeous and restrained design that efficiently captures the zeitgeist of a romantic, optimistic decade. There is more to vintage Omega than 2998s and Moonwatches.
Omega’s Constellation line was introduced in 1952 as an answer to Rolex’s Datejust. The Omega take was characteristically marginally more avant-garde. The dial features an applied star in addition to its Omega logo, all on what has become known as a ‘pie pan’. This dial shape is slanted away in its extremities with indices separating straight-line circular tangents. It’s so 50s, particularly with its dauphine hands. Its caseback depicts the Geneva Observatory, with eight stars that represent the eight observatory chronometer competitions Omega won. Case shapes and bracelets varied between production runs to a huge degree. This 1968 example sports a very attractive combination of short lugs and nearly-Milanese original mesh bracelet and clasp.
This Constellation shows an exceptionally strong condition. It is said to be completely original. The dial with its vertical silvered brushing hasn’t aged a day. All fonts are completely present despite the near-70 year age. Its case and bracelet are sharp with only light scratches visible as pictured. The watch is a bit of a time capsule, one which won’t actually need a loan to be acquired. That’s half the fun of vintage Constellation models. You get all the nuance and variance of the best vintage watch markets, but with restrained, dressy looks and equally restrained pricing.
Find this ‘Pie Pan’ Constellation here (Google iTools translated link) from Vintageye for ~3500 USD.