I ate a piece of cheesecake before I stopped by my local OMEGA dealer. That made it hard to eat humble pie. “I’m not a fan of the Constellation revamp,” I pronounced in my 2020 preview of the revamped model. “The claws cum stripes are a needless affectation.” After seeing the OMEGA Constellation in the flesh, I find the stripes no more a needless affectation than Rachel Cooke’s blue eyes. To be fair . . .
Here, the OMEGA’s Constellation’s “claws” are a feature, not a bug. They echo the brushed stainless steel case and the rhodium-plated OMEGA logo, hands and trapezoidal indices. The now symbolic claws earn their stripes by adding visual interest without detracting from the watch’s simplicity.
That said, the stripes interrupt the progress of the engraved Roman numerals on the bezel, and I’m an IV drip when it comes to marking the number 4 on a watch. But the Constellation’s minimalist dial makes the numbers moot in terms of time-telling, and it’s all for one and four ones for 4 when it comes to Roman numeral indices.
More importantly, the double anti-reflective coated domed sapphire crystal flows seamlessly onto the bezel, making the dial all-of-a-piece. It perches on a stainless steel case whose angularity gives the watch cutting edge cred (so to speak). The slimmer lumed hands are based the shape of New York City’s Freedom Tower. How Swiss is that?
Our mate Texastimex wonders why OMEGA didn’t fit the 41mm Constellation with a steel bracelet to exploit the current vogue for luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets. While dealers can retrofit steel onto the 41mm Constellation, I reckon the rubberized alligator leather strap is a better choice.
The 41mm OMEGA Constellation is suitable for everyday use and abuse and a suitable companion to James Bond’s Saville Row suits. In this example, the black strap combines with the black dial to create a timepiece that sets itself apart from anything Rolex makes. OMEGA too.
Does the steel “first link” look a bit awkward, crying out for the integrated steel bracelet, the lack of which our commentator bemoans? Yes it does. But the rubber/leather combo’s comfort more than compensates. If you’re wondering how the strap feels on wrist, it feels like rubberized leather – a little of both but not too much of either.
The strap is water resistant – attached to a watch with 50m of water resistance. That makes the new Constellation swimmable, but a missed opportunity. No stepping on the Seamaster’s toes, I suppose.
Never mind. The 41mm OMEGA Constellation is a practical yet endlessly elegant watch. And then there’s the movement, nestled behind a transparent caseback, blessed with rhodium-plated finishes, arabesque Geneva waves and blackened screws.
While the OMEGA Certified Master Chronometer engine isn’t the world’s most beautiful, it’s a magnificent engine. OMEGA tests and certifies the Co-Axial 8900 movement for accuracy and durability to an inch of its life. Twice. Equipped with a silicon balance spring, it’s a double barreled horological shotgun that laughs at magnetic fields up 15,000 gauss. Like all the brand’s METAS-certified movements, the 8900’s accurate to 0 to +5 seconds per day.
In Asian markets, the Constellation is OMEGA’s best-selling model by far. In The Land of the Free, the Constellation is known as a woman’s watch, famously adorning Cindy Crawford’s wrist.
The 41mm OMEGA Constellation breaks the moldy mold, offering male buyers a handsome everyday luxury sports/dress watch equipped with OMEGA’s awesome Co-Axial movement. It’s available in some striking (i.e., flashier) color combos, including a $21,400 black and very gold model.
The ceramic-bezel 41mm OMEGA Constellation is a pricey piece. But there aren’t a lot of luxury sports watches at this price point (save the Bell & Ross BR05), and Rolex are conspicuous by their absence. The 41mm OMEGA Constellation’s blend of gavitas and bling bling should mean cha-ching at the dealer. Regardless, it’s a bold move that broadens the brand in the Home of the Brave.
Model: OMEGA Constellation (41mm, Ceramic Bezel)
Case Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Master Chronometer Certified Co-Axial 8800, silicon balance spring
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date (hacking seconds)
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Anti-magnetic: 15,000 gauss
Water resistance: 50m
Warranty: Five years
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * * * * *
Straddles the line between minimalism, modernity and bling.
Legibility * * * * *
Comfort * * * *
The strap and easily adjustable deployant clasp make it as comfortable as Mr. Bond’s bespoke suits.
Overall * * * * *
A luxury sports watch that carves out its own niche with sophistication, accuracy and elan.
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