Omega’s bold, cosmopolitan Constellation collection has received a major update this week with the inclusion of 41mm models and exciting two-tone bezels.
Few brands are as associated with ceramic as is Omega, so it was really only a matter of time until the ultra-tough material was adapted to the Constellation. In this situation, ceramic is not so much used here for its amazing scratch resistance, although it is a nice plus, but more to give the watch a very cool two-tone look, seamlessly (quite literally) mixing various colors of ceramic with yellow gold, Sedna gold, and steel.
The Constellation has long been associated with Roman numerals, and like many other Constellations, this new model removes them from the dial and places them on the bezel. The numerals look amazing as they’re metal (either steel or gold) seamlessly added to laser-cut ceramic to create an impossibly sharp transition.
The Constellation’s famous “horns” are still present in this new version and contribute a great deal to the bold, two-tone appearance of the bezel. These days, the horns are no longer functional components to secure the crystal, so their presence is merely ornamental, but it really gives the watch a unique look. The whole thing comes off as so much more art deco than previous versions of the Constellation.
Of course, the other thing to note here is the relatively large 41mm size, but I tend to think this is a very logical choice. The new Constellation is not a dress watch, not really. It’s not intended to fly safely under the radar like the De Ville. No, the Constellation has swagger. It’s intended to draw attention, so why play it safe with conservative, traditional sizes? 41 millimeters is just right for this new watch.
There is also a model that separates itself from the pack because it’s fully stainless steel, no ceramic to be found. This one should appeal for those looking for some sort of middle ground between the in-your-face design of the two tone models and past Constellations. For my money, however, I’d say go all in and pick one of the two tones–the blue and steel is particularly lovely, and doesn’t cost much more than the all-stainless model.
These new Constellations are getting Omega’s finest three-hand movements as well, the 8900 or 8901 (for solid gold models). These amazing movements are not only great to look at, but they’re all fully anti-magnetic chronometers with an impressive 60 hour power reserve.
Complaints? Well, there are a few. The first, and most obvious, is that the Constellation remains a love-it-or-hate-it design. It’s extremely polarizing, as opposed to the almost universal common ground that is the Aqua Terra, and this is perhaps the most polarizing of all. If it’s not for you, you probably haven’t read this far anyway. The second is probably a bigger miss for Omega. The Constellation has a very cool bracelet design that would have looked great in two-tone, with with the contrasting gold or ceramic elements, depending on the model, and yet all of these new models come on strap only. The straps do look nice, but it’s a missed opportunity. Perhaps Omega will introduce those down the road. The last minor issue I have here is that I would really have preferred to see an applied date frame. Each of these models features high-contrast accents on the dial, so to lack those at 6:00 creates a slightly unbalanced dial in my opinion.
Despite those minor issues, this is really the first modern Constellation that has caught my eye. If you’re going to create a bold, polarizing design, I say go all the way with it. This model really captures the art deco magic that past Constellations had achieved, and being a big fan of art deco design in general, it has a strange appeal to me. My favorite of the new models is probably either this Sedna gold/blue ceramic version, or perhaps the more affordable steel/blue ceramic version. All of these are expected September of this year, and you can click the images below to be taken to their respective pre-order pages.