Omega Constellation: Star Power with Small Seconds

by Pearlyn Quan

The iconic “watch with the claws” gets a makeover with a dainty seconds counter, extra diamonds, and the unrivalled Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre under its hood.

The Omega Constellation is one of the Swiss watchmaker’s oldest and most esteemed collections, and has undergone countless metamorphoses since its creation nearly 70 years ago.

The Omega Centenary was first introduced as a limited-edition chronometer-certified wristwatch with an automatic movement in 1948. Its enthusiastic reception signalled to Omega that the time was ripe for a similar collection that offered both practicality and precision – and thus the Constellation series was born in 1952.

A Famous Face

Its distinctively aristocratic look has established it as one of the world’s most recognised watch designs. Some of its vintage hallmarks, like the distinctive 12-sided pie-pan dial from the ’50s and ’60s, remain highly desirable amongst collectors, but it is mainly known today for its trademark bezel claws, or griffes, from the original 1982 Constellation Manhattan model.

Designed by Carol Didisheim and patented in 1985, the stylish Constellation Manhattan wasn’t just built to be aesthetically arresting – the claws also performed the practical innovative function of ensuring water resistance by holding the sapphire crystal and gasket firmly against the case.

While originally launched as a collection of automatic wristwatches for men, the Constellation had started introducing new models for women in the 1970s with ultra-thin calibres, allowing more creative slimline designs featuring semi-precious stone dials and lavish gold brocade bracelets.

Small Seconds

This year, the Constellation gets updated with four new Small Seconds models, featuring dainty seconds counter dials positioned at 6 o’clock to replace the round date window, giving the overall layout a new streamlined symmetry.

The famous claws are polished and bevelled, and integrated smoothly round the sides of the 34mm case models  that come in 18K SednaTM Gold, stainless steel, or a combination of the two – with the option of Roman numerals on the bezel, or encircled with 38 full-cut diamonds. The slimline look is in keeping with the fifth-generation Constellation style that was launched in 2018, featuring inspiring women like Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman at the heart of the brand.

Most noticeably, a special symmetry has been given to these new Small Seconds watches. Along with a round date window at 6 o’clock, Omega has used incremental diamonds for the hour markers, which have been placed in 18K gold holders, and arranged by size around the dial.

Taking the Constellation in a vibrant new direction, each of these models is presented with a dial of exquisite colour. The first models to be revealed feature dials in sun-brushed burgundy, with other dials to follow in the collection to include mother-of-pearl, sun-brushed peacock blue and light chestnut. Accompanying leather straps are set to follow in matching colours, while the full metal versions will include the Constellation’s legendary “mono-rang” bracelets with a butterfly clasp for easy adjustment.

On the inside, the Small Seconds models are powered by the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8802 / 8803, widely considered one of the most advanced movements being made today from a technical perspective.  Not only does it offer long-term precision in timekeeping, it is also the Swiss industry’s highest certified standard of precision, performance and magnetic resistance. Each timepiece also comes with Omega’s full 5-year warranty.

Update from the Editor, 11 June 2021.

Omega welcomes Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu to its impressive roster of screen legends which includes George Clooney, Nicole Kidman and Eddie Redmayne and fellow award-winning Chinese actress Liu Shishi.

I am truly elated to be joining the Omega family. I have always felt that innovation and precision are at the heart of Omega, and I am beyond excited to grow with the Omega family in this collective pursuit of excellence as one of their brand ambassadors.

Zhou Dongyu

A winner of multiple domestic and foreign film awards, Zhou is an accomplished actress capable of delivering convincing and critically acclaimed performances ranging in genres from crime thriller to romantic comedy. After her outstanding 2010 debut in Zhang Yimou’s film Under the Hawthorn Tree, Dongyu starred in a string of successful films, including Soul Mate (2016), This Is Not What I Expected (2017), Us and Them (2018) and Better Days (2019). Her many accolades include the Best Actress award at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards in 2016 for her impressive performance in Soul Mate, and best actress for Better Days at the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards and 33rd Golden Rooster Awards. Zhou is also the youngest actress to have been honoured with the three most significant film accolades in the history of Chinese film.

Omega’s President and CEO Mr. Raynald Aeschlimann called Zhou Dongyu:

A phenomenal talent who embraces Omega’s spirit of reinvention and commitment to excellence. Hard working, gracious and original, she represents the best qualities of the emerging generation and we’re honoured to have her in the family.

Zhou wears the Omega 34mm Constellation Small Seconds.

Images courtesy of Omega, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

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