The new OMEGA Constellation 2009: The re-design of an icon

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

Monday 06 April 2009 – The birth of a classic In 1982, OMEGA launched a watch which introduced a particularly radical and enduring design concept. The watch was the Constellation Manhattan and its now-famous “Griffes” or claws placed it among the ranks of the world’s most instantly identifiable timepieces. The Griffes were not only striking aesthetically, but were also highly functional in those days: they held the sapphire crystal and gasket firmly against the case, contributing to the watch’s water resistance.

While the Griffes were initially introduced for their functionality, their individuality played a greater role in the Constellation’s remarkable popularity than anyone could have imagined: they became the trademark which defined the watch line. A compelling argument could be made that if the dials were removed from most watches, only experts and enthusiasts would be able to tell them apart. Such was not the case with the OMEGA Constellation, which could be distinguished immediately from across a room and at any angle.

Constellation 95 and “My Choice”
In 1995 marked another milestone for the Constellation. That was the year that OMEGA started working with brand ambassadors, prominent among them supermodel Cindy Crawford. Cindy actively participated in the design selection process with OMEGA’s watch specialists and the Constellation famously became “Cindy’s Choice”.

Those watches were the initial releases of the Constellation 95 line which has, since its launch, been a favourite for OMEGA fans around the world.

Cindy’s advertisements for the Constellation 95 developed, over time, into OMEGA’s My Choice campaign: an image of a popular OMEGA ambassador is displayed in the brand’s posters and advertisements along with a photograph of a watch from Constellation 95 family, and a text limited to the subject’s name and the words MY CHOICE.

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

Evolution and revolution: re-design 2009
The next phase in the evolution of this popular and recognizable wristwatch – OMEGA’s re-design of the entire Constellation line – is one of the most eagerly anticipated global launches of 2009.

The new Constellations bear a strong family resemblance to their ancestors. The Constellation star is at the 6 o’clock position on each one and still have the famous claws which have been refined and updated. Their bracelets have the familiar horizontal links but the new “Mono Rang” bracelets, which feature butterfly clasps, have been re-engineered for maximum comfort.

The Constellation 09 watches also have some features which set them apart from their forebears. The striking dials, in silver, champagne, white pearled mother-of-pearl, black, and brown, are enhanced by the supernova pattern emanating from the Constellation star – a dramatic design feature which was first introduced in 2008’s Constellation 160 Years model. Their “Dauphine plume” hands are either rhodium plated or made of 18 Ct red or yellow gold and coated with Super-LumiNova.

All of the new Constellations are water resistant to a depth of 100 metres.

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

The new OMEGA Constellation 2009

A nearly unlimited choice
The scope of the Constellation 09 launch is unprecedented. With its upgraded features and updated design, its selection of dials and its diamond options, the appeal of the Constellation 09 line will be extended to an even wider audience – there is at least one new Constellation ideally suited to every wrist.

Like their predecessors, the new Constellations are both sporty and elegant. The re-designed family has been created in five sizes: 24 mm, 27 mm, 31 mm, 35 mm and 38 mm. The two smaller models feature the OMEGA quartz calibre 1376; the 35 mm watches are available either with the quartz calibre 1532 or with OMEGA’s Co-Axial calibre 2500. The 31 and 38 mm versions feature OMEGA’s revolutionary in-house Co-Axial calibres 8520/8521 and 8500/8501 respectively.

Carrying on a tradition of excellence
The new Constellation line is a dynamic, contemporary upgrade of a watch design which is an essential part of OMEGA’s heritage and is a worthy successor to its famous ancestor while proclaiming its own originality, design excellence and technical innovation.

As a graphic designer, I'm fascinated by the crossroads between technology and aesthetics. Horology is one of these crafts, where art and engineering come together to produce mechanical wonders that grace the eye. WatchPaper was born from the desire to create an online tool where I can share my passion for watches.