Purchasing a vintage Constellation
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  1. #1
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    Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Hi Gents,

    I am going to be purchasing a Omega Constellation from the early 1960's from a coworker who is a collector and I was wondering what i should be looking for. We negotiated a price and I believe it to be slightly high but I really like the watch so agreed to it. I know it is a champagne dial with date and has a bead and rice bracelet the dial has some minor patina that I think adds to its desirability. The condition is around 85%-90% with some very small scratches. According to him the watch is original (numbers match) including the crystal which he showed me has a small omega symbol in the center very hard to see but i could make it out. The one thing he said was that the gaskets are old and would eventually need to be replaced he said he took the back off and everything is very clean. I asked him to take some pictures of the movement and the caseback. He has mentioned he believes its a 561 movement. Please let me know if there is anything else I should look into. Also if someone could recommend a watchmaker to do the service somewhere around the Boston, MA area.

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    Thanks,
    Jason
    Last edited by jhire70; May 23rd, 2013 at 05:31. Reason: add pictures

  2. #2
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    That watch sounds legitimate, but some photos would help. Please post when you receive them. There are several folks on here that can spot any inaccuracies, or probably more to your point, anything that may need a double-check. Does your friend know the service history? If over 5 years, probably time for one- even if its been sitting in a drawer most of that time.

    I would normally suggest seeing the movement before negotiating a price. As this is a known person, probably not a huge concern but worth mentioning.
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  3. #3
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Go immediately over to the Omega WUS and do a forum search-OR-just google 'Desmond, Mondodec, Vintage Constellation Blog' and you will have access to the most comprehensive archive of vintage Constellations on the entire internet. Long time WUS member Desmond (user name: mondodec) has gathered and indexed a wealth of info and has written comprehensive essays on subjects like: How to avoid buying a franken-constellation, how to start collecting Vintage connies, How to identify them, and on amd on. NOBODY should attempt to buy a vinatge connie without reading a few pieces on Desmonds blog. Good luck
    DragonDan likes this.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Thanks for the vote of confidence DB :)

    One thing to consider Jhire is the type of dial: is it a domed dial or is it a pie pan? Values on domed dials are somewhat less than pie pans. Also values relate to case types and numbers too. E.G a 168.005 with pie pan in good nick is worth probably 500 more than a C-Shape with the same movement, and so if you want an accurate assessment of the watch (we dont do values here) you will need to let us look under the bonnet and see some pics of case and dial.

    Regards

    Desmond

  6. #5
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Thanks everyone for responding. It is a domed face and not a pie pan. I did some initial research and came across your site Desmond a week ago it is truly something spectacular. I also did some ebay price lookups and I could not find the exact watch but there were ones that were similar. I will post some pictures as soon as I have them.

    Thanks,
    Jason

  7. #6
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    I have added the pictures to the post please let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Jason

  8. #7
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Watch looks pretty good to me. Lettering is crisp and sharp, which indicates an original dial. The bracelet adds a little value too. Collectors much prefer the pie-pan dial and will pay a good premuim for a nice one.

    Just make sure you are clear with your watchmaker that nothing should be done to the dial and only a very light hand buff to the case (if that).

    Good luck and hope you get it!
    gatorcpa

  9. #8
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Agree with Gator. Nice genuine domed dial with attractive onyx inserts in the markers. Case number should be 14903 as the dial does not feature the "Officially Certified" script, a brief experiment by Omega to avoid the "Officially Certified" and "Chronometer" tautology. Case is genuine.

    The movement has all the signature parts and it looks as if it's in need of a clean and oil: some rust on the stainless steel parts that will need to be neutralised - no biggie though.

    Cheers

    Desmond

  10. #9
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    Sorry, not much to add here, just want to say that I love the look of constellations! Every last one I saw are very pricey! Too bad I think they are a tad too small... is it about 33mm wide excluding the crown?

    Still an amazing looking watch!

  11. #10
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    Re: Purchasing a vintage Constellation

    I'm jealous, a stunning timepiece. This is a valuable watch. Love the bracelet too.

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