A watch is a bold statement and a piece of jewellery for the modern woman as it needs to be practical and distinctive. Timelessness, modern design combined with excellent craftsmanship and quality make ultra-feminine watches desired and suitable for both basic tee with leather pants, and more formal – satin slip dress. Meet the new Omega Constellation Manhattan.
For the past 37 years, the Omega Constellation Manhattan has dominated the world of women’s watches. To update its iconic luxury ladies timepiece, Omega has launched a new version of legendary Constellation. The classic design by Carol Didisheim has revolutionised unisex watches, as its remarkably versatile look made it wearable by men and women. Now, there’s a new and modernised version of vintage Omega Constellation Manhattan dedicated only to ladies. With the same precision, the Swiss watchmaker redesigns its classical masterpiece to create the 6th generation of Constellation. The new concept has many modern touches to classic version such as new case diameters 25mm, 28mm, or 29mm, but also slimmer and more feminine look merging the bezel and the case with thinner Roman numerals, and a new range of coloured dials with skeletonised-leaf-shaped hands. Let’s check if this classic timepiece is modern enough for contemporary women.
Currently watches in bi-colour are so captivating that the watch lovers can’t resist them.
The last decade has proven that the perception of women as consumers of luxury watches has changed. In many cases, Omega’s new creations are designed to emphasise the importance of brand heritage, thus diving into its archives is something that we can see very often in their latest models. Last year, when Omega has introduced the new generation, steel and Sedna gold, or steel and yellow gold watches were intended to drive the collection into the more modern direction, especially those with sun-brushed dials. New design plays on the importance of the classic “Manhattan” spirit, in which the unique two-tone design is portrayed as a blast of allure and magnetic sensuality of New York’s skyline. Currently watches in bi-colour are so captivating that the watch lovers can’t resist them. The new two-tone model is seducing ladies who want the perfect multi-purpose watch that easily will suit their jewellery and the delicate mix of gold and silver finishing of their accessories.
Undeniably the revitalised barrel-shaped case with half-moon facets at the top and bottom edge of the case of Constellation Manhattan is evident that new model is incredibly feminine, modern, and thinner than its ancestor. Besides, they have improved the wearability of the watch. The new bracelet that comes with the 29mm model is at the heart of Manhattan design – slim, sophisticated, and modern with polished mid-bar links. For Omega, the bracelets have always been its strength. For over 30 years, the Constellation bracelet has been one of the most recognisable designs in the watch industry. An excellent example of their know-how is a novelty that plays along with new model – the clasp on the bracelet comes with a new release that allows women to regulate the bracelet by 2mm to fit it for greater comfort while the day and night will fade.
More than 14 variation of Omega Constellation Manhattan in Bi-colour, ranging from the most basic in Sedna gold on steel, or yellow gold on steel (25mm, Quartz movement, priced at £3,140) to the fully diamond-paved version in 18K yellow gold and stainless steel with blue aventurine glass dial, diamond hour markers (29mm, Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 8700, at £10,100, premiere in 2020).
At the heart of the new 29mm model Constellation, there is the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8700/8701: 50 hours of power reserve, self-winding movement with Co-Axial escapement approved by METAS. I believe that there’s no need to introduce this unbeatable and innovative technology that Omega has introduced. The movement as with other Co-Axial Master Chronometer timepieces is visible through the domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and it is the design loved by Omega’s loyal clientele.
When it comes to the other two sizes of Constellation Manhattan – 28mm and 25mm – they are powered by Omega 4061 quartz movement which fits perfectly inside a small case and also makes the watch lighter to wear. What’s quite interesting about the caliber 4061 movement is that Omega Constellation Manhattan jewellery models have it at their hearts. Probably this is related to the quantities of the diamonds and gemstones used to make one masterpiece (192 brilliant-cut diamonds, four Constellation “star cut” diamonds and 12 gemstones) as with Omega Trésor. All quartz movement watches have the classic observatory medallion on the case back.
The first Constellation was launched in 1952. The collection with a round case, diamond shaped hour markers, the iconic observatory on the case back, and a distinctive leather strap, or gold woven bracelets, quickly became iconic and highly popular among Omega clientele. The first collection was stylish and versatile. The 35mm model was powered by Omega’s caliber 352 and was entirely dedicated to men. After years and years of different shapes, highly decorated dials, bracelets, and new movements, the watch was entirely reinvented in 1982 – back then Omega introduced Constellation Manhattan on the iconic integrated bracelet that presently is well-known. Below, the gents version (32.5mm!) of the Omega Constellation Manhattan with its original box (with claws).
This model showed how far the company has come in winning its female clientele’s heart, as it continues to remain the best luxury watch for ladies. Afterwards – in 1995, Omega updated the Manhattan (and markets the watch as Constellation’95) and made Cindy Crawford the Constellation ambassador for ladies (Pierce Brosnan was the ambassador for the gents version for a while).
Later revamps took place in 2003 and 2009. Today’s Manhattan may not look radically different from yesterday’s Constellation 4th and 5th generation, but this one has a stronger, more powerful design and feel.
I’ve had a crush on the Constellation since I was a kid. Identical to RJ, my first watch was an Omega Constellation, and this has firmly influenced my future choices and passion for Omega’s watches. The Constellation’95 Mini 1562.40 with 1456 movement I’ve got came on the iconic slim, steel mid-bar links bracelet. What I love the most about this cute sized watch is the dial – this sophisticated grey guilloché dial has won my heart endlessly. So three weeks ago, when I went to Omega boutique, it was more than likely that again I go for Constellation, even though I was considering the Omega Trésor as well.
Speaking for myself, the mid-bar links bracelet looks better in bi-colour
My choice has fallen upon the 28mm stainless steel Constellation Manhattan with a mother-of-pearl dial and quartz movement (reference 18.104.22.168.05.001). And as this year I’m fascinated with mother-of-pearl dials (hopefully this glow will wear off soon as I don’t want to end up with only stainless steel, pearly dials watches) when I saw this model on my wrist the watch was the love at first sight. The simplicity of the dial with skeletonised-leaf hands and Constellation star made of 18K white gold is irresistible. I knew that this specific model would become the ideal heir of my first Constellation. For ladies who love mother-of-pearl dials as I do – there are several variations of this watch with both: Co-Axial and quartz movement. I went for 4061 because of the mono-rang bracelet that currently I prefer. Speaking for myself, the mid-bar links bracelet looks better in bi-colour, so if you cherish two-tone watches, I recommend you to go for the Co-axial version as the 8700/8701 movement is much more fun than regular quartz.
So when you ask me which ladies luxury watch is the most iconic – my answer is not surprising at all – it’s the new Constellation Manhattan. I doubt that a more sophisticated, feminine and modern watch than this specific model exists. The bracelet is so light, elegant and comfortable and looks fantastic in both variations: with mono-rang and mid-bar links. Also, a new clasp with logo is better than the previous one giving the whole design more modern appearance, and it’s more practical for those women who keep their bracelets tight. Moreover, the watch looks stunning on every type of wrist. I have a pretty small wrist, and 28mm is the perfect choice for me, although for larger wrists I recommend considering the 29mm model as the whole case is slightly thicker.
Constellation Manhattan is unquestionably the perfect choice for your first luxury watch. You can rock it no matter the occasion is – if it’s a beach wedding reception or more day-to-day activities, it’s ideal for all year long – long days and short nights. There is only one thing that I don’t recommend, especially now during summertime, precisely, don’t go swimming wearing it – it has a water resistance of 5 bars (8700/8701), or 3 bars (4061). Once upon a time in Montenegro, I forgot myself I did it with my old Constellation – yes, I won’t do this again. But if you want to enjoy the Sicilian sunset with a loved one over the bottle of dry white wine – the watch will look marvellous in rays of the stunning sunsets.
Karina Kwiatkowska is a contributor to Fratello and longtime watch enthusiast. In her professional life, Karina is an international marketing strategist and holds a Master of Design title, focused on Luxury Brand Management Innovation from the University of Arts London.... read more