“That looks just like a Rolex Datejust.” No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t at all.
One of the reasons I wanted to feature the back of the Omega Constellation Globemaster in this post is to clearly articulate that this isn’t a poor-man’s Datejust. This is a special watch for Omega (more on that in a moment) and one that I have lusted for in my heart (I’m looking at you former President Carter) since it was announced.
First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – if you say that this Globemaster doesn’t look anything like the current and recent-history Constellation line from Omega, you would be correct. You have to go back a while before you start to see some design cues with old Constellation DNA.
The pie-pan dial is one cue. Nice, eh? Now I will tell you that the pie-pan dial is more pronounced on other color dials. It screams on the blue dial and while maybe it’s the lighting, looks to be more apparent on the gold case versions.
Another few things to notice – see “Master Chronometer” there on the dial? Yep, this was Omega’s first Master Chronometer, part of a new, elaborate testing process that makes COSC look like the quality control at your local Jack In The Box. The METAS testing (read about it more here) basically does the COSC certification before the movement hits the case (like all COSC certification). Then, once the watch movement is cased, it does thru a strenuous additional eight tests including:
- Function of movement du(ring magnetic field testing to 15,000 gauss (1.5 Tesla) (not cased)
- Function of watch during 15,000 gauss testing (watch is cased)
- Deviation of daily chronometric precision after exposure to 15,000 gauss
- Average daily chronometric precision of watch
- Power reserve
- Deviation of chronometric precision in six positions
- Deviation of chronometric precision between 100% and 33% of power reserve
- Water resistance
So, this testing is part of what Omega is doing with their partnership with METAS (The Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology), which is an independent arm of the Swiss federal government. Omega allowed METAS to build testing facilities inside of the Omega factories to enable these tests to take place without causing too much burden on the manufacturing process.
Now I have to give Omega credit for how they present this information to you. There’s a app (called Ω Scanner) that allows you to use the camera on your smartphone to read the METAS certification card and take you directly to your results. When you scan your card, you’re taken to a screen like this:
That provides the results of your specific watch. Pretty cool, Omega.
So, we’ve talked about the pie-pan dial and the Master Chronometer inscription. What else on the front? Well, I like the star on the dial, too. And it goes without saying that we have to talk about the bezel.
Yes, it looks like a Datejust bezel. But Omega has been doing fluted bezels for as long (or longer) than Rolex. Interesting thing about the bezel on this stainless steel model – the fluted bezel is not stainless steel. It’s a tungsten alloy to give it strength (and a little different color).
Flip the watch around to the back and you see the 8900 movement, which is essentially the 8500 movement with the METAS certification. It’s well done and the sapphire case back lets you see it. Right smack in the middle of the sapphire case back is a stainless steel medallion showing an observatory and eight stars. This is another thing I really like about the watch back.
“Constellation” is subtly written on the back of the caseback, presumably to retain/extend copyright of that word. (Aside: Ever wonder why the word and logo for “Coke” are always on the back of a Coca-Cola can as well as the Coca-Cola Spenserian script? Same reason.) The words “Stainless Steel,” the Omega globe and the serial number are all laser engraved tastefully on the back as well.
The strap is gray croc with the excellent Omega deployant clasp. The mix of brushed finishing and polishing on the watch is excellent – some of Omega’s best work to date in that department.
What else to say? I like this understated watch. Hope you do, too.
WHAT I LIKE:
- Pie-pan dial
- METAS certification – all of it
- The medallion on the back of the sapphire back
NOT SO MUCH:
- It’s harder to wind than I would like
- Expensive for what it is
MODEL NAME: Omega Constellation Globemaster
REFERENCE NUMBER: 126.96.36.199.02.001
MOVEMENT: Omega 8900 (Master Chronometer) (60 hour power reserve)
CASE SIZE: 39mm
WATER RESISTANCE: 100m/330ft