Omega Constellation Cal.561 Tonneau 18ct 1966 Solid Gold Dial
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
Omega Constellation 18ct Model 168009 Tonneau Automatic
Heavy 18ct Gold Case, 35mm Diameter, Excluding the Omega Crown
Superb, Original and Unrestored Solid Gold Sunburst Dial in Perfect Condition
Certified Chronometer 24 Jewels Cal.561 Movement in Sparkling Condition
Screw-Down Case-Back with Clear Hardly Worn Constellation Motif
New Camel Grain Leather Strap & Omega Gold-Plated Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition
Matching Vintage Omega Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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Since the company was founded in 1848, Omega has pioneered a huge range of innovations. Britain’s Royal Flying Corps chose Omega watches in 1917 as official timekeepers for its pilots and again in 1940, RAF Pilots watches were supplied by Omega. The 40s also saw the first tourbillon wristwatch and the first of the famous Seamaster watches, whilst the 50s and 60s introduced the legendary Constellation, Speedmaster, Seamaster 300 and Railmaster. Over the years, everyone from John F. Kennedy to Elvis wore Omega watches on official duties. What’s more, in 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra took his Omega Speedmaster to space on NASA’s Mercury Sigma 7 mission, and in 1969 two Speedmasters landed on the moon, worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
The 18ct Omega Constellation has been Omega’s flagship chronometer grade automatic dress watch since 1952. It was a development of Omega’s highly successful Centenary Chronometer Automatics, 2499 and 2500, released in 1948 to celebrate Omega’s first 100 years of high-end watch manufacture.
In almost new condition, here we have a first-class example from the very top of the Omega Constellation range in 1966, in 18ct solid gold with an 18ct solid gold dial. The substantial and heavy 35mm diameter Tonneau watch case is in immaculate condition. As with all Omega Constellations, this watch carries the Constellation motif on the case-back. Here this is still crisp and hardly worn indicating this watch has led a particularly sheltered life.
These watches are particularly reliable and robust making this perfectly suited for both evening wear or everyday use, should you so wish.
This watch carries the highly exclusive 18ct solid gold dial, which is in tip-top, original, unrestored condition. This specification made this a highly expensive luxury watch when new. More expensive in fact than the equivalent Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
Gold ‘baton’ hour indices around the dial are inlaid with black onyx, matched by the original matt black enamelled gold hands and the original gold centre seconds hand.
The dial carries the applied gold OMEGA brand and Constellation name, with ‘Automatic Officially Certified Chronometer’ at 12 o’clock and ‘Swiss Made’ below the ‘6’.
The correct, original specification Omega lens is clear and carries the tiny Omega brand in the very centre of the lens which you may just make out, in one or two of the photographs.
This 18ct solid gold case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the Omega signed crown. This Omega Tonneau case is very heavy and robust and measures 40mm top to bottom. This gives the watch a good deal of ‘presence’ on the wrist, making it seem more like a 36mm or even 37mm watch.
The case has been cleaned, carefully inspected and very lightly hand-polished, as this was all that was required to bring it back to its current tip-top condition, with no scratches dings or marks of any kind visible to the naked eye. The case-back carries the famous Constellation motif which is almost as new. Being 18ct gold, this is usually worn to a greater or lesser extent, but here it is still crisp and distinct, indicating this watch has hardly been worn. The screw-down case-back and sealed crown make this watch water resistant to 30 metres*.
Inside the screw-down case-back, we find all the markings are correct and as expected with the Omega Watch Co. triangle and ‘Swiss Made’, along with 18K-0.750 Geneva hallmarks. The case-back carries the Omega model reference numbers 168009 and 168017. The rear of one of the lugs also carries a Swiss 18ct hallmark.
*Although originally specified as Water Resistant to 30 metres, this has not been tested and is not guaranteed. As always, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
This is the original very high grade, ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’, Omega Calibre 561 automatic, copper-plated beryllium-bronze, 24 jewel movement which is in sparkling condition.
Omega movements, design and manufacture really reached a peak in the 1960s, helping to make Omega the most successful and highly regarded brand among the general buying public. At the time, for example, this top of the range Omega sold at a premium over the equivalent top of the range Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date. As can be seen, the spectacular beryllium bronze movement looks superb and is in superb condition.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced, meaning complete disassembly to all its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Omega parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment before final calibration. This watch winds, sets and runs perfectly accurately and reliably within +7 seconds per day, averaged over 5 positions. This is no exaggeration, we have checked and confirmed these test results on our electronic watch timegrapher. Please bear in mind, this level of performance is outstanding for any watch, particularly of this age. The movement also has a 48-hour power reserve when fully wound. We are therefore highly confident in offering 12- months warranty on this watch movement*.
The movement is signed ‘Omega Watch Co Swiss’, ‘Twenty Four Jewels’ and ‘Cal.561 Adjusted 5 Positions’ with the Serial No. 23,815,838 which dates the manufacture of this watch movement to 1966. These movements are highly respected for being robust, exceedingly accurate and highly reliable, making this watch perfect for everyday use or evening wear only – as you wish. The automatic winding mechanism is very efficient and if worn regularly each day, this watch will never need winding and seldom need resetting. The movement winds, runs and sets smoothly and is working perfectly, just as it should.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is finished with a very high-quality Camel grain leather strap and matching gold-plated Omega buckle which we feel suits the watch beautifully. However, if you have a preference for another colour or style, please let us know and we will do our best to supply and fit your preferred strap for no extra charge. We carry Tan, Conker, Dark Brown and Black in stock, in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, but can also obtain most types and colours from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their wonderful range of 20mm straps and if you prefer, let us know your choice and we will order and fit this to your watch.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1966.
Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months’ warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will also be provided at the time of sale with our ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
A vintage Omega presentation box, as shown in the photographs, is included in the sale of this watch.
A truly first-class top of the range 1966 18ct Omega Constellation in wonderful condition. If you are looking for a great example of a top marque Omega with one of Omega’s best ever automatic movements, this watch ticks all the boxes. The movement is of a very high grade and is equal to watches much more expensive than this. Indeed when new, this watch would have cost more than the equivalent gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Omega Constellation watches are highly collectable and the desirability of this watch means its value will always remain strong.
In addition to being perfectly practical for everyday use, this watch will make an excellent investment and heirloom piece, as well as be something wonderful to use, wear, treasure and enjoy! Even though vintage gold Omega watch prices continue to climb, we still feel sure that top class examples such as this are underpriced. This is because as time passes and the world market for these classic vintage gold Omega watches continues to grow, limited supply will mean prices will inevitably climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call 020 7727 7095. Or if calling from overseas: +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage gold watches.