In the 1950s and 1960s, an Omega wristwatch was regarded as being at least as prestigious as a Rolex and many consider the automatic movements developed by Omega during this period to be superior to their Rolex counterparts.
Omega’s flagship model was the Constellation, introduced in 1952 and still in production. The original model became known as the “pie-pan” because its dial resembled an inverted pie dish. The “pie-pan” remained in production until the late 1960s and is still regarded by many as the classic “Connie”. However the “pie-pan” gained a stable-mate in 1964, the tonneau-shaped “C-type”, named for the resemblance of the case and lugs to pair of “C”s facing one another.
The watch above dates to 1968 and houses Omega’s Calibre 564, the final iteration of the 5xx series of chronometer-certified inhouse movements which Omega perfected over the course of a decade, beginning with Cal. 501 in 1955 (earlier “Connies” used Omega’s so-called “bumper automatic” movements, Cal. 354). Cal. 564 featured a quickset date and is widely accepted to be one of the finest automatic movements ever made. This particular watch is still keeping time to within chronometer limits after more than forty years.
The “C-type” is not as popular with collectors as the “pie-pan” and they tend to command far lower prices. This is good news for anybody wishing to acquire a classic example of 1960s design for a fraction of the price of a present-day Rolex!
© Christopher Seddon 2009