For almost 30 years, Constellation has been some sort of ugly step-child that Omega has been keeping hidden in a wardrobe. What once were elegant Gérald Genta pie pan designs (go read about them here), grew to become some sort of a weird androgynous affair, more often than not equipped with two of my least favorite features on watches - two-tone metals and integrated bracelets. Yuck!
How nice then to hear that Omega announced that they were going to re-launch the Constellation for 2009 with a new design. Would this be the return for the Connie to its former glory of the 1950s and 1960s, or perhaps a new more adventurous direction?
Neither, apparently. The new (and i use the term advisedly) design harks back to the original 1982 "Manhattan" design, with little invention and frankly, it's still ugly as sin. Why do they do this? Even as a ladies' watch the new Constellation is pretty repugnant (on the other hand, I do have a anti-diamond bias when it comes to watches). Even the inclusion of the co-axial caliber couldn't save what apparently still is something Omega should be ashamed of.
In Omega's defense, they have chosen a very charming ambassador for its "new" line of watches in Beijing-born actress Zhang Ziyi. The launch recently took place at the Shanghai Concert Hall, where Ms. Ziyi got to experience a bit of watchmaking of her own. Some people are lucky...