Stunning Beauty

Over at Wristwatch_Revival, Marshall gets an old (1960s-era) Omega Constellation working again.  And by the time he’s done…

I have no words.  That tapered dial, the simple numerals… it whispers “elegance” like their newer bling-studded geegaws can’t (no pics:  I don’t even want to put them on the same page as this beauty).

I would wear this watch every night of the week, and most especially if I were eating at a fine restaurant each night with, say, Nigella Lawson.

Am I alone in loving these things so much?

By the way, this is one of Marshall’s earlier shows, where he was still finding his way around the craft.  There are a couple of mishaps, one hilarious.


  1. While I like the look of watches in general, and used to own a very expensive Fortis Marinemaster, I stopped wearing them in the late 80’s. For me there is simply no reason to know what time it is ALL the time. And I don’t wear jewelry either. It’s all frivolous and mostly silly. Fortunately for my wallet, my wife is the same way. She doesn’t even have pierced ears.

  2. My taste has always run to understated elegance. Although I have never cared to wear wrist watch, that one is a classic. Sometime back in the early 80’s, I happened to be in Carson City, NV and stopped into a small museum. They had on display under glass an 1886 Winchester in 45-70 that had been made, IIRC, for the 1893 Chicago Exposition. All the metal had a deep polish blue. There was just a minimum of engraving in some of the corners. The receiver, lever, loading gate, and a few other bits had been outlined with inlaid fine gold wire. I owe a six-pack to whoever had to clean my finger prints and drool off the glass.

  3. I’ve never understood the appeal of expensive wrist watches, and have always found Rolexes in particular to be gaudy in the extreme. My criterion include a second hand, along with a day/date display. My $30 Olevs looks similar to the one you’ve pictured, with the additions mandated by my aforementioned requirements.

    1. Oh, I don’t know Slant, sometimes there’s a reason.
      I bought a Rolex Submariner 44 years ago specifically for diving.
      Had already ruined another watche.
      That Rolex and I went through a LOT in the 30 years that I wore it
      around the clock. I still have it. It still works. No gold or
      diamonds or platinum, just rugged stainless. I took it out of a safety
      deposit box sometime ago where it had set for several years, looked
      at it, placed it on the table, looked back at it a moment later and it had started running !! Just a few movements and the self winding mechanism had started it running, amazing. That was what I was buying, in addition
      to the ‘water proof’, quality. Something VERY hard to find these days.
      Saw one for sale recently that was identical to mine. They we asking 17 times what I paid for mine. I have no intentions of selling it. Too many
      My son or my daughter will end up with it.
      I like things that last and the Rolex certainly passed that test with flying colors.

  4. That’s a nice looking watch.

    I don’t like the ostentatious and gaudy nonsense some manufacturers put out now.


  5. Beautiful.
    Years ago, my Dad gave me his semi-operational 1956 Omega Seamaster with a beautiful honeycomb dial. I sent it back to Omega in Switzerland and they rebuilt it. It now runs flawlessly, like a Swiss watch. I prefer a metal bracelet rather than a leather band so I added a beads of rice bracelet. I have a bunch of watches but this is the one I wear everyday.

  6. I like the clean classic look of the Swiss watches from the 50’s and 60’s. I have a Tissot Visodate Automatic reissue that is my go-to for a casual night out or travel. When I need to wear a suit, which isn’t that often anymore, I wear my Seiko Presage Cocktail Time, with a black ostrich skin band. Otherwise, if I need to know what time it is, I check my phone or just guess. I’m completely (well, mostly) retired now, so very little is time critical.

  7. For the majority of material goods, older is better.

    Vehicles, video games, furniture, tools, yard equipment, and many other things, the classics and even items a few years older, perform and generally look better.

    By the way. I’m in my late 30s. How many people under 40 even know how to read a clock without a digital read out?

  8. I’m with Wallace. I trashed 3 cheap $30 Timex watches in 2 weeks while sailing, many years ago. Went trolling the pawnshops in town, and ended up buying a Rolex Submariner. Cost me $200., which was a lot for an articling law student, in 1975. I have worn that watch all day, every day since. I don’t take it off when I shower, or go for a swim. It’s been back for a tune-up twice, once about every 16 years. It’s about due for its next overhaul. It runs within a couple of seconds a day for about 15 years, and then starts losing almost a minute. That makes the timing of a sextant sight difficult (or it would if I ever had to use my sextant for navigation again!)
    I recently had to replace the bracelet as I realized that the pins holding the segments together were worn down to about half a millimetre in thickness.
    A friend was awarded a Submariner in 1998. Like me he wears it every day. Being made of stainless steel, he finds that any errant epoxy chips right off. He’s a boatbuilder.
    You may think it looks gaudy, but it is a good looking tool which does exactly what it is supposed to do, and lasts for decades. From the serial number mine was made in 1969 or 1970, so over 50 years old and ‘keeps on ticking’. (Gotta be an old phart to remember that line!)

  9. While there is certain allure with vintage watches with respect to elegance and function, some watches can also be a good investment.
    For example, I bought a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph brand new in 1978 for $950. That was a lot of money for me at the time and I had to put it on layaway.
    I wore it regularly for 15 years and then sold it for $2000 because I needed the dough. I thought I made out pretty well.
    That particular watch, if you can even find one for sale, goes for about $30,000 today.
    Looked just like this one:
    I’ve had seller’s remorse ever since.

  10. I’ve wanted one of Rolex’s least-expensive Oyster Perpetual versions in stainless steel since I was a sprout but could never afford one. Now retired I simply can’t justify the cost (upwards of $5,500 new, or so). Self-winding (“automatic”), waterproof (not just resistant), and as noted by others above accurate time-keeping for over a decade.

    I’ve worn a watch all my life and have the tan line to prove it. My wife gave me a Luminox “Commander” a couple of decades ago which last right up until it broke…and then couldn’t be repaired because they no longer made the parts for it. Despite its name it was a relatively elegant, simple watch with hands so brightly illuminated by tritium vials I could read a book by it in the dark. All of their watches now look like garbage, covered with crap, and with either tiny or huge faces.

    So what have I got on my wrist right now? A Timex “Expedition”, which has no rotating bezel or other junk, just a simple black face with white numbers and a sweep second hand. I’ve had it for almost 20 years and have replaced the battery 4 times now; the last time I replaced it cost me $12, which is more than I paid for the watch to begin with. It’s been underwater, frozen, banged around, had paint and varnish dripped on it, and I’ve had to replace the ultra-cheap woven black nylon band twice. It loses about a minute every 3 months (according to our atomic clock receiver/weather-station) which bothers me not at all. I’m hoping it lasts another decade, or until I’m dead, whichever comes first.

    1. Blackwing,
      Often it’s hard to beat a good Timex except maybe in fashion or style.

      I bought a Seiko field watch a few years ago. It’s mechanical and works well but if I don’t wear it for a day then I’ll have to reset the time. I think Kim wrote about the same watch a few months ago.


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