The shonks, tricksters and linear decendents of horsethieves overshadow the 'good guys' on eBay auctions for Constellations at the moment. Ive been updating the list from the original sample daily.

Our infamous Doctor Frankens are also out in force, ready to separate you from your money with a diabolical selection of Frankens and other oddities. Well, it is the season  to be jolly - and just imagine how jolly they will be when counting your hard-earned cash extracted under false pretences! 

Unless you know what you're doing, or know through experience that the seller is straight up and down, avoid eBay at this time, and try the sales forums on TimeZone, Watchuseek, Watchnet and others.

Trust no-one, ask for detailed pictures, particularly of movements, dials and case backs.......and do your homework on the watch and the seller, remembering that feedback doesnt count for a lot in respect to vintage watches. A seller's reputation can best be gauged by the watch he is selling now!

Listing 170057919404.    Watch out for anyone who is conceited enough to sign his name with an Esq. at the end of it. This guy, whose name is Paul Barkus, oops, forgot the esq., of 349 Westbrook Drive Butler, Pa. goes under the handle of Wingold on eBay. In this listing he says the following

"This is a nice original example of the coveted stainless steel Omega Constellation with a great dial. It is an incredible timekeeper. The dial of this watch is totally original and has those great classic arrowhead hour indices."

What absolute rubbish!

Barkus deals in a range of watches, often using hyperbole to describe his listings, of which the above is a good example. Its not only hyperbole, its untrue. The dial is not original and is a very poor refinishing job - the cross hairs are not even centred to the arrowhead markers, the Constellation lettering is abysmal and one cross-hair peters out abruptly half-way to 3 o'clock.

But that isn't the half of it. Barkus knows that calibre 565 is not an authentic Constellation movement and yet he claims it is a "24J chronometer grade/adjusted movement." The stamping on the rotor bridge appears not to be Omega stamping and he has sold other movements with suspect stamping in the past. A Frankenmonster if there was ever one

Avoid this piece of junk at all costs.


Listing 140061654384. Here it comes folks - the predicted avalanche of frankenmonsters just in time for Christmas!! Have a read of this listing by Horizon Collectibles, which, in the interests of merchantile accuracy, we will call Horror - Zone Collectibles. It's quoted directly, as it is so precious a piece of dissembling:

"This is my very own vintage 1940's Omega Constellation Swiss made automatic chronometer offically certified. All original croc band with calender . Had it certified by watch repair in Pasadena Calif. It has always been put away in my special watch case . In mint condition measures 1 1/2"round face. silver in color. I was told by the watch store that this watch is perfect and could sell for over $1700.00 to the Omega collector because this is one of the finest watches and the condition they have seen. They asked for me to put on consigment at there store but I want to sell faster on ebay .this is a beautifull watch i hate to sell it but i need money for Christmas so you will get a great vintage automatic omega watch with a croc band the band alone cost $100.00 genuine crocodile"

Case 14900 SC 62 you think? Look at the dial - even though the reptile who listed this Frankenmonster has probably deliberately made the pictures small so as to cover up his blatant hinjix - and what do you see? The date surround says it all. This dial in not a genuine Constellation dial.

Naturally, there is no picture of the movement, and for all we know the watch encases spagetti! The listing contains a bunch of lies by a crook who has five feedbacks, all collected over the last fortnight. His last words say it all "Genuine Crocodile" - Yep, reptile is the word!

Pass this around folks, and lets make sure that no-one gets burned by this fraud.

 Listing 170055889151. Here we have a cal 505 in a gold top case with a movement that probably needs a service, or possibly parts replacement by the look of the degree of adjustment on the regulator. But, its a tidy little movement that appears as though it hasnt been through the wars.

The serial number is correct and the case back number matches specifications.....chances are that case and movement have known each other for a long time. But when you look at the dial your heart will sink! It has the most god-awful Constellation script Ive seen in a long time. Notice the great dollops of lume at the base of each hour marker the refinisher has left behind - such generosity! 

Still, if this watch sells for under 500, it still may be worthwhile. Add up to 150.00 for a good re-finishing job and you's still have value.


Listing 190060650658. There's a lot fishy about this little number. The dial is a re-dial or a fabricated Constellation dial. Date surround is incorrect and the double T at 6 o'clock is superfluous to the rest of the dial and hands. Constellation script is not authentic. The movement looks ok although it has a bit of rust, but the 24 million serial number dating the movement to 1967 is odd, because Omega started fitting calibre 564s to this model in late 1965.

I believe this wheel bridge is a replacement part, as may be the rotor bridge, along with the above providing good reason to give this watch a wide berth. The most interesting discrepancy is the caseback number. 166.002 is a Seamaster caseback number - andI cannot quite tell if the "crisp" observatory logo (about as crisp as George Double-Yas speech patterns) has been placed there after a Seamaster logo having been machined out.


Listing 290056449374.
Another suspect Constellation case ensemble with the fake PiePan dial sold by Jensen Dinh on eBay is on the market folks! You can tell the dial is a fake: notice the Constellation script. It doesnt have the hatches (or slash marks) on the end of the lettering (a signature Constellation feature), and, of course, they forgot to dot the "i". At six o'clock we have the Swiss Made sandwiched between two Ts, and this denotes that the hands and markers should have tritium luminosity - they dont. The seller has acknowledged this and stated the dial is NOS - when he emailed Jensen to query authenticity, of course Jensen was silent!

Notice the date surround - multiple bevelling is not present: another sign that the dial was made by someone other than Omega. The cases are suspect and the evidence is mounting that they were knocked up in an Asian sweatshop. All of these cases have the one caseback number 14900 62 SC.

Convincingly, the seller of this watch has found a cal 561 movement with a serial number that matches. There's nothing wrong with buying authentic case ensembles - if indeed any were available - and matching them with a correct serial numbered movement. Some dealers will state from the outset that a vintage movement has been matched to a NOS case. Full disclosure allows buyers to make informed decisions.

This seller listed the watch as "Mint" knowing that it was a "wedding" watch, but choosing to use that word instead of NOS. He has gone some way to outline the doubts expressed to him by knowledgeable Connie collectors.

Postcript: The seller advised me via email that he was adding the following to his listing, " I will include with this auction a very good vintage Omega Constellation Dial, which has gold markers, along with original vintage gold hands.The new owner will have both & will be able to change the dial pictured should he wish to do so" The seller ultimately ended this listing and did a re-list with pertinent information included.

It's good to see that some sellers will respond positively to information which casts their items in doubt. This seller has done quite a lot to redress the issues, but still has not fully disclosed the history of the watch.

Listing 160058361609. An Omega Constellation with a Rolex Sub-Mariner Blue coloured dial – looks fabulous on a Rolex, but Omega never had blue dials. The slightly tired looking movement has three different copper hues on the various parts of the watch. A piece of crud clearly for the gormless, rugged eccentrics or uninformed. Avoid (see notes at the end of this post)

Listing 110062684278. Nice 18 k gold case houses a 562 uncertified movement that is not one of the rare 562 certified movements that were installed in some Constellations. Notice how the rotor bridge doesn’t have “Adjusted to (5) five positions and temperature” stamped on it. Why a dealer wouldn’t look around for the right movement from the correct period is beyond me. The seller is now aware of the serious problems with this watch and has chosen to continue the listing. I have to say that a quick buck is not more important than an
ultimately happy customer....Avoid.

Listing 230058493799. Here we have a calibre 751 movement and dial stuffed into a 168.004 case. An abomination! Should have a calibre 561 movement with date only. This seller has more gaul than Herman Goering - only this little number doesn't fly at all - it will leave you grounded and out of pocket!

Listing 260058932081. Another fraud, this time a calibre 564 in a 14900 62 case. The case should house a calibre 551 movement with a serial number in the range of 17 to 21 million. The dealer claims that the watch is an “Original Omega” and continues, “If you have still questions, do not hesitate to contact me” I have one, Wie du solche Scheiße anbieten und sie ursprünglich nennen könntest!


Listing 170055885201. Interesting because it has a 168.003 case, whereas according to Omega records it should be a 168.005. Has the wrong band. The 1 in 168 indicates the watch should have a leather strap so, if we were to join the purists, we would have to conclude the bracelet isn’t original to the watch. The watch has different hues to the copper plating of the movement indicating that someone has played 'swapsies' or a real bodgy 'fixer' has been playing with this watch. The dial is refinished and the double T at 6'ocklock indicates that both the hands and markers should have tritium luminosity - they dont. Avoid. (See notes below)

Listing 330056210248. Jensen Dinh, the well known eBay coachroach, is offering case ensembles again. The dials are fake and the cases are suspect. Avoid like the plague and watch for another wave of Frankens to ensue out of his latest batch of offerings. See other posts on this serial eBay shonk.

Listing 170056503764. Another Franken monster coming to you with the compliments of Franklin Queseda, a profilific Dr Frankenwatch from Ecuador. The Watch is a cal 561 solid gold with a case that comes from 1962 according to the case back but a movement that has a serial number dating the watch to 1966.

Listing 180058459402. The type of listing you don’t bid on unless the seller sends you pics of the movement, close-ups of the dial, detail of the calibre, serial number and case back

If you come across any suspect Constellations, email me and detail your suspicions which I'll include in a further post.

NOTES: Tim Mackrain (eBay seller Omega_Addict) rightly points out that differences in the colour of movement parts don't necessarily scream "Franken"! While purist collectors look for watches that are completely original (See post on "Conserving, Restoring or Refurbishing") many collectors accept the restoration' argument and are happy with watches that have replacement parts that are to factory specifications.

The Omega handbook on servicing actually recommends the replacement of worn parts - clearly giving support for the restoration argument - and so differences in colour of movement parts do not specifically indicate a Franken.

When scanning a watch for originality, it's important to look for a 'cluster' of indicators. I am always suspicious of rotor bridge and wheel bridge replacement as
it flags the possibility of a non COSC 500 series movement being dressed up as a chronometer.

The next post will be a feature on what specific checks to make before committiing to a Connie on sale.



10 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:00 am

    hello! i found your info quite interesting!
    i assume listing 110061121855 is the same nonsense?! because a "de ville" wouldn´t have cal. 560, right? not to mention the blue dial:-)
    i would appreciate your point of view - thanks in advance!

    szekulics@seznam.cz

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous1:21 pm

    I like that you pointed out interesting facts about the watches not being 100% original. You are very knowledgable and definately helpful to others. Howerver I feel you bash these sellers too harshly. A blue dial on a Omega is hardly a crime. I like blue, it is a beautiful color. I really don't care that Omega didn't originaly make that dial in blue. The dial was repainted, and the choice was blue. It looks beautiful. People dye their hair different colors. It's not that big of a deal. It's hardly "A piece of crud clearly for the gormless or uniformed. Avoid" It is good to show emotion with your writing and I enjoy it. But I think you are trying to find fault in everything. Everybody has their faults, nobody is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous4:01 pm

    Re bashing the sellers too harshly - A blue dial is only a piece of crud to those who are keen to build a collection of factory specification Constellations that keep their value over time. I agree its not a crime to wear a blue dialled Connie, but I do think its a misdemeanour to sell one without full disclosure by the seller, if s/he doesnt point out that its not to factory specifications. While they may say 'Buyer Beware', the other part of that old saying is 'Seller Be Fair"

    To crud lovers, those who dont care, or those who wish to express a particular element of their personality by having a Submariner Blue Dialled Connie, I say, each to his own.

    The problem is that the eBay Consumer's voice rarely gets heard, and in fact is actively stifled by eBay with a myriad of barriers to anyone who believes that it's eBay's duty to ensure fair play.

    It is an eBay crime, for example, for anyone to message a bidder and warn them if he/she, say, is bidding on a fake Patek or Connie. eBay rules punish people who seek to go between a fraudster and a naive seller - the eBay rules basically protect dishonest and disreputable behaviours.

    So, yes, I use hyperbole at times to make a point, but nowhere near the hyperbole I often see in eBay listings, laid as bait for unsuspecting newbies who are drawn to mechanical watches. I know you'll forgive me for the comparatively lightweight swipe I occasionally take at sellers who should know better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:44 pm

    Just one more connie false for the road..
    http://cgi.ebay.fr/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=170055889151&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=007

    with the mention on the dial "OFFECIALLY CERTIFIED" !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Paul Warden9:02 am

    I have been reading your observations on Mr Jensen Dinhs ebay listings with interest, and following his items listed. His front is something else! Clearly by his recent listings he is making up parts to convert valjoux 72 cal movements to fit rolex daytona cases (which he is also having made) and creating manual wind daytonas. Amazes me that he has the front and greed to offer out component parts he has made up such as dial, rolex signed bridges etc. Surely would be enough to be ripping people off to the tune of 15,000 usd on made up daytonas. Can only wonder where he is offering out the complete watchs. I also note with interest he is selling off genuine rolex cases minus their movements for case numbers such such as 1501. It is of note these cases would have had 1570 calibre movements, generic to more desirable models. I wonder what case their original movements ended up in? Would hazard a guess at explorer 2 with orange hand or sub. I also see he has a patek case and dial only (polished) on ebay, which bears a striking resemblance to the case on the patek watch he recently sold on ebay and featured on frankenwatchs. Could it be those chinese case makers only do job lots?! Cheers Paul (UK) Paul_warden@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a newbie to Omega watch purchasing... and find this site and its links invaluable so far. Ran across this ebay listing that shows a "565" calibre in a "rare" white enamel Constellation. Alot of his other pieces seem to be OK when checked with the Vintage Omega site. Ebay #220055769190.

    Cheers...
    Nate

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous8:49 pm

    sir, can you help me.. im bidding an omega watch at ebay.. pls refer to this item id:

    http://www.ebay.ph/viItem?ItemId=150071913837

    can you please advise whether the item is authentic or replica.

    thanks

    daniel
    danpsantos@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ebay UK Item No.150085608350, does'nt look right to me. Constellation on the reverse is wrong. Am I right ? Your blog is cool, mega knowledge and observation. I am not a collector, but got two constellations. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I recently came upon this item on Ebay...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=016&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=260137802479&rd=1&rd=1

    Any thoughts about its authenticity. Thanks in advance Jim

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am thinking about this ebay item and would appreciate your thoughts on its authenticity.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260137802479

    thanks Jim

    ReplyDelete