I receive numerous emails from Omega fans asking me what is the best buy or best value for money vintage Constellation on the market today. My answer is always equivocal because I believe that Constellations of the 1950s and 1960s have still not arrived at their real value.
My yardstick is the calibre 1570 Rolex (a mighty movement almost on par, in my opinion, with the calibre 561 Constellation)
Despite the Rolex hype, a stainless steel Rolex calibre 1570 with stainless bracelet can be had for around the 1700 - 2000 mark (and sometimes a little less). To me, that is the benchmark for a stainless steel calibre 561 Constellation in excellent condition with original dial. And yet we don't see Connies of this ilk selling for those prices on electronic markets, but we do see them at that price in bricks and mortar establishments. So, my first answer is that calibres 551 and 561 in excellent condition with original dials still haven't found their relative price point and still offer good value.
That having been said, there is a cousin of the calibre 551/561 that I think is substantially undervalued and that is the calibre 751. The 751 has all the pedigree of the 551 and 561 models but with added date. It is a blood brother, argubly, of the best family of production movements ever made.
I still see good examples of this calibre in a range of cases going for under $500.00 US dollars. The first ever, and patented, integrated bracelet model 368.0845 with white gold bezel and stainless case and bracelet (as pictured above) can still be sourced for as little as $450 and up to $600 for a very good example with original brushed finish.
The 751 is a good 'entry' model, particularly for those who hanker for the more chunky models of the late 1960s.
So, while, I will continue to equivocate about the best VFM Connie, I think that collectors who acquire a good example of the 368.0845 are getting exceptional value.