Don't Buy a 14900, 168.005 or 167.005 Omega Constellation Watch Without Expert Advice!

Watch out for an ongoing flow of fake cased, fake dialled Connie Frankenwatches! They are cropping up again on electronic auction sites.

Oriental nemesis of All That is Pure in Horology and purveyor of fake Omega parts, Jensen Dinh, Phong, Fong, or any other name he wishes to call himself, is operating an on-line site that is offering a variety of ensembles (two versions of black dial pie pan and at least two versions of the silver dial pie pan).

The cases on offer bear the case number 14900, but other counterfiet cases bearing the numbers 167.005 and 168.005 are in circulation.

This cockroach has Asian sources for these parts, and he shows no remorse in respect to the serious breach of copyright and trade name implicit is selling counterfeit Omega parts. He trades under various names including the Internet site Jeweleryandwatch.com.

I am loathe to give this insect any visibility, but click here and see if you can determine the telling differences in the cases and dials offered from the genuine Omega articles.  If not read essays on dials and posts on this site about the counterfeit products sold by the said Dinh.
POSTSCRIPT 18th JAN.  Watchmaker and collector, Tim Mackrain, acquired a couple of these ensembles to analyse in detail their key faults. Click here for a photo-essay showing how they differ from genuine dials.

Suffice to say that they will never appear in Tim's inventory.

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65 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:09 am

    Man, that is scary. Having seen all the fake parts that rat can sell makes you wonder if it is save to buy a watch online without seeing in person ever again.
    You buy the seller, not the watch.
    Be aware our there!.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:24 pm

    hi i would like to ask a question . Is the " swiss made " text a mark of authenthicity? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you are referring to vintage then the 'Swiss' and 'Swiss Made' markings on a watch are a little ambiguous.

    In the early 50s and 60s, a watch was considered Swiss if a Swiss movement was encased in a Swiss
    officially sourced case (Quite a number of Swiss cases were sourced from northern Italy) under the final quality control of a Swiss manufacturer in Switzerland. If we apply the 1971 Swiss Federal Ordinance or a 1968 ruling issued by the trade court of St. Gallen on the legal use of Swiss Made, it can be stated confidently that movements and dials encased in other countries violated the official definition of Swiss Made.

    However Ive seen watches cased in South and north America and the UK that have Swiss Made on the dial that are encased in "officially sanctioned" cases which. strictly, violate the 'Swiss Made' ordinances.

    So I guess the answer is, that Swiss Made does indicate as above but there are variations in vintage watches. These days if a Chine fake had Swiss Made on it it would contravene international conventions, but we know that it happens. Therefore I wouldnt place too much confidence on seeing that mark and would be inclined to look much deeper into the authenticity of the watch.

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jasmine12:06 am

    hi there desmond, very nice blog that you have :)

    Would appreciate if you could comment on the authenticity of this piece. thanks!!


    http://img397.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00006ge9.jpg

    http://img397.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00011hs4.jpg

    http://img397.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00016xy5.jpg

    http://img78.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00022lm5.jpg

    http://img78.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00018wh4.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  5. In two words - complete abomination!

    Avoid at all costs.

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous1:33 pm

    I believe that the source where Jensen may be getting these fake case/dial sets is Girard's Watches. Girard Sensoli (who runs World Wide Traders: large watch shows nationwide) has carried these fake Omega Constellation cases and dials on his website for at least a year, maybe longer:

    http://www.girards.com/sell/frame42.shtml

    Girard was suspended from eBay on his main selling account last year, but the fake Omega parts remain on his website. Jensen's ID was also suspended from eBay last year. I haven't seen him pop up under another ID yet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hmmm Interesting info. Yes, Ive seen the Girards website and I was told that these cases came from another company that was liquidated but I could never confirm that story.

    I have a feeling that the source for both of these suppliers may be the same place.

    And interesting intelligence re both of their eBay forays. I think Dinh was also buying under the moniker of 720Phd. But I havent checked to see if thats still operating.

    Thanks for your post - much appreciated

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Dude2:00 am

    I've seen those Connie cases and dials at girards.com, so the verdict is they're fake? Is this site reputable at all? I was thinking of buying this Constellation from them: http://www.girards.com/sell/frame5.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Dude

    I can only say that some of the cases and dials advertised on that site do not appear to be genuine Omega parts.

    But in terms of watches under offer, I think each one should be assessed on its merits.

    Regards

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous1:07 am

    As if the fake Conny cases and dials weren't enough, Girards also offers a large selection of illegal replica watches for sale on their website. This unscrupulous scumbag thinks nothing of contributing to the counterfeit problem that is harming his own industry.

    This is the vendor that brings us the "World Wide Traders" shows. You can probably imagine their low standards for who they let in and and what they allow to be sold at the shows.

    You don't defecate where you eat.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree that it does no service to the reputation of a legitimate company to offer fake watches.

    What concerns me is that in the main the fake watch trade and connection to China has largely been taken over by organised crime. And so, apart from the obvious breaches of copyright and trademark, a person who sells or buys a fake watch is also an accessory to the burgeoning of the organised crime connection at both the distribution and retail ends.

    Regards

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous8:07 am

    Can anyone tell me if this one is a fake?

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y28/MrBlond1/S7000490.jpg

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y28/MrBlond1/S7000495.jpg

    Thanks fr your help.

    ReplyDelete
  13. No it appears ok from the two pics supplied.

    A goldcapped domed dialled cal 561.

    You need to check case number against Omega database info to confirm correct case.

    cheers

    desmond

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous7:31 pm

    Thank you for taking a look at it.

    This is the problem the case number is 168005

    It has a 564 cal.
    Serial number 2531****.

    I thought the 168005 relates to a pie pan dial?

    ReplyDelete
  15. looks like a 168.005 to me.

    They came in both piepan and domed. Lugs are well worn though

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous11:10 pm

    Cheers for all your advice.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous7:52 pm

    Hello Desmond,

    As we are speaking about Constellation (one of the beautiful dial ever created as some are saying), I would like to show you mine one and kindly ask you for your opinion.
    I am a little bit worried that it does not pass the MOY test.
    [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/5afc6g.jpg[/IMG]

    Thank you very much and kind regards,
    Marius

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Marius,

    Click on the about me section of the blog and then on the email tab. Then you can send me the pic via email

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous5:30 am

    Hello Desmond,
    There is this one on eBay, what do you think?

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1966-STUNNING-VINTAGE-OMEGA-CONSTELLATION-PIE-PAN-CALENDAR-AUTOMATIC-GENTS-WATCH-/251012086335?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item3a717c7a3f

    If the above URL doesn't work, it's eBay.ca item #251012086335

    Thanks.
    Allan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Allan, there are two things I dont like about this watch. The dial has of course been refinished, but in an incorrect Constellation font (post 1967), and I feel the minute index is too far beyond that of an original.

      Second thing is that there is some tarnishing on the movement. That having been said, I can't see any rust on the steel parts and that is a goos thing.

      This seller is a young guy who tries to do the right thing - hence the accurate description in the listing.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous1:21 am

    Dear Desmond,

    Could you tell me what you think of this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160767010894&ssPageName=ADME:B:BOC:US:1123

    I would be truly grateful. After reading some of the essays here it would appear that the case lugs are incorrect. I also did a search on the database and it mentions that the 564 calibre is correct but not the 561. What do you think.

    cheers,
    Todd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Todd, sorry I cant always get to mod these pages during the life of a listing, but you're absolutely right in noticing the wrong lugs on this piece. Good on you!

      The case is a 14393 case and the 168.005 case back has been purloined from a different case. The dial has been refinished but the refinishing job is ok. Basically a franken, Todd.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  21. Anonymous10:43 am

    Dear Desmond,

    Could you tell me if the Omega products of this seller on ebay http://stores.ebay.com/studio620 are originals? above all the complete cases. Thank you and best regards

    Oscar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Oscar,

      Didnt get time to look throiugh all his listings, but if your are referring to the 14900 gold cap that fits a cal 551 movement, that one is genuine, if expensive.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  22. Anonymous2:18 pm

    Is there an area on this forum that can look at a pic of my recently purchased Seamaster de ville? I have a hunch it's a fake.
    Dean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dean,

      Check out Omega Forums at http://omegaforums.net/ and post a couple of pics, and one of the movement if you can to the vintage forum. One or more of us can then comment

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  23. Al Fountain9:28 pm

    hi Desmond,

    The pdf on fake dials is offline?

    thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm travelling at the moment Al, and I will check it out on my return. Internet is patchy in my current location

      Cheers Desmond

      Delete
    2. Now back on line!

      Delete
  24. Hi Desmond,

    Is this legitimate?

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/310953019215?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    Your assistance would be much appreciated.

    Warm Regards,

    Grayson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a word, Grayson, yes. And a very good example indeed. Expect to pay anything up to 1400 - 1500 nif the bidding competition is vigorous.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  25. Thank you for your prompt response Desmond.

    May I ask what you mean by in a word, yes?

    I thank you for your insight and time

    Grayson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By in a word yes, I was responding to your question "Is this legitimate?".

      Regards
      D

      Delete
  26. Hi Desmond,
    could you please verifyif this one is genuine:
    http://allegro.pl/showItem2.php?item=4836245934

    Thanks in advance!
    Adam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, the case is extremely over-polished and the stainless steel lugs have almost lost their definition. The dial has been refinished in black, which originally may well have been ivory. The movement is intact although some parts have colour difference.

      So Adam I think you can do better than this. If you were to resell it at some stage I think think you would get much for it. Sharp case and original dial, or at least a refinished dial that reasonably reproduces an original, would be better to aim for.

      Hope that helps

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  27. Thank you,
    If it's worth (in your opinion) spending ~300-400$ I would give it a chance. If not - I will skip it. What do you think?
    I am just starting my adventure with Omega and looking for a universal, clean, black-dial design.

    The second option is
    http://allegro.pl/showItem2.php?item=4807317009 but it almost doubles $ limit I set for me at this moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The watch is probably only worth 400 - 500 Adam, so I think you would be spending good money after bad.

      The second example also has a refinished dial. I would value that watch at about 400 - 500 max too.

      The problem with black dials is that original factory black dials were not produced in quantity at the time and so they're quite uncommon. Sellers realise this and so they refinish ivory dials in black to hook in new entrants to vintage watch collecting.

      A genuine black dialled Constellation, with the original dial in above average condition, will cost anything up to 2K USD if the case is also sharp and the movement clean and undamaged. Seamasters of the period with black dials will fetch a premium, depending on the model, and that is another reason why some sellers have dials refinished in black.

      There are some earlier 'bumper' Seamasters with black machined dials that may be less pricey, although still with a premium over ivory dials.

      The other reason why original black dialled models are expensive is that black dials degraded over time particularly from sun and moisture exposure. Black holds the heat and the dial finishes of the period including the top lacquer were affected by the elements. So when you see an original, rather than a refinished, black dialled Omega it is usually snapped up quickly.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  28. Anonymous10:02 pm

    Hi Desmond,

    Your blog has been very enlightening, unfortunately I am still very far from being well versed at this. However, I am very keen to start my journey in collecting the Omega Constellation.

    I recently seen this and wondering if it's genuine and in that condition (seems rather polished), how much should I fork out for it.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2795578&d=1422666958

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2795586&d=1422666979

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2795594&d=1422667013

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2795602&d=1422667035

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2809082&d=1422752476

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2809098&d=1422752518

    Sincerely,

    SJ

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi SJ

    Picture of dial is a bit small so it is difficult to tell with absolute certainty that the dial is factory original. It looks it, but a high res and more detailed pic would confirm and also allow you to examine the dial spot on the dial, which appears to be localised to the dial
    lacquer.

    Movement is clean but there are some rust traces on the steel parts, caused probably by some wrist moisture entering through the crown.

    Case is not bad, however lugs are somewhat rounded owing to the watch having had a fair amount of wrist time.

    So, overall, the watch is in around average condition for a watch of this age. Pie pan makes it a more attractive propsition, and if you paid around 800 (given today's market) I dont think youd be paying too much.

    Regards

    desmond

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:06 pm

      Thanks Desmond for your response, it has been really great help!

      Now I hope I can close the deal for the watch!

      Cheers,
      SJ

      Delete
  30. WWHNTR5:00 am

    Desmond,

    I am having problem with replacement crystal for a 168.005. Otto Frei website indicates a genuine Omega 5015 crystal is correct. I had an old genuine Omega crystal in paper sleeve marked No: 5015, Size: 30.6MM, but the crystal removed from watch is 31.55MM. (Replacing crystal because reflector ring does not cover gap between dial and crystal/case, plus it is not genuine Omega.) Are you aware of size discrepancy for crystals in the genuine Omega cases and the counterfeit cases?

    Regards,
    Keith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Keith

      I'm not personally aware of any size difference between real and counterfeit 168.005 cases, however the movement looks a tad smaller when sitting in counterfeit cases. So there could be some variation.

      Have you tried to have the new crystal installed and found that it is too small?

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  31. Anonymous11:16 am

    http://m.imgur.com/a/1qpxT

    Des,

    What the devil is that!?! It's giving me a headache.

    Best

    Laz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's called patina Laz, otherwise described as dial degradation cause by moisture :) The lacquer has succumbed somewhat to wrist perspiration or the like and also the moisture has got into the dial base and caused dial spot.

      It almost looks like marbling. Uncommon dial too.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  32. Couple of black dial connies in question. Advice?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/301730453584?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    https://www.chrono24.com/en/omega/constellation-pie-pan-black-dial-schwarz-automatik-automatic--id3484726.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both dials has been repained and were probably not black originally. Second redial is poor. Prices are over the top for refinished examples.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
    2. The ebay watch dial is a 'T swiss made T' but the hands look like black paint and I don't see any lume anywhere?

      Delete
    3. Yes. If you look at the base of the markers you can see a small round recess where the tritium lume would have been placed were the dial not repainted. It is not an original dial and hence no lume.

      The hands are 'skeleton' or cut-out and I thought they looked empty, revealing that tritium lume would have been on them originally.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  33. Looking to buy my first Constellation, and this looked promising, until I read your post above. Any advice?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1964-OMEGA-CONSTELLATION-PIE-PAN-STAINLESS-STEEL-CHRONOMETER-CERTIFIED/111768802924

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fits into he category of medium condition. Dial has degraded somewhat around some of the markers and the Omega logo owing to moisture incursion. Case has been polished and lug are somewhat rounded but not excessively so. Rotor and possibly rotor bridge have been replaced, but with the proper signature parts. Crown is original or at least to original specs.

      So, watch meets factors specs, and state of the dial is the main consideration. A pristine dial on this piece would mean a higher price. As dials are no longer available it would be up to you to decide if you could live with it.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  34. Thanks so much for taking the time to look at this watch and sharing your thoughts! Not sure if I'll pull the trigger on this purchase, but your comments certainly have helped educate me on some other areas to consider as I look for other Constellations in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Desmond,

    I've bought this watch from a guy and it seems to be an Omega Constellation gold-cap 168.005 but I'm not 100% sure. Could you please tell me which model it is?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/29588780@N06/albums/72157666420380243
    Besides, I'm pretty sure that the watch has lost its gold bezel on the top. Could you please tell me does it effect on the quality of the watch (for instance, water resistant capacity). And I would really appreciate if you can advise me how to get it fixed, or where to buy the bezel, or can I order one from the gold producer?
    Thank you in advance and I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards,
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're dead right Jack, the bezel is missing. It is a 168.005 domed dial version with what seems to be a nice dial. Hands are correct, but the crown isnt original, these models having now discontinued decagonal crowns.

      I doubt whether you could source a 14k solid gold bezel (as was originally installed) as parts for these models are scarce.

      The cheapest option would be to buy another 168.005, perhaps with a shitty dial and a bit beat up (except the bezel of course). That way you would have a parts watch for spares including movement spares. If you intend this watch as a keeper, then it may be worthwhile because the dial is lovely.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
  36. Thank you in advance for your quick response. I really appreciate your advice.
    Also, I've learnt lots of meaningful information from your blog.
    Wish you all the best.
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Desmond,

    It seems that even 168.005 has lots of different versions. Do I need to find exactly the same watch with mine or any gold bezel of 168.005 at the same case size will be okay?
    Thanks,
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jack, the model you need to source is a 168.005 yellow gold capped version the same as yours.

      Watch doesnt need to be "exactly" the same, it may have a different dial etc, but it needs to be a gold capped version.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
    2. That's great! I'll try to find some.
      Once again, thank you in advance for your meaning full works that you're doing.
      Are you located in Australia? I'm in Adelaide. I do hope that I can come and see you one day.
      Cheers.

      Delete
    3. good luck in your search. Yes, I'm based in the West.

      Delete
    4. Hi Desmond,

      I'm following this one on Ebay. I'm not so sure that whether it is a 168.005? Do you think this bezel will be okay for mine and how much do you think should I go for this watch?
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTYzWDEyMjA=/z/2QcAAOSwQaJXRrJV/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/Uf0AAOSwY0lXRrMW/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIxNlgxNDQ1/z/4SQAAOSwQaJXRrKk/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTM2OVgxNDA4/z/UFMAAOSwintXRrNS/$_57.JPG

      I'm looking forward to your feedback.
      Thanks,
      Jack

      Delete
    5. Hi Desmond,

      Do you think the bezel of this watch will be okay for mine?
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTYzWDEyMjA=/z/2QcAAOSwQaJXRrJV/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/Uf0AAOSwY0lXRrMW/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIxNlgxNDQ1/z/4SQAAOSwQaJXRrKk/$_57.JPG
      http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTM2OVgxNDA4/z/UFMAAOSwintXRrNS/$_57.JPG

      Thanks,
      Jack

      Delete
    6. Hi Jack, no a 14381 won't fit as it is a slightly smaller bezel. The cases to look for are: 167.005 and 168.005
      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete
    7. Beautiful! thank you.

      Delete
  38. Hi Des, cool site you got here, can you have a look at this listing to see if this is a good fake? I think the case back is a bit suspect, but can't really find any other faults. http://www.ebay.com/itm/112108888986

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The dial has been refinished to a reasonable standard but MOY is way out of whack and one side of the printed markers is closer than the other. Lettering is a tad too seriffed. Not worth the money being asked, in my opinion, as you should be able to get an all-original version for that kind of money.

      Movement and case look pretty good. Cant see enough of the lugs in the pics to tell if they are chamfered.

      Cheers

      Desmond

      Delete