Calibre 504 Omega 18k gold Constellations aren't all that common, only 25000 pieces having been produced across a range of metals and dials. Black dialled calibre 504 models are in a different league altogether, with less than a thousand believed to have been manufactured.
Generally in the 1950s, black dialled models were a ‘special order’ watch and so, today, with the resurgence of interest in, and popularity of, black dialled Constellations from the nineteen-fifties and sixties, serious collectors hanker to have an example in their collections.
I received an email from John Hardy who appears to have won the trifecta!!! John reports:
"Although I was very inexperienced with buying watches, I had always wanted a gold “Constellation” and having had since I was 17 a Speedmaster Professional (1970), when I saw this watch with its “black face” I had to try for it and I was lucky enough to succeed.!"
John continues, "" I spent some time on your excellent web site and became satisfied it was real. Sometime after receiving it, the seller sent me the watch’s original watch box, Certificate of Chronometre and original purchase documents, being receipt and guarantee showing a purchase date of 2/9/1959. It still has the original sheets of carbon paper showing the type writer imprints between the pages! The seller says the old gentleman who was the previous and original owner brought them in after the sale and “thought I might like them” and they then sent them on to me as a gift!""
What a superb eBay story. I hope you have a bottle of quality whiskey on the way to the original owner, John, because his generosity has probably added between 700 to 1000 dollars to the value of your purchase. Original box and papers provide watches with provenance and provenance is very important, particularly with very uncommon watches. You now have a magnificent piece, together with original box and papers. It would be charming if you could communicate with the owner and obtain some background to his purchase. It would add a wonderful touch to a piece that I hope will become an heirloom in your family.
Above are some pictures of John’s find. Click on the pictures for an enlarged view.