Current Rorts Involving Solid Gold Omega Constellations

When currencies are weak or unstable; when stock markets look as though they’re ready to collapse in their never-ending cycles of boom and bust, people flock to gold much like flies flock to jam. 

All this flocking creates upward price movement, and since 2007 the ‘value’ of gold has more than doubled.   Really smart flockers will sniff change in the air and will abandon the commodity before it inevitably drops quicker than Robert Pattinson’s face did when learning about Kristen Stewart's peccadilloes. But, those with a poor sense of mercantile smell - namely naive, greedy or dumb speculating flockers - will be left holding the baby. Financial ruin may well be the consequence, which your average Wall Street financial sociopath will explain away as “economic Darwinism in action”.  Real mature, to say nothing of empathic, eh?

What does this have to do with Omega Constellations?..... I hear you cry.  Well, the bottom feeders of a buoyant gold market - the gold scrap buyers - are having a field day. And those who flock to gold buyers in the belief that they will get rich by selling dad's or grandad’s gold Constellation as scrap are no lesser patsies than naive, greedy or dumb speculators who think the party will never end. 

I’ve documented a number of cases where the price of gold has lured unsuspecting owners of solid gold Constellations into the hands of the mostly unscrupulous gold scrap buying ‘industry’: none worse than the $700.00 paid to a Florida grandmother for an Omega Constellation 2799 de Luxe with solid gold dial.  In that instance, the scrap dealer, knowing something about the market for de Luxe Constellations, simply listed the watch on eBay and sold it for more than $3,400.00!  Currently, there is a particular scrap buyer very active in this area.

The other aspect of this sad and sordid tale of wanton destruction of vintage watch stock relates to those who, to keep the metaphor alive, feed off the bottoms of the bottom feeders.  They purchase movements and dials from scrap dealers and other sources once the watch case has gone to the knacker’s yard, find old cases that will accommodate orphan movements and dials and flog them off as genuine Constellations.

The example below is one of many that have appeared on eBay and other electronic markets over the past couple of years.  Notice how the seller, tomek719 of Suwalki in Poland, fails to mention that this solid gold dial piece has been housed in a gold filled case of unknown origin. Rather he describes the watch as being in “perfect condition”.  Shame on you!

Below are some general recommendations that may allow you to escape the clutches of the bottom, bottom feeders:

  • Never sell a gold watch to a scrap buyer – you will always get a better price on the open vintage market;
  • Before contemplating a sale,  seek advice on watch sites like Omega Watch    Forums and check out completed listings on eBay;
  • Never buy a gold dialled Omega Constellation watch that is cased in anything other than a fully marked gold Constellation case.  Get to know the markings that identify a genuine Constellation;
  • Always check case number and movement against the Omega vintage database or against this list of calibres and models;
  • Remember, the words "fair", "honest", and "reputable" when associated with the nomenclature "gold scrap dealer" are a contradiction in terms.


  1. Hi Desmond
    Great article! I always enjoy your writings so much (wish you would do more of it!). Your expertise on Constellations is awesome. You are welcome to write at Perpetuelle anytime!

    1. Thanks for your kind comments Kyle.

      And thanks for the writing invitation - maybe when I retire!



  2. gatorcpa1:44 am

    I think you forgot to add another recommendation - perhaps start a working relationship with a scrapper and save a watch or two from the smelter.

    At least one watch currently in your collection which was saved in this manner.

    To show that this sort of activities affect more than just the vintage Constellation marketplace, see this thread below:

    Excellent commentary, Desmond!

    1. Yes, sleeping with the enemy in this instance would not get a person a one-way ticket to hell, that's for sure Gator :)

      You're right about me having a couple of rescued pieces - perhaps we should start a cooperative, a horological shelter, offering a service that gives good homes to unwanted and neglected mechanical thoroughbreds???

      Thanks for the link. Yep, many consequences including the sheer destructiveness of melting rare pieces.



  3. Anonymous11:36 am

    Hi Desmond,

    Can I ask your opinion on this connie cal 561, ST 168.017?

    My reservations are about the dial, specifically the marker at the 12 o'clock position. The pictures I have seen show the 12 o'clock markers having 2 strips but this dial seems to have the 12 o'clock marker as a thicker version of the ones on the other hours (see last picture of listing).

    Im sorry about the barrage of questions but could I also ask about another omega pie pan connie which I have? It is a pie pan 168.025. The question I have is with regards to the gap between the dial and the ring around the case. There seems to be a slight gap and I was wondering if this is normal.

    Thanks for your help in advance Desmond!

    1. Looks like a refinished dial to me - pics are so low res that it's difficult to tell. Sometimes sellers do this deliberately so dial blemishes or refinishing wont be noticed. Having been refinished, it seems that the 1200 marker could well be a ring-in.

      The crystal ring in a 168.025 should be nice and snug and so I suspect a generic crystal?



  4. Anonymous6:09 pm

    Thanks for your reply Desmond.Hmm so are you saying that the 12 o'clock marker should indeed have 2 indicators and it is not a dial variation? This would indicate the seller's claim of an original dial isnt entirely truthful.

    Ahhh that would make sense because I do indeed have a generic crystal installed. Hmmm time to hunt for an original one then. And all along I thought it was an issue with the dial.

  5. Al Fountain11:05 am

    Hi Desmond,

    I just spotted this multicolored movement :

    and wondered wether was yet another marriage around...

    and keep well

  6. Poor, old and forlorn thing it is too!

    Movement looks ok from a parts standpoint, but couldn't speculate if parts were too worn. Looks like it got separated from its SS case as gold versions usually had gold markers.