Omega Constellation – Omega 551

This beautiful Omega Constellation recently made its way across my bench. It was a daily wearer for the customer when he bought it, but had been siting idle for a very long time.

It was on the original bracelet and had the original crown still intact. The movement appeared to be in good condition. The case-back gasket had gone rock hard and needed removing and replacing.

With the dial off I could get a clear view of the movement.

As I investigated the movement I could see the crown had a lot of rust on it. However, this doesn’t mean we couldn’t use the crown and stem, it just needed a little love.

As the movement was dismantled I could see that the rest of the movement just had general dirt, wear and tear, nothing too major.

Note the dirt and dried oil on the jewels underneath the train wheel bridge.

The old mainspring inside the barrel.

Below is the shock setting from the dial side of the movement. I have put a pen in the photograph to give some perspective on the size.

Pegging out the jewels before the movement goes through the cleaning machine.

Whilst the movement was in the cleaning machine I started work on removing the rust from the crown and stem. I mount the stem in a lathe collet and get to work. First, I use the fiber glass brash to remove the bulk of the rust.

Next I use diamantine powder mixed with oil on pegwood to polish the stem and crown seating.

The finished result.

Once the movement was cleaned I could get to work assembling.

The barrel and barrel bridge are lubricated and installed.

The gear train and pallet fork are now installed.

The balance is in place and the watch is now ticking.

With the movement ticking I can now regulate the timing.

The old gasket was brittle and needed removing. Quite the mess.

I could the install the automatic work and perform all the necessary checks.

The movement is now overhauled, running well and ready for testing.

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