Watch Service: Omega Constellation. Cal 564

Vintage Omega Constellation

Another vintage Omega for service, this time the Omega Constellation housing the 564 calibre. I previously featured on the blog a calibre 565, its physically identical to this movement, with the only difference being the 564 here is a chronometer grade movement.

It essentially means the 564 has gone through stricter time keeping tests for accuracy, to be honest though I’ve serviced untold amounts of both these calibres, and given the ages of them now, there really isn’t any discernible difference in time keeping in my opinion.

Vintage Omega Constellation

Case back off and we can see the movement, I really like the 550 family of movements, they look good and are bullet proof. Im sure I’ve said it before, but vintage calibres are generally less reliant on lubrication, they will run and run without too many major problems, not that you shouldn’t have them serviced regularly, they are just less affected and often the wear isn’t as serious. Take an 1120 that hasn’t been serviced for 15 years and it will likely have a fair bit wrong with it, compared to what a 550 would have if not serviced for the same amount of time. The downside is the 550 won’t keep time as well as the 1120 will, this isn’t a knock on the Omega 1120 in particular, all modern calibres are designed the same – very reliant on lubrication.

Vintage Omega Constellation

With the movement out of the case I can begin removing the hands followed by the dial.

Omega calibre 564

Rotor removed and I’ll begin disassembling the movement, checking each part for signs of damage or wear as I go. Due to the size of the parts, this is done with magnification, some of the wear just isn’t visible with the naked eye and its a really important step to servicing a watch.

Omega calibre 564

Automatic device removed.

Omega calibre 564

I continue with the disassembly, train and train bridge is off, along with the crown and ratchet wheels.

Omega calibre 564

Nearly there, barrel bridge is off, the barrel is still in place – this houses the mainspring, which supplies the power to the movement and is extremely important that its in good working order, any issue here and they’ll be problems later on.

Omega calibre 564 service

Ive stripped the date works from the dial side, just part of the keyless works to remove now.

Omega calibre 564 service

Completely disassembled and ready for the cleaning machine. The cleaning machine removes all the old oil, grease and anything else that’s worked its way into the movement that shouldn’t be there.

Omega calibre 564 service

I begin rebuilding and oiling the movement again, I think you can see how much cleaner the movement looks now after its cycle through the watch cleaning machine

Omega calibre 564 service

Train and barrel bridge both refitted.

Omega calibre 564 service

At this point the movement is pretty much back together and running, I’ll test all the functions at this stage, including time keeping on the timing machine before moving onto casing it up.

These really are a decent movement that can be had for quite cheap second hand, but the condition of the movement can be pot luck. The problem with vintage watches is that by definition they have been around for a long time, thus more time for them to end up with a watchmaker that doesn’t know what they’re doing, this is where a lot of damage occurs. Its not unusual to see these with scratched bridges, chewed up screws, dodgy makeshift repairs and a whole host of other issues that incompetent watchmakers can cause. The other common issue these can suffer from is moisture damage, often these types of watches are left and left, seals perish and moisture creeps in, causing rust and damaging components – if its really bad the movement might not be salvageable.

This movement is definitely one of the better ones and as always with these lovely vintage calibres, a pleasure to work on.

Thanks for reading,

The Watch Professional

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