The claws were actually clamps, secured at the underside with screws that ran through the caseback, and they were there to help compress the gaskets at the caseback and glass in order to improve water resistance. The idea to use the claws to hold the glass in place came to Omega’s then product director, Pierre-Andre Aellen, during his morning shave, when he noticed that his unframed bathroom mirror was held on the wall with eight claws (according to an interview with Didisheim by Constellation expert Desmond Guilfoyle). That they were visually distinctive didn’t hurt either, and although they are no longer set above the bezel in the newest Constellation models, they are still present as visual elements, set into the ceramic bezel of the 41mm models. The original Manhattan also featured a hinged link, integrated bracelet – in fact, a Constellation model from 1969, ref. BA 368.0847, has a patent associated with it, granted to Omega’s Pierre Moinat several years earlier, for what may well be the first true integrated bracelet wristwatch. Though the Manhattan had a quartz movement, it was of high quality – the Omega caliber 1422, which was chronometer-certified, ran in 7 jewels, and featured a rate trimmer for fine adjustment.
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