A schematic of a Constitution
-class heavy cruiser bearing the registry NCC-1700 was seen briefly on a computer monitor in "Datalore".
As for the registry list in "Court Martial", the title of the chart is Star Ship Chart
. The only ships identified in the original series as starships were Enterprise
-type vessels. The USS Constellation
is identified as a starship in the episode "The Doomsday Machine".
By configuration, a starship stopped in space.
Now, what I may say next may be contradictory. For me, the original series doesn't make the connection between the USS Enterprise
-class. There is a schematic of a primary phaser (left, right) from the episode "The Troubles with Tribbles". This phaser type is used on the Star Ship Mk 09/01 Constitution-class
. In the original series, no ship was ever identified as a Constitution
-class starship, and, staying within canon to the first series, no ship of this class ever appeared.
was either an Enterprise
-type vessel (The Making of Star Trek
) or a Star Ship Class vessel. The connection between the USS Enterprise
and the Constitution
-class occurred, as far I know, in the early-to-mid 1970s, long after the show ended.
Continuing along this thread of thought, using only the evidence from the TOS, the Constitution
-class could have been either an older class, a newer class, or a conceptual class.
I am not troubled by the USS Constellation
having a lower registry, and possibly being of an older class. I think the situation is akin to aircraft carriers. Since the 1910's, aircraft carriers have remained pretty much the same. An aircraft carrier has a hull, a landing deck, and an island. There have been variations within this class of ship as aircraft carriers became more advanced, and as the planes the ships carried became more advanced.
I would have been happy if CBS Paramount had done cosmetic changes to the USS Constellation
to imply an older class of ship. I know they did these changes to the USS Lexington
. Unlike the Enterprise
, which had three forward facing circles, the Lexington
had two sets of two forward facing circles. See here.