It was 1970, in the inside of an era that delighted in uncommon shapes and bright colours, once Omega 1st released the attention-getting Seamaster professional 600m, nicknamed the Ploprof. The watch, designed together with the French industrial diving company Comex, was planned for professional use: the name “Ploprof” stands for plongeurs professionels, or professional diverse. whereas Omega emphasised its functions, the model absolutely suited the sorts of the Nineteen Seventies, with a big and unusually shaped case, a red button to unlock the divers’ bezel, a bright orange strap and a minute hand of a similar color.
The Ploprof achieved fame within the wake of the spectacular underwater missions in which it participated. the most necessary of those was the janus Program, with that Comex tested saturation diving for the Elf petroleum company. 3 different manned a pressured chamber two hundred meters below the surface of the Gulf of Ajaccio, off Corsica, for eight consecutive days, throughout which they worked on the seafloor at 250 meters’ depth for up to 6 hours daily, setting a new depth record. Rolex at now was experimenting with the He valve, that it used for the first time within the Sea-Dweller in 1971, however Omega pursued a unique strategy with its Ploprof: the case was made and insulated so He atoms couldn’t penetrate it throughout the saturation dive, preventing the danger of explosion throughout the next decompression.
The Ploprof’s pioneering role within the exploration of the underwater world and its water resistance of up to 600 meters, a very high degree for its day, created it a cult watch, however its high price doubly that of a Rolex submariner created it unaffordable for many.
The new Ploprof, that debuted in 2009, appearance just like its forerunner, however many differences become apparent at a second glance. the first had a one-piece case with a crystal applied below extraordinarily high pressure and secured by a screwed ring, whereas the new model’s case contains a separate caseback. An applied, pressure-fit cover is affixed to the case by a screwed-on ring. The recent caseback was adorned only with a stripy pattern, however the new one has each stripes and the Seamaster line’s seahorse icon in raised relief.
A nearly 0.5-cm-thick sapphire crystal ensures adequate resistance to pressure on the front of the case, enabling the Ploprof to resist pressures like those found one,200 meters underwater. due to the case’s new construction, with its removable back, the Ploprof currently also has an automatic He valve therefore professional diverse will wear it throughout saturation dives. The valve is positioned on the bottom of the orange button’s outrigger and marked with the chemical abbreviation “He” (for helium) below a coating of clear lacquer. The case is extremely well crafted; the beveled and polished edges contrast fantastically with the other surfaces, that have a matte-brushed end.
Minor changes have also been created on the dial. The date isn’t any longer placed at the three o’clock position however has been shifted to 4:30. A bright index currently occupies that space at three o’clock, adding to the dial’s very symmetrical look. The bright indices on the new model are applied and polished, that makes the dial look rather more valuable than it had looked with the previous lacquered indices. identical is true for the stainless-steel button that unlocks the bezel. it’s surrounded by an orange, anodized Al ring, that replaces the recent model’s rubber ring. the mixture not only looks better, however it’s also significantly harder.
The Ploprof’s interior is definitely modern, as well. within its huge case is automatic Caliber 8500, Omega’s 1st manufacture-developed base caliber from 2007, that has currently been equipped with the improved co-axial escapement. The movement was created round the co-axial escapement and leaves sufficient space for its escape wheel to work with greater potency on 3 levels instead of only 2. The balance is held in place not by a cock affixed on one side, however by a bridge that’s firmly screwed on 2 sides. This not only provides higher protection against impacts, however also makes it possible to regulate the vertical play with larger preciseness, that in turn improves the accuracy of the rate. The balance spring breathes freely because of fine adjustment via weight screws on the rim of the balance, that swings at the unconventional frequency of twenty five,200 semi-oscillations per hour (3.5 hertz). The new Nivachoc shock absorption improves the centering of the balance pinion, that is also particularly thin at the pivots to reduce point error within the bearings. The movement holds a extended power reserve of sixty hours. The bidirectional winding rotor runs in a very sliding bearing and winds 2 serially switched barrels. 39 jewels (out of a total 202 total components in Caliber 8500) minimize friction.
The decorations suit the movement’s fashionable architecture: the balance is coated with a layer of black chrome, the 2 barrels ar coated with black DLC, and several screws are blackened. Geneva waves, expanding outward in a spiral pattern, ar the only real decorative engraving.
The movement isn’t simply designed for sturdiness, however also for unusually precise timekeeping. COSC, the official Swiss chronometer-testing authority, has confirmed this accuracy by conferring its chronometer certificate. Thus, our expectations were high once we tested the Ploprof on our timing machine. The measured performance was even better than we expected: the best deviation among the many positions was gratifyingly small , as was the calculated average daily deviation (a gain of one.5 seconds). moreover, the amplitude didn’t decline in the hanging positions, that we attributed to the balance’s intelligently conceived bearing.
With its massive dimensions and martial exterior, the Ploprof is never the correct wrist watch for each occasion, and even with the nearly excellent rate results, the cost-benefit ratio may still be higher. Its price of $9,700 is high, but is a minimum of partly justified by the spectacular water resistance, successful Nineteen Seventies styling, outstanding accomplishment, clever extension system for the bracelet, and, above all, the finest manufacture movement that’s both elegant and really precise.