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Omega Seamaster Ploprof

Omega Seamaster Ploprof

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Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel

Get a roomful of Omega guys together and this Seamaster Ploprof 1200M, ref. will be the watch everyone wants to try on - past or present there's nothing else like it anywhere. There are loads of new diving watches and historic brands like Favre-Leuba, Doxa and Triton are once again delighting collectors with really interesting vintage-inspired pieces but nothing comes close to the Ploprof in design and fearlessness. In a 55 x 48mm solid steel case, with oversized sword hands - the hour hand in 1960's diver orange no less - a "Sharkproof" steel bracelet and the ever present orange bezel lock release on the right side of the case the Ploprof is impossible to ignore. Diving watches are historically over engineered, which is definitely part of the appeal - there probably aren't hundred professional divers and explorers worldwide that actually have the need for a watch that can withstand the pressures of the sea at 2,000 + feet - but the Ploprof is a particularly interesting story. In the mid-1960s as saturation diving techniques were being developed a challenge arose that hadn't previously been addressed by watch manufacturers: how to deal with the accumulation of helium at depth, which could damage the watch during decompression. Rolex developed the helium escape valve - and by necessity the Sea-Dweller - to bleed helium while Omega went sheer brute force with the Ploprof's one-piece solid steel case which did away with the need to bleed helium by preventing its accumulation in the first place. It took Omega four years to design and test the Ploprof in conjunction with the French industrial diving company, Compagnie Maritime d'Expertises (COMEX), and Jacques Cousteau but by the time it was released to the public in 1970 it came professional diver approved and bonafide. At almost twice the price of the Rolex Submariner this was serious kit for the serious-minded marine pro and even though the helium escape valve proved the more practical solution the Ploprof also gained a niche following with the dry-land-sartorially-minded folks looking for something unique. Nothing has changed. The Ploprof - which by way is an amalgamation of the French words PLOngeur PROFessional (Professional Diver) - is a standout piece in and out of the water. In its 47-year history the Ploprof has had three iterations: the original 600M from 1970 - 1979; this resurrected and re-imagined 1200M from 2009 with an automatic Co-Axial caliber 8500 movement and date window between 4 and 5; and the 2015 titanium case varieties with the no-date Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement. If you're interested in vintage with the security of modern technology this ref. is what you need. In steel with a black dial and bezel it looks and feels like the original but at twice the depth rating, greater shock protection and superior movement technology it's up for even more abuse - Omega even succumbed to the helium escape valve idea and added one to this piece and all the other Ploprofs in the current catalog. This watch isn't for everyone as its size can be intimidating but if you really love it you'll acknowledge it has an appeal that's almost too strong to resist. The Ploprof is the watch you buy just for you - it has no pretense and makes no suggestion that it's anything other than one of the best purpose built tool watches available for a special segment of the population. The list of Ploprof lovers to Ploprof owners is inversly proportional, which side will you be on?

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