Omega Seamaster Ploprof: Distinctive Diving Watch
The Omega Seamaster Ploprof is one of the world's most idiosyncratic diving watches. With its angular case, unique bezel lock, and massive crown guard, this timepiece has accrued quite a cult following.
A Squircle-Shaped Professional Diving Watch
The Omega Seamaster Ploprof is one of the world's most unconventional and idiosyncratic diving watches. First introduced as a tool watch for professional divers in 1971 ("ploprof" is an amalgam of the French for professional diver, "plongeur professionnel"), the Ploprof quickly acquired cult status, thanks to its extraordinary design and professional technical features.
The Ploprof's angular, asymmetric case and grand diameter of 55 mm make this timepiece unmistakable. While the crown, protected by a heavy crown guard, is on the left, the right-hand side of the case is dominated by a special security pusher that locks and unlocks the watch's bidirectional bezel.
The dial is optimized for readability: the line and bar indices are luminous, as are the watch's broad sword hands and bezel scale.
One of the most important properties a diving watch needs for professional use is, of course, water resistance. First-generation Ploprofs are water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft). The second-generation and current model is water-resistant to an impressive 1,200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft).
Since its inception, the Ploprof has also been one of the few Seamaster models to be powered exclusively by in-house movements. Omega equips current editions, for example, with its ultramodern Co-Axial, certified Master Chronometer calibers.
Reasons to Buy an Omega Ploprof
- A unique, idiosyncratic design
- Water-resistant to 1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)
- Omega in-house calibers
How much does a Seamaster Ploprof cost?
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, caliber, water resistance|
|Ploprof 1200M, 126.96.36.199.03.001||14,400 USD||Titanium, Sedna gold, 8912, 1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)|
|Ploprof 1200M, 188.8.131.52.01.001||10,400 USD||Titanium, 8912, 1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)|
|Seamaster 600 Ploprof, 166.077||8,200 USD||Stainless steel, 1002, 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft)|
|Ploprof 1200M, 184.108.40.206.04.001||5,600 USD||Stainless steel, 8500, 1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft)|
|Seamaster 120 "Baby Ploprof," 166.0250||5,400 USD||Stainless steel, 1010, 120 m (12 bar, 394 ft)|
Prices at a Glance: Omega Seamaster Ploprof
Prices for the Seamaster Ploprof largely depend on the model and its features, and range from approximately 5,600 to 14,400 USD. At the lower end of this spectrum, you'll find watches like the stainless steel Ploprof 1200M with a white dial and bezel inlay. The titanium Ploprof 1200M with a black bezel and dial changes hands for around 9,900 USD. The price point for a tone-tone Ploprof 1200M in titanium and rose gold is located at the upper end of the price spectrum.
Enthusiasts looking for a vintage Ploprof 600 should plan to spend between 7,800 and 8,200 USD. The Seamaster 120, popularly known as the "Baby Ploprof," sells for about 5,450 USD.
Vintage Classic Seamaster 600 Ploprof
Omega began developing a line of watches for professional underwater use in the late 1960s, but didn't make waves until the 1971 release of the Seamaster 600 Ploprof. This watch is water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft) and remains to this day a cult hit among Omega fans.
The Ploprof's bold, asymmetrical case, with its angular shapes, is what's called a monoblock, meaning it's made from a single piece of stainless steel and thus hermetically sealed. This construction makes the watch suitable for saturation diving, even without a helium escape valve. The helium from the diver's air supply can't penetrate the monoblock case, and therefore presents no danger upon decompression.
Omega decided to place the crown on the left-hand side of the case, protected by a crown bridge. There are two main reasons for this. First, this design enables full freedom of movement at the wrist (at least for right-handers), which is important when wearing a watch this size (55 mm). Second, it frees up space on the right-hand side of the case for Omega's unique pusher mechanism, which prevents accidental rotation of the bidirectional bezel. The actual push-piece sits at the 2 o'clock position. The bezel is notched and furnished with luminous numerals, making it easy to see and easy to operate with one hand and with gloves on.
Seamaster 600 Ploprof: Dial and Hand Design
The dial on the Seamaster 600 Ploprof is dark blue, although there are some variants with a black dial. The hours are marked with broad bars, the minutes with fine lines. All the indices are applied and luminous. The date window is situated at 3 o'clock.
Over the years, Omega has released a total of seven different dial designs. The various versions differ only in the inscription over the 6. Earlier models were inscribed with "Professional Seamaster 600," while editions from the late 1970s feature the inscription "Seamaster 600 m / 2000 ft Professional."
The hour and minute hands on the Seamaster 600 Ploprof are comparatively wide, sword-shaped, and filled with lume. The hour hand is white, and the minute hand, by contrast, is bright orange. The second hand is also white, and features a small luminous rectangle near the tip. This arrangement of colors, shapes, and luminous components ensures optimum reliability, even in low-light conditions.
Seamaster 600 Ploprof: Calibers
At the heart of the Seamaster 600 Ploprof is the in-house caliber 1002, which oscillates at 28,000 vibrations per hour (A/h) and offers a 42-hour power reserve, stop-seconds, and a quickset date feature.
Prices for the Seamaster 600 Ploprof
Until 1979, Omega released the Seamaster 600 Ploprof under the ref. 166.077. You can purchase this reference on Chrono24 for approximately 6,700 USD. Most of these watches come with second and third-generation dials. Watches with later-edition dials cost around 8,200 USD.
The New Edition of the Seamaster Ploprof 1200M
In 2009, Omega released an updated variant of the Ploprof, the Seamaster Ploprof 1200M. The size, shape, and general aesthetic of this watch are more or less true to form, but, as the name suggests, this new edition is water-resistant to 1200 m (120 bar, 3,937 ft).
Another new feature is an automatic helium escape valve, located below the bezel pusher at the 4 o'clock position. This new 55-mm stainless steel timepiece has a screw-down case back, which means helium from the diver's air supply can more easily penetrate the watch. In order to protect the watch from damage during decompression, there's now an automatic escape valve.
This new Ploprof also features an updated dial: the hour markers are now applied, and the date display has migrated to 4:30.
The most significant changes, however, are to be found inside this timepiece: the Co-Axial Caliber 8500. This movement boasts a silicon balance spring, 60-hour power reserve, quickset date, and time zone function. The latter enables the wearer to jump-set the hour forward or back without interrupting the movement.
A Ploprof 1200M with a white dial and bezel changes hands for between 5,500 and 6,700 USD, depending on your choice of rubber strap or stainless steel mesh bracelet. Plan to pay about 2,000 USD more for a model with a dial and bezel in black.
Titanium and Master Chronometer
The Ploprof got its latest facelift in 2016, when Omega began issuing the watch in titanium rather than stainless steel. There are also more color options: In addition to the classic black edition, the Ploprof is now available with a gray dial and gray or orange bezel, and with a white dial and blue bezel.
The watch was also equipped with the Master Chronometer caliber 8912. This movement has all the functions of the caliber 8500, except for the date.
Depending on the color combination, a titanium Ploprof 1200M costs between 9,200 and 10,500 USD. You can also purchase a two-tone edition for around 14,200 USD. This timepiece comes in titanium with a crown, push-piece, and bezel in Sedna gold, and features a dial and bezel inlay in blue.
About the Baby Ploprof
The Seamaster 120 appeared in the late 1970s and is affectionately known among watch enthusiasts as the "Baby Ploprof", largely due to its dial and hand design, which was strongly inspired by that of the Seamaster 600 Ploprof. But the Baby Ploprof lacks its progenitor's proportions and has instead a more traditional Tonneau-shaped, 40-mm stainless steel case and water-resistance to only 120 m (12 bar, 394 ft).
This watch is fitted with the caliber 1010, a more advanced version of caliber 1002, and boasts a stop-seconds function, automatic winding, and 42-hour power reserve.
You can purchase the Seamaster 120 "Baby Ploprof" on Chrono24 for approximately 5,500 USD.