I love a good, modern re-edition watch, but most of the time a lot of watch brands get it wrong — wrong case size, wrong movement, wrong hands, wrong printing, and so on. Sometimes it is just one of these things, but most of the time it is a nasty combination of all of them, which doesn’t — in my mind — make the watch a true re-edition.
When Cheap Omega Replica introduced its Ploprof 1200M back in 2009 during BaselWorld, I was actually happily surprised to see that the brand did such a good job at first sight. The resemblance with the original Omega Ploprof 600M was amazing. The new Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M looked identical to the PloProf 600M version of almost 40 years earlier. We’ve written about the Omega PloProf watches several times on my blog, Fratellowatches, but have never taken the time, until now, to put the two models together and have a closer look.
For detailed history on the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 600 I would direct you to this article on the Omega Ploprof’s History, written by Jon Wallis. I will give the highlights of the Ploprof history to you in a nutshell, mainly based on what Omega has documented on this timepiece. According to official Omega Replica documentation, it took the company more than four years to develop a solution to create a watch that could handle the extreme pressure that a watch needs to withstand when diving at great depths. Even COMEX divers were involved in the testing of Ploprof prototypes during the Janus operation. At that time, around 1970, Omega was already experimenting with materials like titanium for watches. Fewer than 10 pieces were made out of titanium for testing purposes, but none of them ever made into production, since the price of such a watch in titanium would have been totally crazy.
In the end, Omega Replica Watches came up with the following solution: a monocoque case made of stainless steel with a locking bolt to secure the setting and winding crown. Of course, the watch needed to be waterproof, but at the same time had to take into account the extreme depths at which divers would be working in a pressurized chamber, where they breathe a mixture of oxygen and helium. The helium gas is able to enter the watch when it is under pressure, as you probably know if you are into diving watches. Instead of using a helium valve, like Rolex did with its Sea-Dweller watches, Cheap Replica Watches decided that it would be better to prevent helium from entering the watch in the first place. Omega also wanted to measure the maximum pressure the Ploprof 600M could handle, which resulted in a failure of the watch at 1,370 meters— at which the seconds hand stopped due to deformation of the crystal and case. The Omega Ploprof 600M was taken into production in 1970.
The photos in this article show you the differences between the watches in detail. The red pusher made of plastic has been replaced by a metal pusher, the side of the bezel has changed so there is more grip on the Replica Watches new one, the caseback is now screw-down and has a number of engravings on it, instead of just an industrial-looking machined finish. The dial of the new model is also quite different. Not only has the location of the date changed from 3 o’clock to 4:30, but it also has a glossy finish and “rich” hour markers.
On the other hand, the PloProf was definitely used by professional divers. With all due respect to Agnelli, that’s really the “cool factor” about this watch for me — even though it’s likely that the watch won’t get to see more water than the occasional hotel swimming pool if I’m wearing it. (It is the same with the Omega Replica Watches, really: I know it was on the moon and used by NASA, even though sitting in a 747 at 10,000 meters in the air is probably the closest mine will ever get to outer space. The Omega Seamaster PloProf – new or vintage – isn’t really for the faint-hearted, but in my opinion it is an awesome watch that could be used for daily wear. It is a watch that can take some serious abuse, goes with any kind of attire, and is a great conversation piece. You should be able to find one of the vintage PloProf models fairly easily, but keep in mind that some of them have had a restoration in the meantime and could have a service dial provided by Omega Replica. Make sure you get yourself informed about these details before you buy one. There is nothing much wrong with an all-restored model if you want it for daily use, but keep in mind that it does affect the value of such a timepiece. Depending on the condition, we’ve found Omega PloProf watches for sale between $6,000 USD and $10,000. Some of these are complete, with box and papers; others are the watch only.