The Omega Seamaster PloProf 600 replica watch, which is short for Plongeur Professionnel (literally, Professional Diver in French), was Omega’s most extreme diver’s watch at the time, built from the ground up with no expense spared to be the ultimate commercial diver’s watch. Housed in a massive 54mm X 45mm asymmetric case, the PloProf was a monocoque design with an integrated crown protector on one side and a push-button release mechanism for the rotatable bezel on the other. The watch was given a depth rating of 600 meters (approximately 2000 feet), well beyond the tested limits of human endurance.
Many of these now-iconic design elements of the PloProf were suggested by Jacques Cousteau, (the godfather of SCUBA himself!), who was working with Omega directly in development of the timepiece. Despite his personal involvement and a considerable expenditure from Omega, COMEX passed over the PloProf design in favor of Rolex, due in part to a concern of helium build up in a traditional case, which could cause the crystal or crown to burst off under pressure. Rolex solved this problem by fitting a Helium Escape Valve (developed in collaboration with DOXA) to their Submariner, which would siphon off excess gas buildup at depth. The PloProf was also a massive piece of equipment, far larger in dimensions and weight than the modified Oyster case from Rolex. Essentially, the Helium Escape Valve negated the need for a thick and heavy steel case, and despite its over-engineering, the PloProf was dead in the water as far as the COMEX contract was concerned.
To this day it is one of the most iconic timepieces in sports fake Omega Seamaster PloProf 600 watch history, despite its failure to win the contract.
Ultimately, the PloProf was sold in relatively small numbers to a few smaller commercial diving outfits as well as the general diving public, probably at a significant loss, due to the high costs of development. Today, the ungainly diver has a strong legion of fans, and good examples are highly sought after on the vintage market. Good examples can run from about $6500-$9000, highly dependent on dial execution, originality, and condition.
The movement used was a calibre 1002 automatic winder, featuring a three-hand layout with date function. Form followed function when it came to the aesthetics, and the PloProf featured a simple blue dial with large luminous plots for maximum visibility underwater. The hands were similarly oversized, and the minutes hand was massive and orange, a design now referred to simply as “Plongeur”. The bi-directional rotatable bezel featured a bakelite insert with luminous markings for use in dive timing.
Omega re-released the PloProf in 2009 in the form of the Seamaster 1200, a timepiece that clearly takes its design inspiration from the original 600, but modernized it with a Co-Axial movement and a case capable of double the depth rating, with the inclusion of a Helium Escape Valve as well. With a retail price around $10,000, these modern versions are also surprisingly popular with collectors, a testament to the heritage and history of its ancestor.
The design of the mens fake Omega watch allowed for the dial to be seated in two directions, making it wearable on either the left or right wrists.