This OMEGA is certainly a piece of history, but there are many things about it that have been said incorrectly and have helped to define over the years a story that does not entirely belong to him.
Let's start with the name.
The real name of this very special timepiece is Omega SEAMASTER 600 "Plongeur Professionnel ", or Professional Diver, the abbreviation" PLOprof "was attributed to him by collectors, and more precisely from a description that appeared in a monographic book that illustrated its characteristics.
Another erroneous attribution was the year of marketing, it is believed that the first watches arrived on the market in 1970, instead more in-depth studies confirmed that the Ploprof appeared on the market in the second half of 1971, since 68 prototyping and experimentation activities started.
It is said that the great Jacques Cousteau participated in the making of the clock, providing his technical contribution. FALSE.
Cousteau used the watch, already in production, for some of his experiments on the human body and psychology while diving, but there is no trace to confirm that it was part of the design of the timepiece.
How was Ploprof actually born? Let's start from the beginning ..
On October 3, 1961, one of the most important companies in the field of deep-sea diving was born, Comex. It was founded in Marseille by Henri Germain Delauze, professional diver, diving record holder as well as a degree in geology. The company soon became a leader in the diving market on offshore oil platforms, in the area of maintenance and installation of submerged components.
Professional divers took great risks working below the surface of the sea, and a fully reliable and durable wristwatch that could tolerate the enormous water pressure at such depths without losing accuracy was a vital and indispensable tool for this type. by profession. Delauze said: "A half-hour dive to 350 meters cannot last 31 minutes but 29 minutes and 59 seconds."
In 1968, COMEX asked Omega to produce a watch that was capable of resisting to depths greater than 400m, as many of you know, the biggest problem, in addition to the pressure exerted by the water at high depths, was the helium used in the hyperbaric chambers, the gas infiltrating the watch made the glasses jump. There is no evidence to suggest that these leaks also occurred with some Ploprof simlars, but a statement from the American diving research center Ocean Systems Inc., certified the Ploprof as a watch with a higher water resistance than a submarine.
In addition to field tests, numerous laboratory tests were carried out, in which the case was subjected to a continuous hydrostatic pressure of 60 ATM. In other cases the clock was brought to a depth of 1370m which decreed its arrest, but only because the glass underwent a deformation in the central point, and, resting on the second hand, stopped the running of the clock. This test showed that the components that made up the Ploprof had a greater tolerance to the depth (more than double) reported on the dial (600m).
The main feature of the Ploporf, absolutely innovative for the watches of the time, was certainly the conformation of the case, in one piece, or obtained by hollowing out a steel ingot. Certainly very expensive work for the time. Another unusual feature for a diving watch of those years was the locking of the bi-directional bezel, in fact, it could only be adjusted by pressing the red button located in the upper part of the case, this guaranteed safety against accidental movements.
An interesting curiosity is to note how the watch looks for left-handed people, having the crown on the left, in reality, the position of the latter, arises from the need to protect the most "delicate" part of the watch from involuntary manipulations and guarantee a greater comfort in the movements of divers during diving.
There is a version made for left-handers, but due to assembly errors it was withdrawn from production as it was impossible to maneuver, in fact the button for unlocking the crown was positioned in the lower left part, making it impossible to release the movement using just one hand.
Another Omega innovation featured on this watch was the crown locking mechanism. The crown itself, which at first glance would appear to be the sprocket, is actually the square end plate. The sprocket is instead a lock nut. The Ploprof had the most effective crown protection and sealing system ever designed, only the Panerai crown comes close to these design features. The lock nut patent (number CH503310) was filed on October 23, 1968 but was not published until 1974.
In the world, only 5 models are known to have a red knurled crown. The reason lies in Omega's choice to replace the classic steel crown with a red plastic crown, this to prevent divers, not caring about the damage that the salt would have caused to the toothed steel parts if they hadn't. rinsed well, they could damage the watch. It was soon discovered that the plastic material was much weaker than steel, so the manufacturer reverted to the old alloy.
The dials during production have also undergone several changes.
Nine different types of dials, some have different colors, obtained with the use of particular pigments, which then caused a deterioration, modifying their appearance. Others have different graphics, starting with the first, never finished in the classic commercial channels, which only featured the Seamaster lettering.
In Italy, Ploprof owes part of its fame to one of the most famous wrists in the world, we are talking about the lawyer's wrist.
Many attribute Agnelli's extravagant habit of wearing the watch to a reason for the correct conservation of shirt cuffs, others only to a way of getting noticed, or even those who say that he wanted to save time and read the time, the more plausible and confirmed explanation is that the lawyer suffered from an allergy to some metals, which in contact with the skin caused irritation, which is why he wore the watches over his cuffs.
The Ploprof, so on display, certainly benefited.
We hope that your knowledge of this particular model has been enriched with other details that you may not have known ..
.. to the next article
GO TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEW GRAPHICS THIS TIME MARKER INSPIRED. THE "P.PROF"
Miki from INCASODOVINTAGE