Retro chic – Omega Seamaster 600m Professional (1970)

Essential wristwear for Jacques Cousteau – or Steve Zissou – copycats

What’s the story?

Before the invention of the diving watch the only way to tell the time underwater was to ask a passing clockfish. Omega saw the gap in the market and, after beta testing it with professional divers, the Seamaster 600m Professional was born. It earned the nickname Ploprof (short for plongeur professionnel, French for ‘professional diver’), and Scuba Steves the world over were never late home for their fish supper ever again.

Why should I want one?

Omega brought in deep-sea genius Jacques Cousteau to help develop the Ploprof, with such success that an American diving research centre declared it ‘more watertight than a submarine’. Its chunky case, unusual crown position and bi-directional bezel with orange release button made it utterly iconic.

What to look for

It’s fairly safe to say water damage isn’t something you need to worry too much about when looking for a second-hand Ploprof. However, it’s not unknown for a careless repairer to be caught out by the 9 o’clock crown placement and reattach it the wrong way round. Cosmetic damage is easily dealt with, though. A trip back to Omega and you’ll see your Ploprof returned almost as good as new.

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