Within the late sixties, COMEX, that was at that time one of the world’s biggest commercial diving firms, place a call to the watch niche for this type of tool, along with a couple of significant brands scrambled to build up the best diver’s watch to fill the necessity and obtain their contract.
Missing towards the finish result, anything was won by Rolex, who won anything having a specifically modified version of time-only Submariner, which subsequently developed in to the first Sea-Dweller. But Rolex wasn’t the only real brand in contention, and the other truly iconic watch found existence consequently of COMEX’s call to arms: the memorable Omega Seamaster 600 “PloProf”.
The Omega Seamaster PloProf 600, that is short for Plongeur Professionnel (literally, Professional Diver in French), was Omega’s most extreme diver’s watch at that time, constructed from the floor track of no expense able to escape is the ultimate commercial diver’s watch. Even today it’s one of the most iconic watches in sports watch history, despite its failure to win anything.
Located inside a massive 54mm X 45mm asymmetric case, the PloProf would be a monocoque design by having an integrated crown protector on one for reds along with a push-button release mechanism for that rotatable bezel alternatively. The watch was handed a depth rating of 600 meters (roughly 2000 ft), well past the examined limits of human endurance.
The look of the watch permitted for that dial to become sitting in two directions, which makes it wearable on either the right or left arms. The movement used would be a calibre 1002 automatic winder, having a three-hand layout with date function.
Form adopted function if this found the appearance, and also the PloProf featured an easy blue dial with large luminous plots for optimum visibility underwater. The hands were similarly extra-large, and also the minutes hand was massive and orange, a design now known to merely as “Plongeur”. The bi-directional rotatable bezel featured a bakelite place with luminous markings to be used in dive timing.
A number of these now-iconic elements of design of the PloProf were recommended by Jacques Cousteau, who had been dealing with Omega directly in development of the watch. Despite his personal participation along with a considerable expenditure from Omega, COMEX ignored the PloProf design in support of Rolex, due simply to some concern of helium develop inside a traditional case that could make the crystal or crown to burst off pressurized.
Rolex solved this issue by fitting a Helium Escape Valve (developed together with DOXA) for their Submariner, which may siphon off excess gas buildup at depth. The PloProf seemed to be an enormous device, far bigger in proportions and weight compared to modified Oyster case from Rolex. Basically, the Helium Escape Valve negated the requirement for a thick and high steel case, and despite its over-engineering, the PloProf was dead within the water so far as the COMEX contract was concerned.