Farewell to the Omega Ploprof in steel – the tooliest of tool watches Farewell to the Omega Ploprof in steel – the tooliest of tool watches

Farewell to the Omega Ploprof in steel – the tooliest of tool watches

Jason Marsden

The stainless-steel Omega Ploprof (a French contraction of “Plongeur Professional” i.e. professional diver) is now discontinued, leaving the titanium case as the only new option at retail.  What’s more it is now a “heritage model” making me suddenly feel rather old.

The Ploprof is big, chunky and looks like it would be more at home on the wrist of a deep-sea diver in full Viking HDS dry suit and Kirby Morgan helmet.  The tooliest of tool watches is 55mm wide and 48mm tall.  The stainless-steel version weighs in at 279 grams on its stainless mesh bracelet. The titanium-cased model, first released in 2017, now standard on titanium mesh, sheds 104 grams, down to approximately 175 grams.  It also loses the date window but gains a display case back.

Farewell to the Omega Ploprof

The Ploprof wins the tool watch anti-beauty contest by being the ugliest, most unusual, most unique,  and I think most loveable.  Since the first Ploprof model, released in 1970, the case shape has not changed, with the fully enclosed crown and large orange button to unlock the bi-directional sapphire, lumed bezel.  A helium escape valve allows the small helium molecules to escape the case during saturation dives removing the risk of the crystal popping out during decompression. The watch itself is water-resistant to 1200m.

There is beauty to be found in the detail with the gloss dial finished to an impeccable standard, applied logo and polished bevels on the case edges contrasting with the brushed surfaces.  Whilst rubber strap options in orange and black were available, the purist would choose the “shark-proof mesh” Milanese bracelet. This fine mesh bracelet is itself extremely well made with a brushed exterior side, polished interior and a great micro-adjustable clasp with fold-out dive extension.

My stainless Ploprof was the first proper luxury watch I purchased.  The original Ploprof was released in my birth year, and growing up watching Jacques Cousteau, the idea of exploring the ocean depths always fascinated me – a dream that is yet to be fulfilled.  My Ploprof remains one of my top four watches in my collection (alongside my no date Submariner, yellow dial Oyster Perpetual and Grand Seiko Snowflake).

With the stainless-steel Ploprof now removed from the Omega website, this leaves the five titanium colourways.  All striking in their own way with even Sedna Gold adorning one model.

Farewell to the Omega Ploprof

Yet for me the physical weight of the stainless-steel matches the visual impact and just adds to the unique character and wearing experience.  The heavy weight luxury stainless mantle must now pass to the Rolex Deep Sea Sea-Dweller at a mere 219 grams.

The Omega Ploprof by the numbers:

Dimensions: 55mm wide, 17.5 mm thick and the recessed lugs make it a wearable 48mm
Stainless Steel Weight (on mesh bracelet) 279 grams, Titanium on Titanium mesh 175g
Calibre, Stainless 8500, 60h power reserve, Titanium 8912, 60h power reserve
Water Resistance rating: 1200m
Current retail titanium $17, 325 AUD. $26,400 for the Sedna Gold bezel, crown and pusher model.