BEHIND THE SCENES

4 Omega Dive Watches That Never Made It Into Production


When it comes to museums operated by watch brands, the Omega museum in Bienne is definitely one worth a visit (and if you’re not planning a trip to Switzerland, there’s a website as well: www.omegamuseum.com). It is located just across from Omega HQ, admission is free, it’s open on Saturdays as well as during the week, and — best of all — you get to see hundreds of watches, clocks, movements, and instruments displaying more than a century of the brand’s fascinating history.

Of course, among all these exhibits are quite a few dive watches, given the Omega watch brand’s rich history in manufacturing watches for underwater use.

Along with a comprehensive lineup of past and current Omega Seamaster watches, we discovered four prototype watches on display at the museum that we felt were worthy of attention. Here they are, along with photos:

1. Super Compressor” case prototype

Omega Museum - Super Comprex Prototype
This “Super Compressor” case prototype from 1969 with a 52-mm diameter and a flexible caseback intended to be used in helium-saturated environments. Probably because the Omega Seamaster 600 from that time was put “through our helium test […] This test showed that the 600 is one hundred times as air- and water-tight as the Apollo spacecraft.” Omega did not pursue the concept of a helium release valve further until the 1990s.

2. Omega Seamaster 1000 prototype

Omega Museum - Seamaster_1000 Prototype COMEX Janus
An Omega Seamaster 1000 prototype with a very unique bezel inlay and an unusual dial/hand combination. The watch was used by COMEX during Janus II (two years before the cooperation with Rolex started), along with some specially marked Seamaster 600 “Ploprof” models, when “they spent eight days on the seabed, while setting up a new world deep-sea diving record.”

3. Seamaster 1000 prototype

Omega Museum - Seamaster 1000 Prototype - TitaniumHere you can see one of two Seamaster 1000 prototypes from 1982 made of titanium.

4. Omega Megaquartz Seamaster 1000

Omega Museum - Seamaster_1000 Prototype Megaquartz 32
Last but not least, the rather extreme-looking Omega Megaquartz Seamaster 1000, with a rather unique evolution of the brand’s traditional orange “Plongeur” minute hand.

All of which brings up another reason why you should visit the Omega museum: you are allowed to take pictures.

Omega Watch Museum

This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.

Merken

Merken

4 Responses to “4 Omega Dive Watches That Never Made It Into Production”

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  1. Jeroen de jong

    Thank you for this very intresting insight in the world of Omega.
    Comming march i will be in Basel for the “greatest show of time on earth”, and was planning to go to this museum and others aswell.

    Reply
  2. MrTissot

    Excellent article. Thanks so much. I was very fascinated by the Omega Seamaster 1000 prototype.

    “An Omega Seamaster 1000 prototype with a very unique bezel inlay and an unusual dial/hand combination. The watch was used by COMEX during Janus II (two years before the cooperation with Rolex started), along with some specially marked Seamaster 600 “Ploprof” models, when “they spent eight days on the seabed, while setting up a new world deep-sea diving record.”

    I was amazed but not surprised by the above description comment. I’d like to add that Omega always was and still is at the forefront of innovation!

    Reply
  3. New Diamond District

    I am a regular reader of this blog. I have gone through your article titled “Dive Watch Wednesday: 4 Omega Dive Watches That Never Made It Into Production” and it is very interesting. I did not know this before reading the article. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
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