Following up on the recent release of the latest James Bond watch — like many previous ones, an Omega Seamaster — we revisit this “Fratello Friday” article in which I offer my personal all-time “Top 5” list of Omega Seamaster watches.
Omega introduced the Seamaster collection (which originally were much more like dress watches than sport watches) in 1948. In 1957, Omega introduced the first real divers’-watch Seamaster, the CK2913. This first Seamaster 300 was in the same sporty vein as the Speedmaster (CK2915) and Railmaster (CK2914). The dressier Seamaster models were re-branded as Seamaster DeVille, and eventually the DeVille would became an Omega watch family of its own.
In addition to the various versions of the Seamaster 300, another iconic Seamaster watch from the past is the Omega Seamaster PloProf 600m — a watch built for professional diving and which also has a little COMEX history behind it. The original PloProf was developed with help of COMEX and Jacques Cousteau — before both chose to work with Rolex, of course.
The current Omega Seamaster family has expanded to include the 300M Diver collection, the Planet Ocean collection, the Aqua Terra collection, and the re-edition of the PloProf, the last now boasting a water resistance of 1,200 meters.
1. Omega Seamaster XVI, ca. 1956
Although way too small for me to wear, this beautiful rose-gold Seamaster XVI was manufactured to commemorate the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. There is also a rarer version, with a Chinese lacquered logo on the dial, but I like this one a bit more. It has self-winding movement (Caliber 471) with a copper-gold finish.
2. Omega Seamaster PloProf, ca.1971
Something completely different than Number 1 on this list, perhaps even its opposite. This monster was – as already mentioned in the introduction – designed with some help from the French diving company COMEX and introduced in 1971. The wearer turns the rotating divers’ bezel by pressing the red button. The case has a monobloc construction, so the movement would need to be removed on the front side, via the crystal. It has a copper-colored Omega Caliber 1000, a self-winding movement. More information can be found here.
3. Omega Seamaster 300 CK2913, ca. 1957
The mother of all Omega divers’ watches, the Seamaster 300 is a watch with an appearance very similar to that era’s famous Speedmaster watch (CK2915), but with a totally different purpose. The Omega Seamaster 300 also featured the same “Broad Arrow” shaped hands as the Speedmaster until it was succeeded by a new reference in 1962. Inside, the copped-colored Caliber 501 movement powers the watch.
4. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT GoodPlanet
With the traditional Seamaster Planet Ocean watches measuring either 42 mm or a whopping 45.5 mm in diameter, I was pleasantly surprised to see this Planet Ocean GMT watch introduced in 43.5-mm case. The GoodPlanet version is a tribute to Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s GoodPlanet foundation. More on the topic and on the introduction of this GMT GoodPlanet can be read here. This watch contains Omega’s in-house Co-Axial movement, Caliber 8605.
5. Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Chronograph Diver Titanium
Perhaps the odd one on this list, but it a personal favorite of mine. Even though I am not particularly a fan of titanium cases nor of ETA/Valjoux 7750-based movements, I appreciate this piece for a few reasons.
1. It was a favorite watch of a friend who’s since passed away;
2. It was actually the first watch (in 1993) that enabled divers to use the chronograph pushers underwater;
3. It has all the necessary features you want on a reliable watch: chronometer-rated movement, solid and reliable chronograph function, date feature, light weight. (Actually, for a titanium watch, it is still relatively heavy due to the chunky dimensions.) More on this watch, and why it is on this list, can be found here.
Photo credits: Omega Seamaster XVI, Omega Seamaster PloProf, Seamaster 300 – Antiquorum; Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT GoodPlanet – Fratellowatches; Omega Seamaster Pro 300M Chronograph Diver – Omega SA.
This article was originally published on February 21, 2014, and has been updated.