Omega Seamaster Automatic Chronograph
The Omega Seamaster is one of the most renowned diving watches in the world. For decades, the watches in this series have been reliable companions to recreational and professional divers, as well as secret agent James Bond.
The Seamaster series is the oldest series still produced by Swiss manufacturer Omega. It has existed under this name since 1948. One hundred years before the Seamaster's debut, Omega's founder Louis Brandt began producing and exporting watches. In 1932, the company presented their first diving watch, the square-shaped Marine. This was the precursor to the Seamaster series. The Marine was the first watch series designed specifically for underwater use, as opposed to the Rolex Oyster, introduced in 1926. In May 1937, the Swiss horological laboratory confirmed that the Marine could withstand pressure up to 13.5 atm, which equates to a depth of about 135 meters. This confirmation was also a first, as laboratory experts had never before issued such a certificate.
Durability Tests in Australia and the Arctic
The Seamaster was initially planned to be a plain, all-purpose men's watch with improved water resistance. However, this changed in 1955, when it truly lived up to its name. Diver Gordon McLean wore the Seamaster on his wrist to a depth of 62.5 m in Australian waters, and it withstood the dive undamaged. A new innovation at the time was the rubber O-ring, which replaced the use of lead or shellac.
In 1956, Omega sent the Seamaster on a polar route over the north Atlantic attached to the outside of a Douglas DC-6 aircraft. One year later, the Biel-based manufacturer introduced the Seamaster Professional, a version still produced today. The Seamaster 300 quickly gained a good reputation among professional divers. Many divers from the civil and military sectors chose to wear this watch, as well as the UK Royal Navy's Special Boat Service. Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau used the Seamaster in 1963 during his experiments with the underwater station Precontinent II off the Sudanese coast in the Red Sea. There has since been a competition to create the best diving watch: Omega's Seamaster, Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms, and Rolex's Submariner are all contenders. Of course, there will never be an objective winner because personal preference plays such a large role.
In 1970, Omega added the Seamaster 600 to its collection. The watch functioned up to a simulated depth of 1, 370 m in laboratory tests. It finally stopped working because the water pressure warped the 4-mm thick glass so far inwards that it impeded the second hand. At such depths, a pressure of about 140 kilograms exerts itself on every square centimeter of the watch. Outside the laboratory, the larger 600 model, the Seamaster 1000, reached a depth of 1, 000 m while attached to a robotic arm of the Beaver Mark IV submarine.
Countless Seamaster Models
Omega has continually expanded the series over the years. In addition to the Seamaster 300, the series is home to the Planet Ocean 600 M, the Aqua Terra 150 M, the Diver 300 M, the Bullhead, and the Ploprof 1200 M. Each model is a unique addition to the overall series.
The Aqua Terra combines a water resistance of up to 15 bar (150 m) with an elegant, rather conservative look. This Seamaster variant features bicolor models combining rose gold and stainless steel. The models for women feature diamond-set bezels or hour markers made of precious stones. By no means is this diverging from the traditional style of the series, however. In the early days of the collection, there was the Seamaster De Ville. It also had a prestigious, classic appearance. The De Ville collection has been its own refined series for decades now.