Omega has spent close to a century conquering the depths, a journey that began when it launched its Marine divers’ watch in 1932, with an inner case to protect the movement, dial and hands from water up to a depth of 73m—as tested in Switzerland’s Lake Geneva. A decade or so later, during World War II, the brand would supply Britain’s Ministry of Defence with more than 110,000 watches with W.W.W., denoting “waterproof wrist watch”, engraved on the caseback. Omega then distilled its wartime expertise into its Seamaster collection, which started in 1948 with the reference CK2518, an elegant sports watch intended for “town, sea and country”.
In 1957, Omega debuted the Seamaster 300, designed specifically for the underwater environment with features such as a bidirectional rotating bezel, a water‑resistant Naiad crown, as well as large luminous indices and numerals. This model went on to inspire numerous Seamaster iterations, such as the Aqua Terra 150M and the Planet Ocean 600M, introduced in 2002 and 2005 respectively.
The birth of Omega’s Marine Division in Geneva in the late 1960s led to research on and the production of watches that could withstand decompression and do away with the need for a helium escape valve, resulting in two prototypes: Ploprof 0 and Ploprof 1 (“ploprof” being a French contraction for “plongeur professional”, meaning “professional diver”). These respectively evolved into the Seamaster 600 (better known as the Ploprof ) unveiled in 1971 and the Seamaster 1000 of 1976.
Omega has since released Seamasters with increasing robustness and water resistance. This year, it marks the Seamaster collection’s 75th anniversary with a series of 11 watches across seven models introduced to the family over the decades. Each bearing a caseback stamped or engraved with a trident‑wielding Poseidon and a pair of Omega’s seahorse emblem, they come dressed in shades of what the brand calls Summer Blue, in a gradation that mirrors their increasing water resistance and the brightness of light at the respective depths.
Sitting nearest to the water’s surface among these are the Aqua Terra 150M and the Aqua Terra 150M Worldtimer introduced in 2017, both of which are good for depths of up to 150m. Correspondingly, they have the lightest‑hued dials among the lot, with the former featuring boating‑inspired elements such as sailboat indices and a dial patterned like wood slats on yacht decks, and the latter boasting a face with a finely detailed map of Earth created with laser ablation, along with a 24‑hour scale decorated in light blue and dark blue, corresponding to daytime and night‑time respectively. Decked in darker shades that reflect their increased depth ratings are the Seamaster 300 (300m), the Diver 300M that debuted in 1993 (300m) and the Planet Ocean 600M (600m).
And wearing the darkest blues of them all are models that can venture into the ocean’s midnight zone and beyond: the Ploprof 1200M and the Ultra Deep, unveiled in 2009 and 2022 respectively. The first is water‑resistant up to 1,200m and has a distinctive monobloc case now made of the brighter metal alloy O‑Megasteel. Modelled after the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional concept watches that in 2019 reached the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth, with explorer Victor Vescovo as part of the Five Deeps Expedition, the second, able to go as deep as 6,000m, features a tribute to that journey on its dial that is revealed only under ultraviolet light: a representation of the Challenger Deep mapped from nearly a million sonar points, along with the message “Omega was here!”.
Would the Omega Seamaster hit new depths? Judging by the brand’s tendency to push the limits of water resistance, it would hardly be surprising.
PHOTOGRAPHY JAYA KHIDIR
STYLING GREGORY WOO
PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT NATALIE DYKES