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Omega Seamaster: Understanding the Collection

December 12, 2019

BY Paul Altieri

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At first glance, the Omega Seamaster collection seems like an eclectic assortment of timepieces. There are diving watches, elegant sports watches, and vintage-inspired timepieces—not to mention all the different types of complications available. Yet, if we dig a little deeper, we see that the original ethos of the very first Seamaster watch from 1948 permeates through the modern collection: high-quality water-resistant watches built for an active lifestyle. Let’s get a closer look at the different types of watches that make up the range to get a better understanding of the Omega Seamaster collection. 

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT - understand the collection

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Modern Omega Seamaster Models

Omega is known for producing a vast assortment of luxury watches, yet the brand categorizes them into just four main collections: Seamaster, Speedmaster, De Ville, and Constellation. However, within these main Omega collections, there are sub-collections of various models. Below are all the Omega sub-collections currently within the Seamaster lineup. 

  • Seamaster 1948
  • Seamaster 300
  • Railmaster
  • Bullhead
  • Aqua Terra 150M
  • Diver 300M
  • Planet Ocean 600M
  • PloProf 1200M 
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M - collection guide

The Omega Seamaster is one of the most diverse collections in the brand’s lineup.

Vintage-Inspired Seamaster Watches

The Seamaster is Omega’s oldest collection of watches that still remains in production today. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are a few vintage-inspired models pulled from the Seamaster archives. 

The Seamaster 1948 collection of watches houses faithful reissues of the first Seamaster models that made their debut in 1948. During that time, the Seamaster models were positioned as tough but elegant timepieces (inspired by the watches Omega supplied to the British Ministry of Defense during WWII) that were waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and antimagnetic. 

Omega launched the Seamaster 300 in 1957 as the brand’s first dive watch, complete with a rotating timing bezel, a black dial with plenty of lume, and a water resistance rating of 200 meters. The contemporary Seamaster 300 collection are modern iterations of these vintage divers, offering very similar designs but with up-to-date upgrades such as larger cases, sapphire crystals, SuperLumiNova luminescence, and of course, modern state-of-the-art movements. 

The Railmaster was also presented in 1957, but was positioned as Omega’s flagship antimagnetic watch for the burgeoning scientific community of the era. However, today, the Railmaster sits within the Seamaster collection and the designs of the watches stay relatively close to the original, with steel cases and time-only dials featuring Arabic numerals at the four quarters. Yet, what has improved dramatically is the magnetic resistance of today’s Railmaster watches – up to 15,000 gauss. 

In 1969, Omega released the Seamaster Bullhead chronograph, named so for its distinctive case silhouette reminiscent of a bull’s head with its winding crown at 12 o’clock flanked by two chronograph pushers, along with an additional crown at 6 o’clock to control the internal bezel. Yet again, the current-production Seamaster Bullheads are re-issues of the original model but they benefit from modern enhancements in mechanics and materials. 

Omega Seamaster Co-Axial Movement Planet Ocean

All modern Omega Seamaster watches have state-of-the-art movements.

Elegant Seamaster Sports Watches

The Seamaster Aqua Terra is Omega’s offering in the everyday luxury watch genre. It is named after the Latin words for water and earth to emphasize the sentiment that these watches can be worn all the time. They are not specifically intended for diving but with a water resistance rating of 150 meters, Aqua Terra watches can certainly handle water-based activities. The core watches of the Aqua Terra collection feature round cases, smooth bezels, grooved-dials (to mimic the wooden decks of luxury yachts), and time and date functionality. The Aqua Terra collection is one of the most varied Omega watches, offering a vast assortment of metal, bracelet, and dial colors. 

Aside from the time and date Aqua Terra models, there are also more complicated ones such as GMTs, Annual Calendars, Worldtimers, and Day-Dates. Additionally, there are Aqua Terra “Golf” watches, which underline Omega’s longstanding commitment to the sport. 

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Titanium - understand collection

Certain sub-collections of the Seamaster like the Planet Ocean are available in a variety of materials.

Omega Seamaster Diving Watches

While there are many other types of models within the collection, the Omega Seamaster range is most famous for its lineup of dive watches – and there are three distinct Omega dive watch models. 

Omega introduced the Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993 as the company’s go-to modern dive watch. As its name implies, the Seamaster Diver 300M has a water-resistance rating of 300 meters and includes a helium escape valve (HEV) on its case. As with all modern dive watches, the Diver 300M also includes unidirectional rotating bezels and luminous details on the dial. In true Omega form, there’s a wide array of case metals, bracelet materials, and dial colors available, and the most modern versions are furnished with ceramic bezels. 

In 2005, Omega unveiled the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M diving watch with even deeper water resistance and bolder designs than the Diver 300M lineup. While the watch model is loosely based on the Seamaster 300M from 1957, the Planet Ocean is entirely modern in execution. Aside from the standard time and date Planet Ocean models, Omega also makes Planet Ocean Chronographs and Planet Ocean GMT watches. Plus, the collection boasts some cool case material options like titanium, ceramic, and platinum, along with the standard stainless steel, gold, and two-tone choices. All Omega Planet Ocean watches have HEVs and current-production models are equipped with ceramic bezels. 

In the early 1970s, Omega launched the Ploprof 600M and Ploprof 1000M (Plongeur Professionnel, or “professional diver” in French) to serve technical diving. However, rather than fitting the watches with HEVs to deal with the helium issue, Omega constructed the Ploprof in such a way that helium molecules could not penetrate the case. While today’s iterations, the Ploprof 1200M, do indeed have HEVs, their distinctive and chunky case shapes are almost identical to the 1970’s versions. 

Whether you’re searching for a topnotch diver, an everyday luxury sports watch, or a modern timepiece designed to look like it was made decades ago, the Omega Seamaster collection has plenty to offer. 

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph - Michael Phelps

Which Omega Seamaster watch is right for you?

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