Omega is one of the most respected and popular luxury watch brands in the world, boasting a wide assortment of watch styles. Whether you’re looking for a classic dress watch, sporty chronograph, or causal yet cool everyday piece, chances are Omega has it — but the brand is particularly strong at the diving watch.
In 1932, Omega unveiled its first dive-ready watch, called the Marine, which featured a double rectangular case sealed with cork to keep out water. However, it was the 1957 launch of the Seamaster 300 (complete with a rotating timing bezel, luminous dial, and deep water-resistance) that heralded Omega’s commitment to making watches specifically for divers.
Omega currently has five collections dedicated to the diver, including a brand new model that can plunge down to 6,000 metres. Here's a handy guide to what each Omega dive watch collection has to offer.
The Seamaster 300 collection is Omega’s tribute to its first watch built for divers. That inaugural piece, which launched in 1957, had a 39mm stainless steel case, a rotating black timing bezel to track immersion times, and a black dial with luminous details for optimal legibility in dark waters. Although it was called the Seamaster 300, the watch was officially rated to 200 metres — as the story goes, the proper equipment was not available to test the watches' capabilities at 300 metres deep.
Today’s collection of vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 watches clearly follows similar design codes of the 1950s Omega dive watch. There are the Arabic numerals at the four poles on the dial, the broad arrow centre hands, and the triangular hour markers. However, they're updated to suit contemporary tastes and expectations. For instance, the cases are larger, measuring 41mm, and they're available in a variety of materials such as steel, gold, two-tone, titanium, and platinum. Omega also offers the Seamaster 300 with the option of exotic dials like malachite and lapis lazuli, along with a variety of straps and bracelets. Modern scratch-resistant sapphire replaces old-school acrylic crystal and Omega has furnished the watches with new generation movements.
Current-production Omega Seamaster 300 watches are water-resistant to 300 metres and run on the in-house Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8912, which is an automatic movement that is resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss and supplies 60 hours of power reserve to the watch.
Of all the diving watches made by Omega, the Diver 300M stands out as the brand’s modern flagship diver. Omega launched the Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993, and a few years later, it became world-famous as James Bond’s go-to timepiece in the 1995 film GoldenEye. The Diver 300M has been 007’s watch ever since, and Omega continues to make James Bond Seamaster Diver 300M watches with every new movie release. There are also special edition Diver 300M models created in honour of the Olympic Games, the America's Cup, and other pursuits supported by Omega. Aside from these commemorative models, the main Omega Seamaster Diver 300M watch collection is expansive. There are two main models: standard time and date versions and chronograph versions.
Omega released the newest iterations of the Seamaster Diver 300M in 2018, featuring refreshed designs, new sizes, and more material options. The standard time and date Diver 300M feature 41mm cases while the Diver 300M Chronographs sport larger 44mm cases.
Regardless of the version, all Diver 300M watches share a handful of signature design traits. These include bezels with a decorative scalloped edge, skeletonized sword-shaped hands, and a protruding helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position. Plus, the most recent versions have modern ceramic bezel inserts and ceramic wave-patterned dials. As the watch's name suggests, the Diver 300M is water-resistant to 300 metres.
Powering the Diver 300M 42mm is the self-winding Omega Master Chronometer Caliber 8800 (and the more decorative Caliber 8801 variant in precious metal models), while the Diver 300M Chronograph 44m watches run on the self-winding Master Chronometer Caliber 9900 (and the more decorative Caliber 9901). All of these new-generation movements supply the Diver 300M with 60 hours of power reserve.
In 2005, Omega released a brand new diving watch lineup called the Planet Ocean, which borrowed some design cues from the original 1957 Seamaster 300M but offered double the water-resistance of the Diver 300M. Despite its loose ties to the original Seamaster dive watch (note the dial arrangement with a smattering of Arabic numerals and broad arrow handset), the Planet Ocean was launched as Omega’s unapologetic ultra-modern diver’s watch.
The Omega Planet Ocean watches were bold, brash, big, thick, and above all, they leaned into a tool watch personas rather than flaunting dressier desk diver vibes. Omega furnished the Planet Ocean with a helium escape valve, positioned at 10 o’clock, and fitted them with a domed sapphire crystal, which only served to emphasize the watch’s thickness. Over the years, Omega expanded the Planet Ocean collection to include other variants such as chronographs and GMTs.
The Planet Ocean's latest refresh happened in 2016, with the introduction of new design touches, more material options, and the newest generation Master Chronometer Omega movements. The standard time and date Planet Ocean watches measure 43.5mm while the chronograph models clock in at a hefty 45.5mm. In addition to traditional metals like steel and gold, Omega also makes the 600m-water-resistant Planet Ocean with full ceramic cases and ultra-light titanium ones.
In 1970, Omega released a mega dive watch with a uniquely designed case that could withstand the pressures 600 metres deep. It was called the Seamaster Professional 600 but became known as the “Ploprof” (shorthand for plongeur professionnel, or French for "professional diver").
Modern incarnations of the Seamaster Ploprof sport a similar asymmetric case silhouette, complete with the winding crown at 9 o’clock and a bezel-locking pusher at 2 o’clock. However, these contemporary dive watches also include a helium escape valve at 4, are crafted from lightweight titanium, and some feature ceramic bezels. More importantly, they offer twice the water resistance of the 1970s version, rated to dive down to 1,200 metres.
Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M watches are beasts, measuring 55 x 48mm. They offer serious wrist presence that not everyone can pull off. But if you’re looking for a serious diver with a style that is unique to Omega, the Ploprof may be for you.
The newest Omega dive watch collection in the company’s fleet of deep water-ready timepieces is the mammoth Planet Ocean 6000M Ultra Deep, announced in March 2022. Water-resistant to an incredible 6,000 metres, the new Planet Ocean Ultra Deep watches are designed after the ground-breaking Ultra Deep experimental watches that Omega made a few years ago to accompany a 2019 underwater expedition by Victor Vescovo to reach the deepest place on Earth.
Planet Ocean Ultra Deep watches include big but wearable 45.5mm cases, which are fashioned from a new high-performing stainless steel alloy the brand calls O-MEGASTEEL. There is one titanium Planet Ocean Ultra Deep model paired with a NATO strap.
Regardless of the case metal, all casebacks are furnished with titanium medallions that are decorated with the sonar symbol (in honor of the record-breaking 2019 dive) and the famed Omega Seahorse logo. Furthermore, they're all ISO 6425 standard-compliant diving watches and are powered by the Master Chronometer Caliber 8912 automatic movement with a 60-hour power reserve.
Since Omega has just announced these new Planet Ocean Ultra Deep watches, they haven’t hit stores yet. Expect them to become available very soon though.
For the last 90 years, Omega has continued to produce some of the best high-end dive watches in the market.
Starting with the ground-breaking Marine in 1932, continuing with the Seamaster 300 in the 1950s, the Ploprof in the 1970s, the Diver 300M in the 1990s, the Planet Ocean in the 2000s, and now its latest Ultra Deep lineup in 2022, it’s clear that Omega’s commitment to manufacturing premium diving watches has been unwavering.
For fans of luxury watches, particularly premium dive watches, Omega is a brand that has so much to offer.