My pick was the first one I put down for this list. There is only one vintage Omega replica that is higher on my list, and that is a Speedmaster Professional 145.022-76 from 1977, my year of birth. But as I mentioned, we have the Speedy Tuesday articles for the Moonwatch, including Robert-Jan’s brilliant article on his Speedmaster Professional 145.022-76 from 1977. But a close second is this perfect fake Omega Seamaster Ploprof 600M ref. 166.077. I explained my love for the Ploprof 600M in an article I wrote about the stainless steel Ploprof 1200M from 2009. In the early 2000s, Robert-Jan and I visited fellow Fratello team member Gerard’s store as we did regularly back in those days.
I still remember seeing that freakishly bold watch with a big red button on it, and from the moment I laid eyes on it, I was sold. The standout feature is, without a doubt, its case design. Those odd shapes scream, “Who needs symmetry?” Obviously, this is born from functionality as the watch is made for professional divers, hence Plongeur Professionel. The Omega copy watch with stainless steel case was introduced in 1971 and featured an asymmetric solid monobloc case made of high-grade stainless steel. With its protected crown, locking screw, and the red button for turning the diving bezel, it is one of the most recognizable watches in the watch world and one of Omega’s most iconic creations ever made.
Hard to find one in original condition
Inside the case, you will find the automatic Omega Caliber 1002. It’s a straightforward movement with a date function and hacking seconds that Omega used for more of their watches. As the cheap copy Omega Seamaster Ploprof 600M was a professional tool watch, they were often used by professional divers. As a result, they had to come back in for service quite regularly. It’s when Omega often replaced dials, bezel inserts, hands, and movements. A great resource for seeing all the different versions Omega of parts used for the Ploprof can be found at omegeploprof.com. You will quickly find out that many of the parts have been replaced by the produced watches. That is why it’s challenging to find a Ploprof 600M in original conditions.
While a watch in original condition is often the ultimate goal for watch collectors, when it comes to the Ploprof, you might want to change your expectations unless you would like to pay significantly more for one in original condition. Prices for a top quality clone Omega Ploprof 600M ref. 166.077 start at roughly 6,5K and move up to around 10K for one on good condition. A fun fact is that only two weeks ago, Phillips auctioned one of the original prototypes Omega produced in 1968 to be delivered for active use in the Janus experimental dive by COMEX. This unique piece was sold for a whopping price of CHF138,600. That’s a lot of money for what is, without a doubt, one of the biggest Omega icons ever. I love it because its design is unique, and it was originated from a functional need. And that’s what makes the Plopof story incredibly compelling.