By the mid 1940s, Emile Gagnan and Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s Aqualung – the primary commercially fruitful independent submerged breathing mechanical assembly (a.k.a Scuba)- had become an overall wonder. Alongside the developing prominence of sporting jumping, the requirements of military and professional jumpers underscored the principal significance of dependable underwater instruments. The primary present day jump watches showed up in the mid 1950s with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, the Zodiac Sea Wolf or the Rolex Submariner. Created in 1953, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is often viewed as the prime example of the plunge watch: a powerful, profoundly clear watch, water-impervious to incredible profundities (91 meters, in this occurrence) and furnished with a unidirectional turning bezel to time dives.
The advancement of remote ocean immersion diving
However, the advancement of remote ocean immersion plunging before long made considerably higher performing apparatuses essential – just in light of the fact that professional jump watches needed to adjust to the development of jumping techniques.
Saturation jumping truly began in the last part of the 1950s and the principal commercial plunges were acted during the 1960s. It permits professional jumpers to live and work under significant degrees of pressing factor for quite a long time or weeks. Subsequent to working in the water, the jumpers live and rest in a dry compressed living space on a plunging support vessel or stage, adjusted to a similar pressing factor as the work depth. The submerged work groups are compressed to the working pressing factor and decompressed only a single time, in this way restricting the dangers related with decompression to a solitary exposure.
Saturation jumping is risky; when jumpers are presented to expanded pressing factors for a considerable length of time, their tissues gradually get soaked with idle gases and these should be delivered gradually during the decompression phases of the rising. It is exceptionally specialized and there is no edge for the smallest blunder. The requirement for exact and solid watches that could perform at extraordinary profundities turned into an incomprehensibly important issue. In this unique situation, professional jumpers worked with watchmakers to create watches with outrageous determinations. Among them, the COMEX is popular for helping out producers like Omega and Rolex.
The Omega Seamaster professional watches
Although the Omega Seamaster was brought into the world in 1948, it turned into a genuine jump watch in 1957 with the making of the three professional reaches: Seamaster, Railmaster and Speedmaster. With the arrival of reference CK2913, the Seamaster accepted all the ascribes of the cutting edge plunge watch: profound water obstruction rating, a turning bezel, high readability, etc…
A few years after the fact, in 1968, with the improvement of immersion plunging, Omega began to help out the COMEX to grow significantly more extraordinary watches. Immersion jumping was as yet in trial stages. With the French jumping expert company, the brand was engaged with a tremendous examination project, Ploprof, to build up the most ideal watch for remote ocean immersion plunging, for professional utilize as it were. (Editor’s note, Ploprof represents Plongeur Professionel, Professional Diver in French). The COMEX utilized Omega watches for testing on both its Physalie (1968-1972) and Janus (1968-1977) programs. By 1968, Omega had created two sorts of prototypes following similar prerequisite determinations. Two Ploprof projects coded inside ‘Ploprof 0’ and ‘Ploprof 1’ that would at last become commercial models.
Among the tough necessities of the Ploprof projects, decompression for immersion plunging was a significant issue. As jumpers go further and more profound, pressure delivers the air harmful and jumpers need to breathe various gas blends immersed with helium to forestall the risk of inactive gas narcosis. As probably the littlest component, helium can infiltrate a watch where water or oxygen can’t. During a profound jump, the pressing factor inside the watch step by step approaches that of the vessel/ringer. During the climb, the inversion to surface pressing factor can in the long run cause the precious stone to pop off.
Several approaches were contrived to address this issue. In the last part of the 1960s, Rolex and Doxa dealt with the helium alleviation valve (HRV) a smart answer for empower the strain to escape naturally when the contrast between the internal and external pressing factor ascends to a basic level. In any case, the expansion of a HRV comes with a downside. It adds another opening in the watch case: another point that may influence its water-resistance.
Watchmakers likewise dealt with case structures to keep the glass from flying off. (The Seamaster 300 CK2913 itself gave an intriguing arrangement. Its hesalite glass highlighted a level edge and was embedded from the caseback and afterward kept up by a ring screwed from the caseback as well. With this development, the gem isn’t held set up by pressure and thus it can’t pop out).
If you don’t give helium access, you needn’t bother with a HRV. This is basic, coherent however actually quite difficult. To make an invulnerable case, Omega chose to machine a Monobloc case. The point was to keep the focuses through which helium may enter a case to a minimum
Ploprof 1 – Seamaster 600
The Ploprof 1 prototype brought forth the Seamaster 600 Plongeur Professionel, the PloProf as far as we might be concerned today. The model appeared commercially in 1971/1972. This monster of a plunge watch was 55mm x 13.5mm and stood apart with its lopsided plan and its monobloc case development that would not let any gas in.
The PloProf was evaluated water-impervious to 600m however was tried to pressures surpassing 1,300m. Among its other exceptional attributes was its synthetically solidified mineral glass, its dial format and its bezel locking gadget. The bezel is bi-directional yet it must be turned while squeezing the red pusher.
Pioneering the utilization of 904L steel for watches
The materials and metals used to specialty a particularly cutting edge watch were of central significance. The Comex jumpers working in very destructive conditions (explicitly for oil penetrating) required a watch created from an exceptionally safe metal. Omega attempted a few materials (included titanium!) and wound up making the Ploprof out of .
This inventive composite is completely appropriate for offshore and subsea ventures. Uranus steel was likewise utilized by Comex to create apparatuses that would be profoundly impervious to seawater consumption and forceful conditions. Today, it is better known under the name Inox 904L, the sort of amalgam utilized by Rolex toward the finish of the 1980s. For additional subtleties on this theme, check our video distributed a couple of days prior: the Seamaster Chronicles, Part 1 .
Ploprof 0 – Seamaster 1000
The second Ploprof project – named inside as ‘Ploprof 0’ at Omega – is less known and was really the first! It was indeed built up a couple of months before the Ploprof 1 and would conceive an offspring during the 1970s to one of the most extraordinary and generally sought-after Seamaster watches,
Engineered for immersion professional diving
The ‘Ploprof 0’ shares numerous attributes with the Seamaster 600. Everything about this apparatus/professional programmed jump watch had a utilitarian reason. The monstrous steel case was a monobloc development, 38mm from 9 to 3 o’clock, 54mm from 12 to 6 o’clock. The thick mineral gem of the prototype was produced using two separate parts that were accordingly joined safely together. Like this, the complicated type of the gem’s profile could be made easily. The actual gem was gotten to the situation by a ring from the top. The crown was situated to one side of the case to evade any undesirable tasks submerged while permitting the wrist to move openly. While the case for the commercialized models would be bended for enhanced ergonomics, the prototype actually highlighted a level case with a scored hostile to slip back. The bezel was rotatable with a no-decompression graduation in metres.
The high differentiation dial included tritium-covered markers. The moment hand was the most unmistakable hand since this is the solitary significant one. The short focal seconds hands, featured in orange, had no other utility than to watch that the watch was running.
Sincere on account of Petros Protopapas and the Omega Museum group for their help.