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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Ordinarily I wouldn't review a watch I'd only worn for an hour or so, but this is a special case. This past Tuesday I had the chance to inspect, wear and photograph the new Ploprof at the Omega boutique in Sydney. Up front, I have to thank the boutique's watchmaker, David, for repeatedly calling me every time the watch was in the shop and available. We finally made the connection yesterday. Sadly, they couldn't let me take the watch out of the store, so my hour of scouting to pick out four locations for shooting outdoors in downtown Sydney was for naught. I understand their position since I'm not an established customer of theirs. So all of these photos were taken inside the shop, which is harshly spotlit with halogen lamps in order to make the watches 'sparkle', but which is less than optimal for photography. I was having wicked white balancing problems, so bear with me. I think you can see that WB varies from shot to shot as I tried my best to correct for the lighting conditions.



First impressions are positive. The watch is solid huge and handsome, with an excellent case finish which is quite similar to the original and other tool dive watches. The rubber is thick and comfortable and the clasp closes like the door of an expensive sport sedan. The bezel moves smoothly once unlocked via the pushbutton, though detents are a shade soft and indistinct. Whilst the crown is a different configuration, and more secure and confidence-inspiring than the original, the mechanism of tightening the crown and its guard will be familiar to Ploprof owners: press inwards with the thumb, tighten the crown with the index. The whole crown/stem assembly is much sturdier than that of the old watch. It's easy to use and nearly impossible to foul up. When operating it, you get the sense that you'd never cross the threads and that it will always work the way it should.



Further inspection reveals some of the loss of dive watch functionality that is apparent on direct comparison with the original: no drilled lugs, the minute hand is anodised orange, as is the side of the pushbutton, which is great in the light but the hand is harder to see when not in direct light. This is a step backwards in terms of dive watch functionality. The orientation of the date wheel is a mistake IMO. When you look at the watch while wearing it, your line of sight is almost perpendicular to the date window orientation (see wrist shots below).



The new model has a bigger dial, bigger case and is thicker - about what one would expect given current watch trends and what is needed in a broad watch with a 1200m depth rating. In comparing the new dial to the old one, the applied polished markers are clearly a step forward in legibility, but at the same time some of the refinement of the older dial has been lost with the change in the 12 markers and added text. The larger bezel numbers are an easier read, but a bit OTT, more like something you'd see in a CitiSeiko. The orange dot inside the bezel 12 triangle is useless as far as I can tell - another detail adding visual noise to the watch face which adds no functionality.



Photos of what some will consider the best part of this watch, the back (crown unscrewed to expose the slotted 'key' mechanism of the crown guard):





The back is certainly more attractive, with some ridges maintained as a nod to the functionality of the vintage model.



The clasp recalls the Sinn silicone clasp, massive with a positive closing mechanism. There is a diver's wetsuit extension and a micro-adjust which allows for exact fit in a variety of conditions, but only when the watch is off the wrist. The clasp is just excellent, no other way to describe it. The only way it could be better if the micro adjust could be managed whilst the watch was on the wrist. Ideally, you could let the micro-adjust all the way out, don the watch and then squeeze the clasp down to fit. As it is, the clasp has to be adjusted by trial and error, removing and donning the watch multiple times.



The profile shot. The '09 Ploprof is much thicker and bulkier than the vintage. The strap is correspondingly thicker, but still every bit as comfortable as the original.





I've read in a few spots that the lug width is 24mm. I think it's pretty clear here that the lug width is 24mm - identical to the vintage Ploprof lug width.



Now, the group shots. I've got all three major dial variants here with me in Oz and brought them all with me to the boutique in order to shoot the four Ploprof generations together as a group. From left to right: first generation dial (600 in the middle of the three lines of text at the bottom of the dial), second generation dial (600 at the bottom), the current superluminova replacement third generation dial (both meters and feet listed in the depth rating), and the 2009 Ploprof.



On the wrist the new Ploprof wears much like the original, except heavier. It's noticeably heavier on the rubber strap than the vintage watch is on mesh. I've written on the forums before that I'd need to wear this watch IRL before making a buying decision and at this point I feel my resolve weakening...



 
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Beautiful watch, and an excellent review! How long has the AD in Sydney had the new Ploprof? My AD here in the States has never even heard of a Ploprof (disappointing as that is), and said an Omega rep would be coming in the next few months to discuss new models. Could it take that long to make it to the US?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are a few pre-production samples circulating among the various Omega boutiques around the world. Delivery of production watches is estimated to start anywhere from July to September, depending on who you believe ;-)
 
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it doesn't get any better Nalu!...Congrats on a Awesome Plop and a great review Buddy!....a future collectible for sure |>|>
 

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Nalu,

Excellent review, I've been waiting for more info on this one. And nice job on the shots considering the conditions you had to work with. This is a watch people either love or hate, I have always loved the original and with the new release of this one my excitement has only grown. I too have checked with my AD and no word yet on availability. To me, this new Ploprof is a "grail" if there ever is such a thing. As we get closer to real world availability I foresee a garage sale in my future on some pieces that are in the back of the watch boxes.

Thanks for sharing. |>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all. If anyone has other questions or wants to see other views, ask away! Dave and I talked about this watch and other Omega projects the whole time and I shot over 200 photos b-)
 

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Colin, great shots as all we've seen in the past were the front only pics. The back of the case does look very nice and the crown mechanism looks well engineered. I like the strap and buckle as well.

My only beef with this watch is date placement and orientation. It seems very awkward compared to the original (and the LM-7). OK...second beef...the price. While the movement is exquisite and the update long overdue...that's too much spare $$$ to part on this one. Oh well...I'll just stick with what I'm wearing today.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Marcin, I forgot to mention the date orientation. Dave and I talked about it at length because it's a niggle for me also: with the watch on the left wrist, when you glance at it to get the time and date, your line of sight is nearly perpendicular to the date display. A clean swing and miss from Omega IMO. They've also done the same on the new AT I noticed <|
 

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Beautiful work, based on your conditions :-!.

Thanks Marcin, I forgot to mention the date orientation. Dave and I talked about it at length because it's a niggle for me also: with the watch on the left wrist, when you glance at it to get the time and date, your line of sight is nearly perpendicular to the date display. A clean swing and miss from Omega IMO. They've also done the same on the new AT I noticed <|
Maybe, but for those of us that wear watches on our right wrists...it's just fine :).
 

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Any idea of the price in Aussie $$
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beautiful work, based on your conditions :-!.

Maybe, but for those of us that wear watches on our right wrists...it's just fine :).
Sometimes I wear my watches on my right wrist and I rarely have a problem - the Ploprof being an exception. The crown assembly is just too big to be comfortable and it impinges on the wrist during normal activities. The new watch, which is even wider than the vintage version (48mm v 45mm, with most of the extra 3mm of width in the crown protection area), is even worse.

Sorry John, no idea of retail prices here in Oz. I'm hearing ~6500USD from guys who get returning customer breaks from their Omega AD in the US.
 

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As we get closer to real world availability I foresee a garage sale in my future on some pieces that are in the back of the watch boxes.
|>
Cool. b-) You watch for the '09 Ploprof Demo, and some of us will patiently await your garage sale. :p

Cheers,
Jared
 
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