First produced in 1970 and later relaunched in 2009, the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M Co-Axial Master Chronometer replica watches UK – as it is today called – is one of the world’s most unique and, yes, iconic dive watches. It quite remains the Quasimodo character today, even among professional dive watches, which admittedly have a tendency of getting rather lairy-looking from time to time. But there is charm – and a lot of it – to go with the Ploprof and its, well, “developed taste” looks. This new model for 2016 – originally debuted in 2015 in different colors – is lighter, more rugged, and more refined than the Ploprof ever has been; so let’s see how it faired over an extended period of wear.
Here’s a contradiction. One would think that the luxury watch industry – with its self-imposed-luxurious price levels, exquisite movement decorations and delicate case finishing – has in every practical way detached itself from the original notion and practicality of its historical products, the very products it has taken as inspiration and elevated to those aforementioned levels of quality, refinement, and (un-)affordability.
Yet, Omega fake watches lovers around the world (including the one typing this) will forever love a strong connection between modern and historical pieces, and drift towards luxury watches that imply (or, in the case of the Ploprof: scream) “Purpose Built” at them. There is this almost intangible longing for a luxury product that says it can go deeper, faster, harder while being lighter, more robust and reliable than it ever was – even if their true purpose in life is to perform desk diving missions (a most descriptive term for their true use), and, sadly, in some cases to impress yahoos… All that enjoy utmost priority to actual technicalities like smartly releasing helium atoms through levels of decompression from deep-dive military tasks.
So, what’s a 55 by 48 millimeter wide, super weird, form follow function shaped, titanium and ZrO2 ceramic encased, 1.2 kilometer water resistant, anti-magnetic watch with a price tag above $13,000 doing in 2016? What it is doing is ticking all those boxes I mentioned: it mixes luxury levels of refinement with purpose-built looks. This doesn’t mean that it’s for everyone – how could it possibly be, when it’s so over the top? But new models added every year to the Ploprof collection prove that, thankfully, there is demand for this kind of stuff.
We are just two months ahead of the luxury Panerai replica watches UK fair SIHH 2017, so it was about time for a head-turner pre-event teaser, which in this case is the – you guessed it, vintage-inspired – Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio Brevettato PAM685 and PAM687 watches. Some cool details here, so let’s take a look, before we go hands-on with it in 8 weeks time.
As far as dive watch lore is concerned, Panerai has been there since the beginning of man’s mid-century race to the bottom of the sea, and has a number of extremely rare vintage editions provided to the Royal Italian Navy to prove it. One such example was the original Radiomir, whose unique, 12-sided bezel was proudly engraved with the proclamation of its patented (“Brevettato”) design – you know, just in case navy divers wanted to copy it, or something. Since Panerai surfaced as a commercially available brand, it has been dipping into its archives to recreate this super cool blend of military-grade ruggedness and sleek Italian design, and the Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio Brevettato PAM685/PAM687 watches fit into that larger picture beautifully.
While most watch brands are content to drop in a date aperture, increase the case size by a few millimeters, and finish things off with a generous dose of beige Super-LumiNova, Panerai is trying to preserve the exact dimensions and aged character of the original with this new Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio Brevettato… they do go so far as to offer the watch in two dial variants: the PAM685, as seen above, comes with a standard black dial and the aforementioned beige luminous cutouts…
…While the PAM687 takes the faux-patina adoption to new heights with a brown “tropical” dial designed to mimic the discoloration that occurs over time on lacquered dials (enamel, by contrast, will never fade, but these having been military spec watches, there of course was no demand for fancy enameled dials). It’s the first time Panerai has ever introduced an offering quite like this, so love it or hate it, the significance is still certainly notable.
The rest of the watch mirrors other aspects of the original Radiomir, including the swarthy 47mm case diameter Panerai fake watches, Plexiglass crystal, wire lugs, time-only indication without even running seconds, and of course, an oversized onion crown – a necessity carried over from military watches of the era that had to be wound while wearing gloves. Unlike the originals, though, Panerai is including a spare crystal in the package – Plexiglass does scratch considerably more easily than sapphire – for those who prefer their watch to not accumulate the same levels of character that the vintage editions might now be found in.