A Collector Talks About His Omega Seamaster Ploprof How he started with a vintage Ploprof and ended up with a modern one by Robert-Jan Broer May 22, 2020 MIN READA Collector Talks About His Omega Seamaster Ploprof
I have a weak spot for the Seamaster Ploprof, and last year I purchased the steel 1200M version. Although Omega still lists the steel Ploprof on their website, it is out of production since last year. I enjoy the watch a lot and noticed that I am not alone.
On Instagram, I got in touch with a fellow owner of the Seamaster Ploprof 1200M. I can’t remember exactly when I started to follow him, but I was triggered by his Instagram account name “Ploprof_guy”. He doesn’t have a very big account, but his pictures intrigued me. Besides his modern Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M, he also showed old black and white pictures of his father in Lebanon during the war in 1982. I reached out to him and asked him about his and his father’s Omega Seamaster Ploprof.
An interview with “Ploprof_guy”
RJ: Please tell me about your father and his Ploprof. You should some interesting pictures of him and his vintage Seamaster Ploprof 600.
Ploprof_Guy (PPG): My father was born in Israel, in 1969. He was very much an Omega guy, like me. His first Omega was one he got for his wedding, a gold Seamaster from the 1960s. It is the only watch he kept aside from the other Omega he is wearing today. Not the Ploprof, but the Seamaster 300M 2298.80. He is not a collector, but he loves Omega and has always been into the brand. The first watch I remember him wearing was a Flightmaster caliber 911.
RJ: And where did he get this Flightmaster? It must have been pre-owned when he got it?
PPG: Yes, he bought it in the early 1980s from a colleague at work. They were both in the construction business. This colleague only had it for a few months, but it wasn’t for him.
RJ: And were you already into watches? Is playing around with your dad’s Flightmaster your earliest recollection?
PPG: I always liked watches, since I was just a boy. The Flightmaster is the one that made me love watches even more. After that, I fell in love with Omega as a brand. When my father bought his Flightmaster, he gave me a Tissot and that was my first real watch. After that, I wore Swatch and, when I was 13, I received a Casio divers’ watch from my parents. When I turned 18, I received a Seiko diver that I still have today. I spent my military service as a tank commander and always wore that Seiko.
RJ: Back to you dad. When and why did he purchase the Seamaster Ploprof? Was he a diver or did he just like the aesthetics?
PPG: He loved the Flightmaster, which was already a big watch. But the Ploprof was even bigger, which he loved even more. So besides the brand and style, it was the size that he liked most. He traded his Flightmaster caliber 911 with another co-worker for his Seamaster Ploprof.
RJ: A lot of watch trading going on in the 1980s! Was your father aware of style icons such as Agnelli wearing one?
PPG: Not really, as mentioned he was not a collector and did not care about all the things “around” the brand. He did not even think it is important to save the original box and papers. He was into Omega and into big watches.
RJ: Did the Ploprof suffer a lot during his construction work business?
PPG: He wore it for almost 20 years during his work in the construction businesses, and as part of his IDF (Israel Defense Forces) service. The Ploprof was on his wrist during the war in Lebanon as well. He was a paratrooper commander. He never took it off, even when he was at home, even when he took a shower, so you can imagine the watch suffered a bit. Then, when my dad turned 50 in 2009, he received another watch from my mother. A brand new Omega Seamaster 300M Chronograph 2998.80. That night, my dad gave me his Ploprof. I was 25 years old at the time.
RJ: Wow! That’s some gift! Did you own an Omega watch before your dad gave you his Ploprof? Or any other mechanical watch?
PPG: I did not own an Omega before, but it was my entry into the Omega collecting world. I just had the watches I mentioned before. I thoroughly enjoyed the Seamaster Ploprof, but I was destined to have a Flightmaster. The watch that I recalled my dad wearing when I was younger. At some point, I sold the Seamaster Ploprof and bought a Flightmaster caliber 910 instead. For me, it was the start of collecting watches. Later on, I realized I shouldn’t have sold the Ploprof. In the end, I also sold that Flightmaster. But of course, I bought one back three years ago.
RJ: What did your father think of you selling the Ploprof for a Flightmaster?
PPG: He was glad I could use it to buy my dream watch. He wasn’t attached to the Ploprof and he got a new watch from my mother of course. But to be honest, I also did not understand the real value of the watch at the time.
RJ: What other Omega watches did you purchase?
PPG: I had the Flightmaster 910, and then I added the Speedmaster X-33 second generation. I sold them both at some point and bought the Planet Ocean 45.5mm. That was the moment I decided to actually start collecting and much more important, to never sell a watch again. Then I bought the new steel Seamaster Ploprof 1200M and another Flightmaster 910.
RJ: Before I purchased my Seamaster Ploprof 1200M, I tried both the vintage Ploprof 600M and the new one and decided I wanted the new one. How about you? Do you prefer the new Ploprof over the vintage one your dad (and you) had previously?
PPG: Yes! The moment I saw the advertisement for this watch (the one with the orange fishes…) I fell in love with it. But it took me almost nine years before I could buy it. I like everything about it. I think it is an example of how Omega took the original model and made a number of improvements. Personally, I liked the orange metal pusher (bezel unlock) better than the original red one. I also like the mesh Shark bracelet and the orange rubber strap.
RJ: Do you wear it often?
PPG: Yes, it is the watch I’m wearing the most from my current collection.
RJ: Does your father wear his Omega Seamaster 300M Chronograph every day?
PPG: Oh yes! It is always on his wrist.
RJ: Do you talk watches often with your dad?
PPG: Yes, every time we see each other. I’m living in Gibraltar and he lives in the USA. He mainly talks about getting a 2009 Ploprof 1200M and he makes me look online to find him one.
RJ: That’s cool. What is the one watch you would really like to own at some point?
PPG: I have my hunt list, which covers my next five watches. The one I would really want is the fist Snoopy Speedmaster from 2003. I think it is a super cool watch, and beside the history with NASA, I really loved Snoopy when I was a kid.
RJ: What is your favorite Omega at this moment?
PPG: Easy, still my Seamaster Ploprof 1200M.
RJ: Do you like the titanium Ploprof models (no Date and Master Chronometer)?
PPG: Not as much as the one I own. In general, I’m not a big fan of titanium as a material for watches. I like the heavy feel. Also, the lack of date is something I do not like so much. The steel Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M has the perfect connection to the original one and I like it.
RJ: When it comes to collecting, are you interested in aesthetics, or in the movements? What is your drive when looking for new watches?
PPG: It is more about the aesthetics and the history of the watch. I have to like the aesthetics first, and that is the most important part for me. I also like big watches so that is another requirement. If a watch has an interesting history, that’s definitely a plus (for example the Seamaster 120 as the watch the IDF pilots used during the 1970s).
RJ: Do you think having a lot of watches prevents you from creating your own personal history with them as your dad did with the Ploprof?
PPG: I can’t be happy only with one watch. In the past, I thought I would be, but I prefer collecting. I will create my history with a few watches. In fact, I have two sons and they already told me which watches they would prefer from my current collection.
RJ: Do you meet up with other collectors, or is it mainly an online thing for you?
PPG: I’m originally from Israel, but I live in Gibraltar now. It is a very small place so not much is happing here with watch collectors. I have a watchmaker here in Spain with whom I discuss watches from time to time. All the rest is online, with great people via my Instagram account.
I think watches can connect people, especially when you wear a watch you don’t see too often. I remember one time in Portugal, I was wearing my Seamaster Ploprof and saw a big biker guy in the supermarket. He looked pretty badass and not someone I would normally approach to talk to. But then I saw he was wearing a Ploprof as well! I couldn’t resist myself, walked up to him and compliment him about his watch. He looked at me as if he was going to have me for breakfast, but then he noticed I had the same watch on my wrist. Immediately he turned from a badass looking biker into a friendly big guy with a huge smile. In the end, I feel like I closed the circle when I bought this Ploprof.
RJ: Thanks for all your answers. How can people find you?
PPG: Via my Instagram account PloProf_Guy.
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About the author
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more
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