The Watches I’ve Taken On My Summer Holiday — RJ Shares His Picks From Omega And Swatch
The holidays, finally! I am writing this article during my holidays to make it even more realistic. On my wrist is my holiday companion since 2019, the Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M.
Watches I bring on my holidays
For holidays in the past, I used to bring a Seamaster 300M, Sea-Dweller, Speedmaster Professional, or my Marinemaster 300. Most of the time, it was a combination of the above. But I decided to travel light this year because I don’t want to leave a watch (or multiple watches) unattended in a cabin or hotel room these days.
The Omega Seamaster PloProf
After seeing one of my friends using the Seamaster PloProf 1200M as his daily companion for many years, I was convinced that I also wanted a PloProf. He even let me borrow his modern PloProf 1200M and his vintage one for a while.
For a while, I debated between a vintage PloProf and a modern version. In the end, I decided to go with a modern PloProf 1200M because I wanted to use it during my holidays and not care too much about old gaskets leaking, getting scratches and dents, and so on.
The steel model that Omega discontinued in 2019
The problem was, in 2019, after I tried to order one, I received an email from Omega saying that it had been discontinued. That didn’t bother me too much, to be honest, as I had enough watches anyway.
The titanium models that were introduced in 2016 are not for me, although they have a more advanced movement and lack a date on the dial (which I like). Despite the weight of 280 grams for the steel PloProf on a bracelet, I prefer it over the titanium version. But I can imagine that to some, the weight could become a bit annoying over time, so the titanium version is a good alternative.
Then, in May 2019, I received another email from Omega stating that they “found” a steel Seamaster PloProf 1200M for me. I picked it up shortly thereafter, and taking it off my wrist was tough. Despite the impressive dimensions of 55 × 48 × 17mm, it wears fantastically on my 19cm wrist. The “friendly” 48mm lug-to-lug is important here as this is approximately the same as a Speedmaster Professional. The 55mm width is impressive with the crown on the left and the automatic helium valve and orange release button for the bezel on the right.
Shark-proof bracelet and rubber straps
I bought mine on the steel mesh bracelet. It is heavy but incredibly comfortable on the wrist. Later, I added the rubber straps in both black and orange, and I use the steel clasp from the bracelet for these.
How deep do you go?
Normally, I don’t swim, so I’m never bothered by the depth ratings of watches. As long as they survive rain or a shower, I’m good. On my holidays, however, I go for a swim with my daughter and wife, and I like to keep my watch on when I plunge into the pool. I don’t need 1200 meters of water resistance. I don’t think I would need more than 50 meters anyway as I only use the pool to cool off. With my previous holiday choices, I also felt safe, even with my modern Speedmaster Professional (and yes, Omega HQ confirmed that it is OK to take that watch into the water. Just don’t touch the pushers or operate the crown).
During this year’s holiday in Italy, with temperatures up to 40°C, I noticed that the easy-adjust system in the clasp came in handy. I never cared much for it and ignored discussions around the topic mainly because temperatures in my home country are quite stable. But in the Tuscan heat, I used the bracelet extension of the PloProf more than once.
Inside the Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M
Inside the discontinued steel PloProf 1200M is Omega’s caliber 8500. It was the brand’s first new in-house movement since the 1970s and featured the proper implementation of George Daniel’s Co-Axial escapement. Omega also used the Co-Axial escapement before (since 1999) in the ETA-based caliber 2500. However, it was an interpretation of the system invented by Daniels and not how he envisioned it. In 2007, when Omega introduced the caliber 8500 in the De Ville Hour Vision Co-Axial, the movement fully adopted the Co-Axial concept. Then in 2009, when Omega introduced the PloProf 1200M inspired by the 1970 PloProf 600M, the brand decided to use this new Co-Axial chronometer movement for this beast of a watch.
Normally, I swap watches often, so unless a movement is really inaccurate, I barely notice deviations in accuracy. However, now that I have used the PloProf 1200M for a few weeks in a row, I noticed that it is still running spot on with the atomic-clock time I set before leaving home.
The Seamaster PloProf is a conversation starter
Besides being a watch with a cool background story (there was a strong relationship with COMEX for the original PloProf 600M models), it is also a watch that people notice, but not negatively. This watch has often been a conversation starter with other watch enthusiasts, even during my holidays. People who have no interest in watches also sometimes ask about “that thing” on my wrist.
For next year’s holiday, I think I need to have its gaskets checked before I jump into a swimming pool. Unlike the original PloProf from the 1970s, it is not a monobloc case, so there’s also a gasket for the case back.
MoonSwatch Mission to Jupiter
Oh, and there’s the other watch that I brought for this holiday. It’s the MoonSwatch Mission to Jupiter. My wife brought her MoonSwatch Mission to Venus and her Speedmaster. I was lucky enough to buy the Jupiter at the Swatch boutique in Zürich Airport, and Sinara picked up my wife’s MoonSwatch at the Swatch boutique in Rotterdam (thank you!). I admit that I’ve only worn the MoonSwatch once or twice during the holidays in Italy and Austria (where I am now). It’s a cool watch, but I noticed that I’m not fond of the Velcro strap that came with it.
I already flipped it around to make it more comfortable to wear, but I will put on a different strap when we get home. The colors of the MoonSwatches that we brought are nice; the pink Mission to Venus looks great on my wife, and I like the sand color of the Jupiter case. You know what? I will wear my MoonSwatch this evening during dinner.
The Swatch MoonSwatch is just a fun watch to wear, and in terms of weight, it’s the total opposite of the Seamaster PloProf 1200M. I feel it’s a pity that Omega discontinued the steel PloProf 1200M, but I guess it was never a good seller. If you want one, you can find one on the pre-owned market, for sure.
What watches are you taking on your holiday this year? Will you pack light, or will you take several pieces along? Let me know in the comments.
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