The Seamaster Professional traces its roots back to the very first Omega dive watch, the Seamaster 300 of 1957. Throughout the 1960s, you were almost as apt to see Seamasters on the wrists of divers as you were Rolex Submariners, and they were chosen by Britain’s Royal Navy for issue to its divers. The watch had a blend of utility, with its fully hashed bezel and sword hands, with a bit of panache via its twisted “lyre” lugs. I’ve often thought that, had Omega continued a slow evolution of the Seamaster 300 from its 1960s form (the ref. 166.024, for example), it would have been as much of a modern popular icon as the Submariner. But Omega abandoned the classic shape in favor of a slew of angular, bulbous, colorful Seamasters in the 1970s. These ambitious watches were classics in their own right, but lacked the pure through-line of the Sub. By the time the 1990s came along, dive watches had been replaced by wrist computers, and design could be freed from pure functionality. The introduction of the Seamaster Professional perfectly coincided with the reboot of the James Bond franchise with 1995’s Goldeneye, and it became 007’s watch of choice, creating a marketing bonanza for Omega that’s still effective today.
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