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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, ref. 2909.50.38, introduced 2005
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Seamaster Pro versus its Competition

How does the Seamaster Professional stack up compared to Rolex and Breitling diving watches?

  1. How does the Rolex Submariner/Seadweller compare?
  2. How does the Breitling AeroMarine SuperOcean/Colt compare?

How does the Rolex Submariner/Seadweller compare to the Seamaster Pro Diver?


Rolex Submariner [Rolex]
The Rolex Submariner is the most compared watch to the Seamaster Professional. These two watches are very comparable in function and styling. Yet the weight of the venerable Rolex name and reputation versus OMEGA's history and greater attainability makes these a very interesting pair to choose between.

Similarities between the Seamaster and the Submariner

  • Both are diving watches rated to 1000 feet (300 meters), with rotating calibrated bezels. The styling of the two watches give them the same general look, yet with numerous unique differences in details.
  • Both are offered in stainless steel and all-gold versions. Both have also been available in steel/gold, though OMEGA has discontinued some of the steel/gold versions in the 2000 model year.
  • Although the Rolex name is better known throughout the world, many people inside the watch industry consider the OMEGA and Rolex watches to be comparable in workmanship and durability.
  • Both have been associated with James Bond. The Submariner appeared in several of the movies starting with the 1961 film Dr. No. Though the Submariner was not referenced in the Ian Fleming Bond novels (it was not even available when the earlier novels came out), the author did indicate that Bond wore a military-style Rolex. The Seamaster began its association with Bond in the 1995 film Goldeneye.
  • Both offer a similar version with a second hour hand -- the Rolex GMT-Master and the OMEGA Seamaster GMT. But the Rolex GMT is only rated to 330 feet underwater -- 1/3 the depth the Seamaster GMT is rated for.

Differences between the Seamaster and the Submariner

  • The Submariner was introduced in 1954 and has visually changed only subtly since then. OMEGA has produced Seamaster diver's watches since the first Seamaster 300 in 1957. In the early 1960's, the Seamaster Diver changed to a larger diver's bezel, similar to that on the Submariner. But none of the Seamaster diving watches bore a consistent series name until the Seamaster Professional line was introduced in 1988. Since then, the Seamaster Professional Diver changed case design in 1993 and changed or added dial/hands designs in 1989, 1993 and 2000. Additional chronographs models have been added with their own style variations.
  • The Submariner is notably more expensive than the Seamaster. USA 1998 list prices are: Submariner in steel $3,350, in steel and gold $5,800, and all-gold $19,250. Seamaster Professional automatic in steel $1,750, in steel and gold $2,995, and all-gold $17,000.
  • The full-size Seamaster Pro is about the same size as the Submariner. But the Seamaster Professional is also available in a somewhat smaller mid-size model that is closer in size to the Rolex DateJust.
  • The base model Submariner has a simpler movement which lacks the date indicator and has not been certified as a 'chronometer' by COSC.
  • Seamaster has a synthetic sapphire crystal. Most newer Submariners also have the sapphire crystal, but older ones came with acrylic crystals.
  • Rolex offers numerous optional faces and bezels with different materials and inset stones. In many cases, these can be added or changed later to update or change the appearance of the watch. Starting in 2000, OMEGA offers two different dial/hand styles, but these cannot be swapped later.
  • OMEGA offers a number of options on the Seamaster Professional not available with the Submariner. OMEGA has several chronograph versions, some titanium versions, and a choice of automatic or quartz movement in many of the Seamaster models. Some of the mens models have a sharkskin or rubber strap instead of metal bracelet.
  • The two are fairly comparable on resale value as a percentage of original price. But be sure to read the section on the myths of resale values so you understand what this really means to you.
  • Because Rolex is so well known and in demand, you would likely find a buyer even faster for it. If you were suddenly transported to any major city in the world and needed cash, you could convert a genuine Rolex to cash in a heartbeat.
The one other significant factor between the Rolex and OMEGA watches is the uniqueness. Because of their success, Rolex's designs are heavily copied by makers of inexpensive and replica watches. So it is hard for a Rolex to look like a Rolex because everything else looks like a Rolex, too. This is sad, because Rolex designs are excellent. But it is likely that you'll run into people with $15-$150 watches that looks just like your $2,000+ genuine Rolex. Don't believe me? Check out the watch department at Wal-Mart. They have cheap watches that look close enough to Rolex Datejusts, Submariners, Explorers, or Presidents that they would pass as real to a casual observer who wasn't close enough to see the non-Rolex logo.


How does the Breitling SuperOcean compare to the Seamaster Pro Diver?


Breitling Superocean [Breitling]
The Breitling SuperOcean, previously known as the "Colt SuperOcean," but now called the "AeroMarine SuperOcean," is probably the second most compared watch to the Seamaster Professional. While very similar in function and price, they offer very different styles of a diving watch. Breitling introduced some changes in the 1999 SuperOcean that made these watches even closer in features than before.

Similarities between the Seamaster Professional and the SuperOcean

  • Both are diving watches of essentially the same 41mm diameter, with rotating calibrated bezels and helium relief valves.
  • Both are offered in stainless steel and all-gold versions.
  • 1999 USA retail prices on the watches are almost identical. The Seamaster Professional Diver in steel is $1,750 while the SuperOcean in steel is $1,725.
  • Both offer a similar chronograph version -- the Breitling Avenger Chronograph and the OMEGA Seamaster Professional Chronograph.

Differences between the Seamaster Professional and the SuperOcean

  • The Breitling watches have a more 'technical' look -- exhibited by a fair amount of writing and calibrated markings on the dials, raised pieces at four points on the bezel, and a look emphasizing mechanical shapes like gears, wheels, and screws. By contrast, the OMEGA Seamaster Professional watches go for a cleaner, more classic look -- similar to the conservative stylistic approach Rolex uses.
  • All Seamaster Professional automatic models since 1988 have been COSC certified. SuperOcean automatics starting with the 1999 model year are also COSC certified, though pre-1999 models were not.
  • The SuperOcean is rated for diving up to 3,280 feet (1000 meters). The Seamaster Professional is rated to a lesser 1000 feet (300 meters). Though it is important to note that both significantly exceed the maximum safe depth of 130 feet (40 meters) for a wetsuit diver.
  • The SuperOcean is a much heavier watch -- it weighs in at 174 grams on a steel bracelet (92.5 grams without bracelet). The full size Seamaster Professional Diver is about 150 grams on steel bracelet, the mid size is about 130 grams.
  • In parallel with the weight difference, the SuperOcean is the thicker of the two, measuring 14.9 mm thick versus only 11 mm for the Seamaster Professional. Though the Seamaster Professional Chronograph is still the 'big daddy' at a whopping 16.3 mm thick!
  • The Seamaster Professional has a synthetic sapphire crystal. The SuperOcean comes with a sapphire crystal starting with the 1999 models. Pre-1999 SuperOceans came with a mineral glass crystal.
  • OMEGA offers the Seamaster Professional in a variety of additional combinations including steel/gold, titanium, GMT, mid-size, and quartz versions.
  • OMEGA offers many of the Seamaster Professional models (except the Chronograph and GMT) in both automatic and quartz versions. Breitling offers the SuperOcean only in automatic, but the similar Colt Ocean series with lesser water resistance is available in both quartz and automatic.
  • Breitling offers the SuperOcean in a Professional (1,500 meter) version.

Where can I find out more details and comparisons about this and similar Breitling models?
In addition to the Official Breitling web site at breitling.com, also try Juan Irming's excellent Unofficial Breitling FAQ at irming.com/bfaq/.

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