The Omega Seamaster Professional Chronograph Ref. 2225.80 & 2599.80 Current MSRP: $4,800 AUD Movement: The Seamaster Pro Chronograph uses the Omega Caliber 1164 movement, a lightly decorated and modified version of ETA’s top of the range “Chronometer” grade 7750, integrated chronograph movement. The practical implications of Omegas modifications are limited to a slightly improved winding mechanism featuring a heavier rotor, which while hidden behind a steel case-back, makes its presence felt when worn on the wrist, as the increased rotor weight makes the feeling of your watch spinning like a top more pronounced as the weight free-spins in the non winding direction. The ETA 7750 movement is not rare, aesthetically pleasing, elegant, or sophisticated, and doesn't pretend to be. Its a simple sandwich of three steel plates with a cam and shuttle chronograph mechanism, plastic internal components, and uni-directional winding. In other words – it is a machine built by the same type of engineer that brought us the Land Rover, the Kalashnikov rifle, and the Honda motorcycle; rugged, simple and designed to last. The chronograph engagement, stopping, and resetting is firm, with a definite audible click heard and felt through the pusher, the force required making it extremely difficult for them to be pressed in error. Winding is firm, partly due to the crown seals, and partly due to the small size of the crown. A power reserve of 44 hours combined with a highly efficient automatic winding mechanism thanks to the heavy rotor make the Seamaster Pro Chronograph a very convenient choice for both active and sedentary lifestyles, while the movement beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, is remarkably accurate, with the newer 2225.80 model keeping a consistent +1.5 seconds per day on the wrist, and +2.0 in the dial up position after four (4) years of use without servicing. The 2599.80 model tested dates back to 1997, and after fourteen (14) years of clearly very hard use with no servicing, the older Seamaster is keeping -10.0 seconds per day on the wrist with very good consistency. The only slight drawback to the design is that the movement uses a slow date-change mechanism, occurring between 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM, which can be damaged if the quick-set date-change mechanism is operated between those hours. Aside form this the watch is effectively fool proof, and one of the most dependable on the market. Case: The Seamaster Professional chronograph features a much thicker case than the normal Seamaster Professional at 16.5mm, however this is hidden to some extent by the case-back, which bulges out of the back of the frame while the rest of the case arches up towards the center. As a result of this, the end-links are much thicker, and do not match the normal Seamaster Professional bracelets. The side effect of this arched case is that the crown and pushers are lifted well clear of the wrist, and will not cause any irritation at all for those that find themselves bothered by their watch crown digging into their skin. The width of the case is a moderate “full-size” 41.5mm, which wears slightly larger than a Rolex sports watch, but only just. The thick, scalloped bezel moves in 120 increments of 30 seconds, with minute markers placed for the first 15 minutes, and 5 minute markings thereafter, making for a very clean and legible design at a glance, while the smooth edges can make it somewhat difficult to grip in wet or greasy conditions. The Seamaster Professional Chronograph uses a thick, domed crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside only, granting the piece very good readability under a wide range of lighting conditions, with only the slightest hint of the crystal standing proud of the bezel, which should make chipping extremely unlikely. The case features two sets of internal lugholes, one for the Omega “Bond” bracelet near the bottom of the lugs, and a second set, in the middle of the lugs. The reason for this is that the lower holes allow the bracelet to be pressed up against the case more tightly, eliminating gaps between the end-link and case by effectively using the tension on the bracelet, and the spring-bar as a lever to keep the gap flush, while the upper set of holes can be used with a leather or cloth strap, or mesh bracelet where a flush fit is not relevant. Bracelet: The bracelet fitted to all Seamaster Professional Chronographs is the Omega “Bond” 20mm design with integrated diver's extension. The Bond bracelet is made from 316L Stainless Steel, as is the rest of the case, and features both solid links, and solid end-links. The bracelet is 20mm wide, and has no taper to it at all, meaning the clasp is the same width as the end-links, which gives the bracelet a unique symmetrical look that differs from most dive watches including all Rolex lines, and many other Omegas. The bracelet is extremely comfortable to wear, with no sharp edges, and no hair pinching whatsoever, and has a great feeling of balance to it, as its heft balances out the large head of the watch, distributing the 211g of total mass evenly around the wrist. This mass is noticeable only for the first couple of days, and would not be considered too heavy at all by anyone that has actually given it a chance, actually wearing better than many other head heavy designs. The clasp requires pressing two push buttons to open, and sits very securely while being very convenient to open, particularly for those with no fingernails. The clasp extension and diver's extension are tucked inside the clasp and sit flush against it, causing no irritation to the underside of the wearer's wrist. The bracelet is a non-self marking design, meaning when set down the bracelet will not scratch itself or the case-back. The only two drawbacks of the design are that the diver's extension, if not folded correctly can stick out and fowl against the clasp extension, and secondly, that the bracelet uses a pin and bushing design with half-links instead of the more convenient screw-pin and micro-adjust chosen by Rolex among others. Dial and Hands: The Seamaster chronograph dial appears very clean in spite of its complexity, with a traditional ETA 7750 dial layout of seconds at nine o'clock, minutes at twelve o'clock, hours at six o'clock, and date at three. The wave pattern on the dial appears almost matte at a distance, and serves to greatly reduce glare while adding an iconic design element that has come to symbolize the Seamaster line. The hands, of a skeleton design with space in the center, allow a very clear, unobstructed view of the dial, and in particular the sub-dials which a solid hand would not, and make for excellent readability, while being another unique design cue that identifies the watch as a member of the Seamaster line. Thought has also been put into the chronograph second hand, which being long and narrow allows for maximum visibility, while the thick lume plot eclipses all three sub-dial centers in each orbit. Its the small details such as this that set Omega's long running diver aside from its competitors. Lume visibility is adequate; with 8 lume plots on the 2225.80 all but 12,3,6 and 9 o'clock while the 2599.80 features lume on all hour markers. The brightness is not of the same level as the Omega Planet Ocean, which glows like a torch at night, but is on par with Rolex sports models. Why you should own one: The Omega Seamaster Professional Chronograph stands as one of the most effective multi-purpose automatic chronograph watches on the market with two features setting it apart from the competition. The first, and most technically remarkable is the water resistance of the watch, at 300M, which not only equals the regular Seamaster Professional and Rolex Submariner, but by virtue of a brilliantly design pusher seal system, allows the pushers of the Seamaster Professional Chronograph to be used underwater at full depth, putting it in a very limited group of true diver's chronographs. The second and by far the biggest benefit of this watch is its durability. The heavy, thick, steel case, robust and well designed bracelet, thick crystal, over sized crown and pusher guards, and renowned ETA 7750 movement make these some of the strongest and most dependable watches in production, with the fourteen year old 2599.80 in particular being proof of this, having taken abuse and beatings over its near decade and a half of service that had left the case dented and bezel bent, while still performing accurately and reliably. These truly are tool watches, capable of use on boats, in military, and the outdoors just as well as at a desk, and at the current new and used prices they are available for, this Omega stands as one of the absolute best value timepieces on the market.