The concept was ready so it was time to put it to its paces: replica omega Seamaster 300m
, likely "inspired" by Rolex's marketing successes, set out to prove the special capabilities of their watch by testing through a series of challenges, challenges which were of previously unimaginable difficulty. In 1936 a couple of replica omega Planet Ocean 42
watches spent minutes in hot water (of 85 degree Celsius) and were then quickly submerged to a depth of 70 meters in the 5 degree Celsius cold waters of Lake Geneva for thirty minutes. When they were taken out, all pieces (two complete watches and a case with no movement inside) were functioning perfectly, showing no traces of water inside.
Three years after the successful tests, in 1939, http://www.speedroc.com/replica-omega-speedmaster-broad-arrow-gmt.html
revealed the Marine Standard. It was a slightly redesigned version of the Marine from 1932, as this new piece served to transfer the Marine and most of its abilities into the publicly available collections of the brand. The case had become less complex to reduce manufacturing costs, but it retained the rectangular shape of the original. It was due to this angular shape that�Cquite obviously�Cno threaded case components could have been used. Instead, in order to properly seal the sapphire crystal and the case, they went on to use rubber gaskets, a solution still used today!
On the first series of Marine Standards the sapphire crystal was fitted from below the bezel (i.e. from the caseback side). With that done, Omega would install the dial, the movement and the crown. The problem this construction created was that while as pressure built up it pressed the case onto the caseback, and pushed the crystal towards the inside of the watch, weakening the seals. This decreased the Standard's water resistance to a mere two atmospheres (around 20 meters), which was incomparable to its predecessor's performance. For the following generations, however, the crystal had been installed from "above," a process that, although widely used today, at the time (during the early '40s) was a novel idea that substantially increased water resistance.
For a kick-off, it is important to clarify that the Rolex Oyster indeed was the first properly waterproof watch�Cas validated by Gleitze's swim and the time it spent in fish tanks. However, it was with reason that she wore it on a necklace and not on her wrist: this way the watch had been not subjected to the rather brutal forces of it splashing into the water with every motion of her arm, for hours on end. The first step towards improved durability was the already discussed Omega Marine, but even so, it saw little use as professional diving (not to mention its much later developed, hobby-inspired alternatives) had not been fully developed at the time. In fact, it took the better part of another decade or so until underwater activities became more ubiquitous; the primary reason being that diving equipments were very heavy, not very safe, and limited in availability. This radically changed with the 1942 invention of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and ��mile Gagnan: the aqua-lung.