The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is a well-known, one of the best dive watches of all time. One of the aspects of it’s popularity comes from standing apart from Rolex Submariner (another great watch). While so many companies trying to copy look and feel of Rolex Submariner, Omega is proudly keeps developing Seamaster Planet Ocean, maintaining it’s individual and unique style.
Interestingly Seamaster and Seamaster Planet Ocean that we know and love today were very different watches when they first came out. For starting, they weren’t professional diving watches. When the model has been introduced to the public, it was a fashionable watch with a water resistance feature, meaning that while on a visit to Hamptons you could some occasional water to be splashed on your watch. As of today the watch evolved into luxury, fashionable timepiece that looks great in the office, promotes active lifestyle and works at a great ocean depths. Seamaster became an icon and important watch for Omega – especially as the brand continued to focus on a range of important high-intensity activities from racing to diving, and everything else where sturdy and reliable watches are needed.
The stainless steel case is very solid and well-made. Ceramic bezel is very nice and has a high level of durability. One of the interesting facts about Seamaster is the use of “liquid metal,” a metal alloy with such a low melting point (400 degrees Celsius) that the molten metal can be pressed into the bezel’s notches without damaging the surrounding ceramic. Steel alloys ordinarily used for watches have a hardness between 200 and 240 Vickers, but liquid metal is harder: 600 Vickers. The ceramic used for the bezel is even harder (1,200 Vickers), so after the liquid metal has been pressed into the notches, any excess alloy can be scraped away without marring the ceramic. Omega’s combination of ceramic and liquid metal results in a very hard and finely crafted dive-time ring.
On the right hand side at three o’clock mark sits a screw crown and on the left at ten o’clock there is a helium release valve. The helium release valve is a bit funny because it is mostly here to add a bit of “cred” to the watch as well as offer an addition crown that makes the watch look cool. Call it extra-functionality or vestigial – it doesn’t matter. It is a feature you’ll never use but somehow feel better about having it in your watch.
Omega has been perfecting the dial of the Planet Ocean for a long time. The dial has pretty much everything you need, and very little you do not. It is a very good balance of information markers and an empty space. Let’s start with these iconic hands. The double broad arrow hands are well defined and properly sized. Like other Planet Oceans, two different colors of lume have been used, the blue SuperLumiNova lume is applied throughout the watch, except the the minute hand and the bezel pip are green. Also note that the cardinal markers are quite a bit shorter than the others. If all the markers were identical, which is quite common, you would have almost no point of reference, and the time can be easy misread at a glance. Large Arabic numerals adorn the dial, they help maintain the symmetry with the gap created by the date complication at three o’clock. The combination of these features making the dial very readable.
The date display can be reset backward if necessary, rather than having to move it dozens of days forward. It jumps forward to tomorrow or back to yesterday as necessary when you set the hour hand forward or backward in hourly increments. Sapphire crystal is very evenly cut and offers no discernible distortion when viewed at from extreme angles.
THE BRACELET AND THE STRAP
The famous Planet Ocean bracelet is a beautiful thing to look and wear. Planet Ocean get a very easy to use micro-adjust system for the clasp. Diver or not, this is a great benefit because you can always adjust bracelet grip on the wrist for a particular activity. Of course, if that’s not enough, you still have a diver’s extension. That’s a lot of length that can be added (or removed) in a few seconds.
Planet Ocean comes with optional strap. The material that Omega is using for the strap is a special blend of rubber and it’s one of the best in the business. It has a very masculine appearance and feels great on your wrist.
The movement is great and certainly a major selling point of the watch. The watch contains Omega’s own automatic Caliber 8500, which deserves praises for its distinctive embellishments and modern construction. Let’s start with see through, movement display sapphire case back. This is not a simple task as the watch is still need to be water resistant to 600 meters. The 8500 has dual mainspring barrels and a power reserve of about 60 hours. It has a DLC coated black balance wheel that is free sprung, and of course a co-axial escapement. The automatic rotor winds the movement when spinning in both directions, and when adjusting the time, you can set the hours in one hour increments to make it easy while traveling. Like most movements in the 8500 family, the date is changed (both forward and backward, interestingly) via an independent hour hand. This also makes changing the time for daylight savings or for travel very convenient.
Debuted in 2007, these large diameter movements are amazing instruments that come from one of the most sophisticated timepiece movement assembly lines ever created. The need for such production line is due to the fact that Omega must mass produce them, maintaining a very high quality output. They use a very sophisticated automated assembly line that combines human labor with machines that help with precision tasks. It take a full day to assemble and test just one 8500 movement.
|CASE & DIAL|
|CRYSTAL||Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides|
|CASE DIAMETER||45.5 mm|
|WATER RESISTANCE||60 bar (600 metres / 2000 feet)|
|FEATURES||Chronometer, Date, Helium escape valve, Screw-in crown, Transparent case back, Unidirectional rotating bezel|
|MOVEMENT||Calibre Omega 8500, Self-winding movement with Co-Axial escapement, Free sprung-balance, 2 barrels mounted in series, automatic winding in both directions. Bridges and the oscillating mass are decorated with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque.|
|POWER RESERVE||60 hours|
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