Hands-On With Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” Men’s Watch
While Omega’s biggest news at this year’s Baselworld was the 60th anniversary of its Speedmaster collection, the brand also introduced several interesting pieces in its other watch families. One of the most notable is this week’s Watch to Watch: the Swiss Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Watch “Deep Blue,” a GMT-equipped divers’ watch with a case milled from a single block of blue ceramic.
Swiss Omega says that the new watch is inspired by the success of last year’s Planet Ocean “Deep Black” editions, which were the first ceramic-cased divers’ watches built to be water-resistant to 600 meters. The “Deep Blue” model is the first Omega watch with a case, and a dial, made entirely of blue ceramic. As orange and blue are considered by Omega to be the signature colors of the Planet Ocean series, orange highlights abound: a 24-hour GMT scale surrounds the dial; the first 15-minute-sector of the 60-minute diving scale on the rotating divers’ bezel is made from a blend of orange rubber and ceramic; and orange rubber injections have been used to create the Omega logo on the crown and the “He” symbol on the helium-release valve at 10 o’clock. The central GMT hand and the applied numerals at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock are also in blue’s complementary color. The hour hand, minute hand, and applied hour indices are in 18k white gold. The numerals on the bezel’s diving scale are made of LiquidMetal, a material used frequently in Planet Ocean watches.
The 45.5-mm ceramic case of the Planet Ocean “Big Blue” is pressed into shape from a special zirconium-based powder, with the blue pigmentation added at this early stage. Afterward it is heated to temperatures reaching 1,400º Celsius in a sintering process, making it extra hard and scratch-resistant. Diamond-equipped tools are then used to define the edges and grooves, after which the case is lubricated and cooled by high-pressure oil solutions. Finally, a three-hour plasma treatment in a 20,000º C furnace prepares the case for its precision laser engraving. The resulting case is six times harder than steel and never scratches, discolors, or fades.
The screw-down caseback, with its familiar Seamaster alveol pattern, is equipped with Omega’s patented Naiad Lock, which ensures that the engraved text around the big sapphire window remains in readable position. On display through that caseback window is Omega Master Chronometer Caliber 8906, an automatic movement with a co-axial escapement and a 60-hour power reserve that powers the timekeeping, GMT function, and date indication at the 3 o’clock position. Like all Master Chronometer movements, it has passed eight rigorous tests set by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (for more on that battery of tests, click here), ensuring a high level of endurance, precision, and resistance to magnetic fields.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” comes on a blue rubber strap with orange contrast stitching and orange edges; the foldover clasp, like the case, is made of blue ceramic. As with many of its recent releases, Omega is offering a four-year warranty on the watch. Priced at $11,700, the watch will be available at retail in December. Scroll down for live shots of the “Big Blue” that we snapped during Baselworld.