The Seamaster Planet Ocean from Omega is one of the first diving watches specifically designed to reach extreme depths. The watch is water resistant to 60 bar, has a perfect finish, and features a helium escape valve.
- Waterproof to 600 m (1,970 ft, 60 bar), helium escape valve
- Case sizes ranging from 37.5 mm to 45.5 mm
- Available in stainless steel, titanium, and red gold
- In-house Co-Axial movement
- Available as a chronograph or with a GMT function
A Wide Range of Sizes
Water-resistant to 600 m
, the Planet Ocean belongs to an exclusive class of diving watches designed for the deep sea. Water pressure at such depths is extremely powerful. It exerts pressure comparable to 60 kg, or 130 lbs, on every square centimeter of the watch. Omega
, a top Swiss watch manufacturer, introduced the Planet Ocean in 2005 and continues to produce it today.
The series is a tribute to great oceanographers like William Beebe and Jacques Cousteau. The name Planet Ocean conjures up images of Precontinent, a project aiming to build an underwater settlement undertaken by Cousteau. Cousteau built the habitat in the 1960s in order to investigate the effects of living underwater for prolonged periods of time. The remnants of the Precontinent II village are off the coast of Sudan, 10 meters below the surface of the Red Sea. Today, the village is overgrown by coral and serves as a popular destination for divers.
The largest Planet Ocean 600 M variant is an especially impressive watch. Its case diameter is 45.5 mm, with an equally remarkable thickness of 19 mm. It weighs 242 grams. The mid-sized versions have diameters of either 43.5 mm, 42 mm, or 39.5 mm. The smallest measures in at 37.5 mm, ideal for thinner wrists or for women. Altogether, Omega offers a total of 100 different Planet Ocean 600 M models, varying in size and features.
All models feature hour and minute hands with arrow point tips. The version with a GMT function features a second hour hand in order to display a second time zone. The extra orange hand is made of aluminum and makes a complete rotation once every 24 hours. With this feature, the watch makes a name for itself not only as a diving watch, but also as a watch well suited for traveling. Globetrotters can use it to keep track of the time at home while they're far away diving in an exotic ocean.
Visually, the watches range from understated to striking. One eye-catching model features a luminous orange rubber strap and bezel - a real statement piece. Other models are a bit more discreet. A more subtle, technically-oriented design features a dark blue bezel and dial combined with a stainless steel case and band. Omega also offers a lighter version made of titanium. Further impressive models offer red gold cases and the option of diamond-set bezels. These luxury bezels are available in every size.
If you're looking for a robust, capable diving watch from one of the most distinguished Swiss manufacturers, then the Planet Ocean 600 M is a solid choice. A new stainless steel model can be purchased for around 3,500 euros; this includes models featuring an orange bezel. The prices for the chronographs start around 5,000 euros.
The prices are much higher for versions with gold cases; you should be prepared to spend at least 15,000 euros. If diamonds adorn the timepiece, then you should expect to pay at least 20,000 euros. Since the Planet Ocean 600 M is a relatively new series, there are no vintage models at this time. It will take some time before these watches are sold at vintage prices. Like all diving watches, you should have the Planet Ocean's waterproofness regularly tested if you use it underwater often.
- Large selection of Planet Ocean watches in orange
- Introductory stainless steel models available starting at 3,500 euros
- Gold versions available starting around 15,000 euros
- No vintage models yet
Chronometer Precision Combined with Modern Caliber Technology
All sizes of the Seamaster include three hands with center seconds and a date display. A handful of the 45.5 mm versions are chronographs. These watches have a stopwatch function, a decentralized second hand, and are run by the Omega caliber 9300. The automatic movement achieves the precision demanded by chronograph standards and is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The caliber 9300 features an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring and a 60-hour power reserve. The caliber 8500 also runs for 60 hours and powers the 45.5 mm and 42 mm models without a stopwatch function. The Planet Ocean with a GMT function is powered by the caliber 8605, which allows it to display a second time zone.
The 37.5 mm models are run by the caliber 8520 and have a power reserve of 50 hours. The 8500 and the 8520 are also automatic movements. Omega uses a Co-Axial escapement in the calibers for the Planet Ocean series, giving them the advantage of a more precise and jolt-resistant movement.
The glass used has to be very stable to allow the watch to withstand pressure up to 60 bar. This need is met by the domed sapphire crystal glass used in the Seamaster models. Omega uses this synthetically created glass for the case backs as well, allowing the wearer a view of the movement. A see-through case back is unusual for a diving watch, as a metal case back is required to adequately protect the movement against magnetism. Anti-magnetic components in the movement such as a silicon balance spring make this transparent case back possible.
Helium Escape Valve to Equalize Pressure
At first glance, it looks like there's a second crown jutting out at the 10 o'clock position. However, it's actually a helium escape valve. Helium atoms from the diver's gas tank can escape and make their way into the watch after prolonged periods underwater. When divers resurface to normal pressure levels, excess pressure builds up inside the watch, causing damage. To equalize this pressure, the diver unscrews the valve manually. Only professional divers need this feature, but it is a sign of the professional standards Omega adheres to with the Planet Ocean 600 M.
Alternatives from Breitling, Rolex, or Sinn
There are some, albeit few, alternatives to this diving watch. Breitling's Steelfish from their Superocean series
is water resistant up to 500 meters. Competing manufacturer Rolex has equipped a few of their models to go even deeper. The Sea-Dweller 4000
can reach a depth of 1,220 m
and, like the Planet Ocean 600 M, has a helium escape valve. Significantly more affordable is the Sinn U 1
, which is made of bead-blasted submarine steel
and can withstand depths of 1,000 meters. However, the Omega Planet Ocean 600 M remains one of the most powerful diving watches and offers the advantage of a large selection of different designs, materials, and case sizes