The design of the Seamaster Planet Ocean recalls that of the first-ever Seamaster 300 metre models, which were launched in 1957. In the same year, the brand’s Railmaster watch and the now legendary Speedmaster watch were also launched. It is, therefore, hardly a coincidence that the 21st century equivalents of these models share certain similarities in their design – above all the distinctive case design with contrasting polished and brushed surfaces.
Available in two different case sizes (45.5mm and 42 mm in diameter), the Planet Ocean models are readily identified by their bezels, which recall the original Seamaster 300 metre models, albeit with a choice between classic and highly contemporary interpretations of this historical theme. Meticulous attention to detail resulted in two slightly different bezel designs, with the larger model taking on a resolutely sporty look and the finer grooves on the smaller model offering a more subtle finish that is sure to make the watch equally popular among a female clientele.
Fitted to the bezel is an aluminium ring, one third of which is visible in its original brushed surface, the other two thirds in a choice of black or orange – a colour chosen because it is one of the most visible under water. The bezel can be turned in one direction only and has minute graduations for the first fifteen minutes and numbers for the subsequent ten-minute sectors and a luminous triangular marker at 12 o’clock.
Other characteristic indicators that this is a classic divers’ watch are the watertight screw-in crown and the helium escape valve. Located at 10 o’clock and embossed with “He”, the chemical symbol for helium, the latter allows any helium atoms that may penetrate the watch during compression in a diving bell to escape during decompression, thus avoiding any potential damage to the watch. The excellent water resistance down to 600 metres (2000 feet) is further guaranteed by a screw-in case back.
The matt black lacquered dial also offers excellent clarity, thanks to applied luminous hour markers and Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock, with date window at 3 o’clock. The facetted arrowhead hour and minute hands also have luminous SuperLuminova inserts, and a luminous arrowhead seconds hand with orange tip offers the ultimate visibility down to the last second.
Beneath the surface is Omega’s calibre 2500 Co-Axial Escapement movement, which has a power reserve of 48 hours. The Co-Axial Escapement, a proprietary Omega technology, considerably reduces friction in the heart of the watch mechanism and thus offers much better long-term reliability and accuracy. The movement is decorated with a meticulous rhodium-plated finish of circular graining, Geneva wave decor and gold-plated engravings and remains tightly sealed behind the stainless-steel case back embossed with the name of the watch, the Omega symbol and a large embossed seahorse – the medallion of the Seamaster line.
The Seamaster Planet Ocean is available with a new brushed stainless-steel bracelet with polished sides and a foldover safety clasp. The new bracelet has subtly curved links that immediately catch the eye and offer excellent comfort for the wearer. Black rubber straps available on all models offer a sporty and equally robust alternative, whilst matching alligator leather straps (orange with the orange bezel, dark brown with the black bezel) give the watch an entirely different look for the more fashion conscious.