OceanicTime Archives

2019-06-21

OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean ULTRA DEEP Professional ALMOST the DEEPEST

This is one of the world’s DEEPEST mechanical dive watches. I say one of because; well you know who the current holder of that accolade is, right?

Nevertheless this is still an absolutely monumental release from Omega; I’ve already gone through two boxes of Kleenex since reading the PR on it.



I digress, but seriously, it is truly heartening to know that there are those in this segment who are still interested, neigh obsessed with conquering the deep, and Omega have done just that with their new Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional –

it’s a marvel of deep diving horological tech and a serious contender for the GPHG’s new diver’s watch category.

However, the Ultra Deep hasn’t quite surpassed the 16’093m of water-resistance that the H2O 10 Miles has but does come a close second with an incredible 15’000m.



Perhaps if truth be known, this is because Omega’s target depth was that of the Mariana Trench (approx. 11’000m) plus a 25% safety margin, while the OT 10 Miles had a symbolic 10 miles to reach as a celebration of its 10th anniversary; so perhaps a matter of semantics.

Or is it? The OceanicTime 10 Miles also had a safety margin and so was officially pressure tested and certified (in Germany) to 2530 bar the equivalent of 25’300m. I guess it would be at this point you might say, ‘’BOOM"!!!



Still credit where credit is due, as you will soon read, the Ultra Deep is a highly sophisticated piece of kit and an exceedingly desirable one at that – well at least if you have a penchant for wearing deep sea submersibles on your wrist.

The watch was built for The Five Deeps Expedition, the world’s first manned expedition to the deepest point in each of the five oceans, the brainchild of submersible pilot and adventurer Victor Vescovo (James Cameron has nothing on him, trust me).

Victor was the first person to have reached both the highest and lowest points on the planet. To support Victor’s bold expedition Omega produced a Seamaster Planet Ocean dive watch that took  dive watch technology to a whole new depth of engineering.



During April to May 2019, The Five Deeps Expedition team made history. After sonar mapping the ocean floor to find the deepest spot in the Eastern Pool of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, Victor Vescovo singlehandedly piloted DSV (Deep Submergence Vehicle) Limiting Factor - the world's deepest diving operational submersible – to the deepest point on planet Earth.



Meanwhile, Omega has been making divers’ watches since the 1930’s, but to create a dive watch robust enough to survive the demands of The Five Deeps Expedition would require an innovative approach and a team effort.



It took imagination, ingenuity and multiple deep dive simulations to get the blend of design, technology and materials just right, but despite the many challenges, Omega succeeded in creating an innovative diver's watch that is truly exceptional.



Just like the view-port assembly on a submersible, the sapphire-to-case assembly on a full ocean depth watch is an area of concern. To spread the stress distribution, Omega took inspiration from the load-bearing conical design of submersible view-ports, such as those used on Limiting Factor.



Fully integrated into the Titanium case-body, the lugs of the Ultra Deep are left open to lower the risk of exceeding material limitations at full ocean depth, as both the watch and the strap can be subjected to high traction loads. They are called “Manta” lugs due to their distinctive look.



The hull of DSV Limiting Factor is made from (DNV-GL certified) forged Grade 5 Titanium – and so is the watch. The body of the bezel, case-body, case-back and crown have all been machined out of cutoffs from the submersible's Titanium hull. I couldn’t imagine a better material for a full ocean watch than the body of a submarine?



After their deep dives, all of the Ultra Deep timepieces passed the strict tests set down by METAS to become certified Master Chronometers. From the deepest place on the planet, to the highest level of testing in the watch industry.

Used for many years on Omega's watches, Liquidmetal® ensured a firm yet flexible sapphire-to-case-body assembly. This innovative patent-pending hot form bonding made it possible to avoid the use of polymer seals and to reduce the Sapphire's thickness.



All of the watches were pressure tested at Triton Sub's facility in Barcelona with the attendance of a DNV-GL surveyor. The chosen maximum pressure is equivalent to the depth of the Mariana Trench, but to be extra sure and to comply with dive watch standards, Omega insisted on adding a 25% safety margin, which meant the watches had to perform perfectly at an astonishing 1500 bar / 15,000 meters.



Designed to withstand enormous pressures, Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional is packed with full ocean depth technology yet is surprisingly slim and light at less than 28mm.



The expedition logo is located at the center of the case-back inside concentric circles evoking the Multi Beam sonar technology used by The Five Deeps Expedition team to map the Ocean Floor. Relevant information including the model, reference number, DNV-GL certification, maximum tested 15,000m depth and materials are all laser-engraved.



Thoughts? This is a really inspired release from Omega who have made the Rolex DEEPSEA Challenge watch look almost remedial by comparison, but is this like the aforementioned just another prototypical show pony or will this ever go into production?

I very much doubt it but I do hope so. At the very least we should see some of the incredible technological innovations found in this extraordinary dive watch eventually making their way into a new and exciting Planet Ocean. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime you can own, wear, and marvel at THIS.



Final word - kudos to Omega, kudos to Victor, but whilst I have your attention, kudos must also be given to my good friends at H2O Watch because they set an exceedingly high benchmark with the OceanicTime 10 Miles; and that was done without the benefit of a Swatch Group sized budget.

Speaking of the Swatch Group – their R&D Department put in an order for 2x OceanicTime  10 Miles watches – I wonder why?

2 comments:

  1. Not 'neigh' - the noise that horses make, but 'nay' Middle English for 'not so'. The watch is okay, a real milestone in watch technology for sure, but there are too many of these 'not for production, but it really DOES show how clever we can be' timepieces that ordinary joes like me will only ever see on your site. I'll stick with my Rolex DSSD, thanks, at least that was affordable AND available.

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  2. can't go wrong with the DSSD. also have one it's THE classic deep diver. ;)

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