Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional
Why is this project unique?
The quest for best performing divers' watch is comparable to the challenge between automakers in producing the fastest car along the revered Nürburgring race track, it has to do primarily with brand image rather than product, and is a mean for that brand to showcase their technology, even if that product will never hit the stores. The long-standing challenge to craft a record-breaking divers' watch is one of the most fascinating and dates back to the early 60s, involving mainly European and Japanese watchmakers, with the former leading the leaderboard thanks to Rolex and the Deepsea Challenge expedition so far. Until this week that saw Omega watches make history.
The Five Deeps project.
The Five Deeps expedition, as the name itself suggests, is the first attempt ever to reach the deepest spot in each of the five oceans. The last successful stage was held in the Mariana Trench, in May, and allowed the team behind that expedition reach the deepest spot ever (10,928 meters).
To accomplish the task, the team led by Victor Vescovo adopted a submarine crafted by Triton Submarines, a leading company in designing submarines for private use. In this specific case, the Florida-based company built an out-of-the-ordinary machine, named DSV (acronym of Deep Submergence Vehicle) - Limiting Factor. This machine for undersea and deep-sea exploration, certified by the international maritime authority DNV-GL for extensive, repeated dives to extraordinary depths, was key in designing the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional.
What sets the Omega Ultra Deep project apart from the competition.
I have often desired Omega watches to further strengthen its leadership among divers watches by producing a flagship product, a no-compromise timepiece, true to a foothold that sees Omega investing much more than its competitors in ground-breaking technology, advanced materials, and new calibers. No brand other than Omega could have raised the bar so high, in the benchmark.
This project was therefore not just a challenge, but a jab to Rolex too, and it's record-breaking Rolex Deepsea Challenge that had reached the deepest spot of the Mariana Trench so far, before the Five Deeps eventually moved a step further, down below. In this case, the approach to conceiving the product is totally different and completely out-of-the-box, and makes the Ultra Deep Professional project unique, confirming this experience is not a stand-alone, but new products will be offered as these new technologies are going to be fully industrialized.
Case, bezel, case back and the crown come from the Limiting Factor's hull.
The parts were machined cutoffs from the Triton's grade 5 titanium weld-free hull, and the technique Omega adopted in coupling case and glass is on par with the Triton's viewport design. To effectively manage the stress distribution, the case-to-sapphire assembly is all but ordinary.
Omega engineers took their inspiration from the Triton's viewport's original load-bearing conical design and adopted an innovative joint made of Liquidmetal®. There is no additional information regarding technical specs, given that this solution is still under patent.
Resistant to 15,000 meters and 15,000 Gauss.
Although the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional has withstood a pressure corresponding to 11,000 meters, it has been tested to a pressure of up to 15,000 meters. In doing so, I believe Omega is highlighting the new watch is water resistant to 15,000 meters as it is magnetic resistant to 15,000 Gauss.
The caliber that beats inside the Ultra Deep is a Master Chronometer certified automatic movement, and all the three watches tested during the expedition have been then submitted to the Metas certification program once back to Switzerland, and they all flawlessly performed.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional's main specs.
The case is 52.5mm but 28mm thick; not that thick, if we consider the huge pressure each of the three watches had to withstand.
Size wise, the case width is on par with a Limited Edition Panerai Mare Nostrum's; we're in front of an item that's not suitable for everyday use, even if it's way lighter than its peer(s). Aesthetically, the dial is a nod to the latest generation Planet Ocean. Do we need products like the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional?
Of course, we do not, and they're not intended for standard use, they are instead flagship products with no return on the investment unless the brand engineers most of the technologies patented into one or more new product collections. In brief, they make us dream, something pretty unusual in today's watch industry, and with the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional, as far as I'm concerned, Omega made me dream once again.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Omega Watches)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®