When we talk about divers’ watches, the Omega Seamaster is probably the first name that pops up in your mind. (Of course, there is the occasional Submariner here and there, but you ‘ve always liked the Seamaster more. Just admit it.) In this blog we will taking a short trip down memory lane and revisiting the 2019 sensation, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional.
The Seamster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional
Omega has built only three Seamaster Ultra-Deeps. They are named as follows, FOD-X 1, 2, and 3. (Keeping it simple since the beginning.) All of the watches have been tested to a simulated depth of 15,000 meters, which is insane because that is over the Full Ocean Depth that is a little short of 11,000 meters. All of the three timepieces took the ride to the bottom of the Mariana Trench with Victor Vescovo, the man who broke the 1960 record of the ‘Trieste’.
Two of these timepieces were fixed on robotic arms and one was placed on a remote controlled independent vessel. All of the three watches survived the grueling journey with a pressure of about 12.3 tonnes per square inch.
But how was this watch designed and what is so special about it?
Designing The Watch
When designing came into question, as mentioned earlier, Omega had to hurry. Generally, an ordeal like this would take years. But Omega being Omega, just tool a little under six months. The Swiss watchmaker did not want to make the Seamaster Planet Ocean “Ultra-Deep” another run of the mill deep dive watch. It wanted it to be a groundbreaking invention, one that breaks all previous set records. Along with that, Omega also wanted to retain its signature dive watch aesthetic, one that people are used to seeing in the Seamaster timepieces.
The watch is developed mostly out of grade 5 titanium that is sourced from the alloy used to make the pressure hull of Vescovo’s submersible, the ‘Limiting Factor’. The case material is further sandblasted to a matte grey finish. The watch has similar twisted bombé lugs, ones that are seen on Seamaster references since the 1960s.
The rotating bezel as well as the dial are made out of titanium as well. The bezel top ring, however, is made of ceramic along with LiquidMetal markers. The case is 55 mm in width and 28 mm in thickness. The thought of this being just another Omega Seamaster might come up. But this is where the you would be wrong.
What’s So Special?
Firstly, Omega did away with the coveted helium escape valve that we are accustomed to. This was necessary to eliminate one more hole inside the watch case. The watch also does not possess any strap bars. Omega designed the case in a way that the lugs curl inwards. This offers a strong structure that does away with any vulnerability under immense amounts of pressure.
That’s not all. Dive watches are known to have a gasket with a rubber O-ring. This ensures proper sealing at the right places. However, some do believe that dive watches depend too much on a mere rubber ring. That is why the rubber O-ring is another thing that Omega eliminated from the Seamaster Ultra Deep. Instead, the gasket of the Ultra-Deep is made from a substance known as ‘LiquidMetal’.
Here is how the process goes. The case, the sapphire crystal, and LiquidMetal are heated to a temperature of 280 degrees Celcius or 540 degrees Fahrenheit. The resultant molten material is then poured into the designated structure. This is followed by putting the crystal into place which is then compressed with a pressure amounting to five tons until the LiquidMetal cools off and forms an unbreakable seal.
Omega chose to go with the Calibre 8912 in the case of the Seamaster Ultra Deep Professional. It is a co-axial automatic movement with a three-hand time feature that Omega has certified to the METAS standard. Needless to say, the accuracy and magnetic resistance standards of the movement are off the charts.