The Omega Planet Ocean Review

In writing an Omega Planet Ocean review I’m really quite conscious of the fact that this is one of Omega’s most loved watches, though it does also elicit strong feelings in the other direction. First a question of naming. Strictly speaking this watch is an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, but most people find that name a bit long and have dropped the Seamaster bit. Still, I’d get tons of e-mails pointing out my “error” if I didn’t clarify.

So why is this watch both so loved and hated. I’d say the reason is not least this is because it is now closely associated with James Bond.

This watch wasn’t the original bond watch. In most of the early films, Commander Bond wore a Rolex Submariner. But since 1995 Omega has been associated with James Bond after 007 ditched his traditional Rolex for an Omega. In the movie Golden Eye Pierce Brosnan appeared on the screen wearing an Omega Seamaster professional, a watch that has since been replaced on the arm of Daniel Craig, who wears a Seamaster Planet Ocean. But as great as this product placement has been for the brand, there are some fans who think it goes a bit too far down the road of “merchandising”, especially after Omega introduced a limited 007 edition with a 007 gun logo.

For the purposes of this Planet Ocean Review I’m just going to talk about the standard (and not limited) editions.

An Overview of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

The Seamaster Planet Ocean is a rugged dive-style watch that has good looks and brawn. The watch is actually designed to do all of the things that professional dive watches need to do. It has a screw-in crown to provide extra-water resistance. It goes beyond just that, however, in that it adds a helium escape valve. Unless you are doing deep diving (breathing special air mixtures and allowing the gases to saturate your bloodstream) you don’t need this feature. If you don’t understand what I’ve just said, then you really don’t need this feature. But it is nice to know that this is a genuine professionals’ divers watch and not just one that has a big bezel just to look tough.

The crystal is genuine scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, not some cheap glass pretending to be crystal. Proving that this is the real deal, it is certified down to 600 meters of water pressure (2000 feet). The crystal is really nice looking and anti-reflective coatings make it more readable and help preserve its good looks.

Image of watch for the omega planet ocean reviewIts movement is a self-winding Omega 2500 caliber. Thisi is one of the better movements on the market, but not the very best. It keeps time well and has a good reputation for accuracy. The only downside is that it is not a bespoke movement. It is made by ETA, which is a mass-producer of watch movements that is owned by Swatch (which also owns Omega). The newest versions now feature a home-built movement (more on that later)

Those who own the watch generally love it.

John B. Holbrook, II, who reviewed the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Titanium Liquidmetal over at watchtalk forums thinks it has improved steadily over time, both inside and outside. He especially liked the fact that the new titanium version looks every bit as good as the stainless steel one. But his main praise is for the changes inside:
The Planet Ocean Titanium Liquidmetal also receives a substantial upgrade in the movement department. Historically the Planet Ocean models have been equipped with the ETA 2892 based Omega Caliber 2500. However, the Planet Ocean Titanium Liquidmetal is the first model in the Planet Ocean line to receive the in-house Omega Caliber 8500 (launched in 2007). The Omega Caliber 8500 is a self-winding 39 jewel mechanical movement with a power reserve (coming from 2 serial mounted barrels) of 60 hours, and a freely sprung balance which vibrates at a speed of 25,200 vibrations per hour (VPH). The Omega Caliber 8500 is an Officially Certified COSC chronometer and like most modern Omega calibers, is fitted with the George Daniel’s Co-Axial Escapement. Additionally the Caliber 8500 features a balance spring constructed entirely of silicon for improved resistance to shock and magnetism.
Another review of the older model over at watchuseek also had mostly praise for this great timepiece. One aspect that gets particular praise is the dial:
The dial gets a score of 5 from me.It looks fantastic, and it is VERY easy to read in day or night. Only the Omega symbol is metal that is applied. Also the hour markers are applied with metal surroundings. The dial is both functional and yet elegant somehow. Omega did a VERY good job on this aspect.
Conclusion
The Omega Planet Ocean is a great watch. It is well made, had a solid-feeling case, an attractive dial and a reputation for reliable timekeeping.

If you’d like to see a few more pictures as well as a great write-up by a blogger who attended a recent launch of the Omega Planet Ocean then check this out.

display advertisement of James Bond with an Omega Seamaster

An Omega display advertisement from 1996 showing the Omega Seamaster worn by James Bond in Goldeneye

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