The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean may be a fairly new addition to the Omega family, but it has already carved its own niche as an iconic watch in the industry. We all know that the word ‘iconic’ gets thrown around a lot especially when it comes to timepieces, but the Planet Ocean truly proves itself worthy of such a title.
Everybody refers to the Omega Seamaster as a popular James Bond watch. Pierce Brosnan wore an Omega Seamaster Professional in Goldeneye, a 1995 Bond film. Then, at the launch of the Seamaster Planet Ocean, we found ourselves with a new generation 007 with the dashing English actor Daniel Craig. Immediately after, the Omega Seamster Planet Ocean became known as the ‘007 watch’.
What people don’t know is that the Planet Ocean is more than just a James Bond watch. It’s a piece of Omega’s history in film, sports, fashion, and horology — all in one. Let’s look back at the brief history and vast evolution of the Omega Planet Ocean. How did a relatively new watch get the attention and esteem of collectors and enthusiasts alike?
History of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
The Omega Seamaster collection has always been a big player in the industry given its steady line of dive watches. However, it always positions itself more as a luxury timepiece rather than a tool watch. As compared to the Rolex Submariner, the Seamaster would not be as powerful as you’d think. Sure, we marvel at the prowess of the Seamaster Professional and the elegance of the Seamaster Aqua Terra. However, we always knew something more iconic from the brand is coming. True enough, in 2005, Omega launched a timepiece as elegant as the Aqua Terra and as powerful as the Seamaster Professional. Enter, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.
Launched in 2005, Omega introduced the Planet Ocean as an upgrade to the 1960s Omega Seamaster 300 Ref. 165.024. This watch became Omega’s first diver with the Calibre 2500 movement, featuring a co-axial escapement. At its launch, the Planet Ocean only had three variations. With two sizes — 42mm and 45.5mm — the Planet Ocean was true to the size of any regular diver. It also came in two striking colours: black and orange.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean’s first generation had an aluminium bezel, as well as a 120-click unidirectional coin bezel. Together with the helium escape valve at 10 o’clock, the Planet Ocean became iconic in itself. The dial of the first generation Planet Ocean came in matte black with its hands applied with Super-LumiNova.
To take the Planet Ocean at the top tier of the Seamaster watches, it featured a depth rating of 600 metres or 2,000 feet. That’s already twice as deep as the Seamaster Professional with 300 metres. The caseback of this watch had an engraved Hippocampus — the classic Seamaster logo.
Planet Ocean Liquidmetal
Four years since the debut of Planet Ocean, in 2009, Omega launched the Liquidmetal through the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 184.108.40.206.01.001. This limited-edition watch became the transitional Planet Ocean model with only 1,948 pieces available. The watch had a Liquidmetal ceramic bezel and the Calibre 2500. But what is Liquidmetal and what difference does it make to any watch?
To strengthen the ceramic bezel and prevent discolouration, a protective titanium alloy is applied over it. But because it’s malleable, it also seeps between the engraved indexes and numerals, giving it a unique dimension. Overall, the alloy is composed of various metals including zirconium and nickel. This can be compared to Rolex’s Cerachrom technology.
Six years after Planet Ocean debuted, Omega revamped the watch with massive updates. One of the most important upgrades includes the in-house Calibre 8500, replacing the Calibre 2500. This generation also saw the Calibre 8500 get called the ‘Co-Axial Chronometer’. It also got a whole new 37.5mm case to add to the 42mm and 45.5mm cases. This made the Planet Ocean more accessible even to ladies.
Notably so, the second generation Planet Ocean features the Liquidmetal ceramic bezel. Moreover, they included a titanium case to the roster, as well as blue and white bezel and dial options. Not to mention, they changed the caseback from engraved to the exhibition.
In 2016, Omega launched the new Planet Ocean at Baselworld as a follow-up with their 2014 announcement to test their Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements — not only COSC-certified but also METAS-certified. The METAS certification proves the watch to be accurate within 0 to +5 seconds per day, as well as functional at magnetic fields over 15,000 gausses.
The new generation Planet Ocean featured the METAS-certified Calibre 8900 and Calibre 8800 for the 39.5mm versions.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT was launched in 2013 with a functional independently-adjusted hour hand. Perfect for travellers, this timepiece also gave way to a new case size at 43.5 mm. While they had ceramic bezels, they’re not infused with Liquidmetal.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean in James Bond Films
It’s impossible not to associate the Seamaster with James Bond. From Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig, the Seamaster remains an obvious choice.
Casino Royale (2006)
In 2006, a year after the launch of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, Daniel Craig wore two Seamasters in Casino Royale. He used a Seamaster Diver 300M once and, of course, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 2900.50.91. To coincide with the movie promotions, Omega released a Planet Ocean ‘Casino Royale’ Ref. 2907.50.91 model in the same year. It’s about the same as the first generation watch, only with a 007 gun symbol on the second hand and a ‘Casino Royale’ engraving on the caseback. The watch was only limited to 5,007
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Two years later, Craig came back as 007 in Quantum of Solace in 2008. He wore another Planet Ocean watch in the movie, a 42mm Ref. 22501.50.00 model. This watch had a black bezel, as well as a stainless steel bracelet, perfect for the suave secret agent. Just like in the previous movie, Omega also released a limited-edition 45.55mm Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Quantum of Solace Ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001 watch. You guessed it right, it also had 5,007 pieces. The 007 gun symbol, however, got replaced with the words ‘Quantum of Solace’ laser engraved on the crystal. A little too over the top, if you prefer the cleaner 007 brandings on the Casino Royale watch. You still get the 007 symbol, though, but on the caseback.
As expected, Craig’s James Bond wore a Seamaster Planet Ocean in the 2012 movie, Skyfall. The watch shared screentime with a blue-dialed Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. He wore the second-generation version of the Planet Ocean that had the in-house Calibre 8500, as well as the ceramic bezel — both useful for a secret agent in action.
Subsequently, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Skyfall Ref. 18.104.22.168.01.004 was launched with a 42mm case. The limited-edition watch took a step back from the grandiose of the Quantum of Solace Planet Ocean. To turn the branding down a notch, the Skyfall Planet Ocean only had the 007 logos sitting at 7 o’clock for obvious reasons. The caseback also featured a very subtle ‘Skyfall 007’ you’d see on the rotor of the Calibre 8507 movement.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean and Sports
More than 007, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean became witness to the greatest sports events. These real-life action-packed events became one of the reasons that the Planet Ocean proved itself as more than just a timepiece for show.
2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
Everybody knows how Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics. To commemorate each Olympic event, Omega releases limited-edition timepieces as a tribute. The Planet Ocean Sochi 2014 features a white dial and bezel with colours featuring Russia’s national colours as seen on its flag. The timepiece only had 2,014 editions available.
Michael Phelps Limited-Edition
Introduced in 2017, the Michael Phelps Limited-Edition Planet Ocean chronograph puts together a fun combination of orange and blue on a white dial. It truly is a visually enticing timepiece at 45.5mm and 18.87mm thick. It featured the METAS-certified Calibre 9900. However, it can barely be seen with the Michael Phelps branding. Omega took e-commerce to the next level by offering this timepiece as an online exclusive limited to only 280 pieces.
2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
In 2018, the Winter Olympics took place in Pyeongchang — a historic collaborative effort between North and South Korea. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Limited-Edition watch carried the South Korean flag colours — navy blue and red. It’s quite a simple timepiece when seen face-up, but turn it around and you’ll find the Pyeongchang Olympics text and logo on the exhibition caseback. As usual, it had a 2,018 limited number of editions sold.
Victor Vescovo’s 2019 Deep Dive
It was in 2019 that Victor Vescovo broke the world record for the deepest dive. He took his vessel 10,928 metres deep. That’s about 35,853 in feet or 6.9 miles in equivalent. At the Pacific Ocean where he reportedly found a plastic bag, Vescovo’s submarine had three Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professionals. This further proved the prowess of the Planet Ocean.
Made possible by Omega’s Ultra Deep Technology, the watch had a Master Chronometer movement and a Liquidmetal bond from its sapphire crystal down to its case body. The titanium watch is so strong that each square centimetre can handle 2,400 pounds.
2020 Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics is one of the most sought-after sporting events that unfortunately got pushed to a later date due to the pandemic. For this event, Omega launched not only an Aqua Terra but also a Planet Ocean limited-edition Tokyo Olympics timepiece.
Particularly smaller at only about 39.5mm, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2020 Tokyo Olympics watch featured an all-white aesthetic. From its ceramic bezel, ceramic dial to its hands and indexes, and even the leather strap, everything is in white. That’s why the red lollipop seconds hand and the ‘20’ on the bezel stand out. The watch’s theme, as you’d guess it, is comparable to the Japanese flag. On the exhibition caseback, you’ll find the Tokyo 2020 emblem. It’s also limited to 2,020 pieces.
36th America’s Cup
America’s Cup is the world’s most prestigious yachting event. The 36th America’s Cup takes place in 2021, but as early as 2020, Omega has already put out a watch for the event. The event is said to be held at New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, on the east coast of the North Island, in Auckland City’s Waitematā Harbour.
For the event, Omega created a limited-edition watch marked with red, white, and blue colours. The 43.5mm 36th America’s Cup Limited-Edition Planet Ocean watch features a few quirks. Among those include the seconds hand counterweight with the shape of the race’s logo. As you’d guess, all 2,021 pieces immediately sold out upon release.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean in Colour
Through the years, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean underwent various changes and improvements in colours, including an orange ceramic bezel, cookies and cream GMT, deep black, and a white ceramic dial. All these iterations became popular with many collectors for their uniqueness and fun vibe. A lot of people say that the colour orange is the most legible underwater, but a lot of critics and power users dispute this with tests and trials. Either way, orange remains to be the most popular choice among collectors and, as of late, the deep black Seamaster Planet Ocean as well.
More than Just a Bond Watch
With this brief guide to the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, it is evident— to say the least — that there’s more to this iconic watch than just being a favourite James Bond’s watch. The Seamaster already proved itself as a luxury timepiece in the form of a tool watch. The launch of the Planet Ocean only further proves that Omega is much more capable of producing incredible timepieces without sacrificing the elegance and flair of their offerings.
The greatest thing about the Planet Ocean may not be the name that precedes it. Rather, it remains a stand out for the incredible calibre it possesses — a METAS-certified chronometer movement. Moreover, as it allows them to be taken to great depths with a water resistance rating of 600 metres, it makes the watch quite a powerful one.
As Omega continues to innovate with the timepiece, we can only imagine what’s in store for us. It could be a new calibre with better features. Albeit, it’s hard to imagine how they can further improve a METAS-certified movement. Just how can you top that? Whether we’re getting a whole new calibre or another limited-edition watch, the Seamaster Planet Ocean watches of today remain a force to be reckoned with.