When Victor Vescovo piloted his submarine „Limiting Factor“ to the bottom of the Mariana Trench at the beginning of the year, he set a new world record with a diving depth of 10,928 metres. Three Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional were present during the dive: Two were fixed to the dive boat’s grab arms, one to a lander.
And who could be better suited to accompany a journey to the deepest depths than Omega, as the brand’s watches have long accompanied divers and adventurers to dangerous depths. Already in 1932 the „Marine“ was introduced – the first diver’s watch for everyone. The diver’s watch was used by the researcher Charles W. Beebe when he dared his 14-mile dive.
1948 was the year of birth of the Omega Seamaster, appreciated by British pilots and sailors for its water resistance and reliability. The 1957 Seamaster 300 was designed specifically for divers and underwater workers.
The Omega „Ploprof“ was created in 1970 and has accompanied Jacques-Yves Cousteau on his dives. Only one year later followed the Seamaster 1000, one year later the Seamaster 120 Big Blue. In 1993 Omega launched the popular Seamaster Diver 300M.
The year 2005 then saw the beginnings of the Ultra Deep, which we present here today.
The development of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional started from scratch for Omega and included some risks. A watch doesn’t have to be enormous to withstand extreme loads. The manufacturer has managed to limit the thickness of the diver’s watch to less than 28 millimetres without compromising the resistance of the watch. The bezel, case, back and crown are made of processed rejects from the hull of the submersible. The Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional also comes with a porthole. Its load-bearing surface has been designed to minimise pressure on the inner edges of the cone where the load is greatest.
The watch’s strap lugs are fully integrated into the titanium case and remain open to reduce the risk of material stress limits being exceeded during deep sea diving. They are also called „Manta“ lugs because of their distinctive design.
The maximum pressure selected was within the tolerances required in the Mariana Trench, but to be safe and meet the standards for diving watches, Omega insisted on adding a 25% safety margin, which meant that the watches had to work up to 1500 bar. And as if that wasn’t enough, the three watches were subjected to METAS rigorous testing for ten days after returning from their dive. Even after the strains in the depths of the Mariana Trench, the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep passed all the tests and received the Master Chronometer certificate.
The expedition logo is located in the centre of the case bottom, framed by concentric circles symbolizing multi-beam sonar technology. Information such as model, reference number, certification and „tested 15,000m 49212ft“ can also be found.
Omega continued its experience in space travel when choosing the bracelet material: The combination of a polyamide bracelet and Velcro fastener is closely linked to the bracelets used in the Apollo missions.