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ROLEX BLOG

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Guide

August 20, 2020

BY Paul Altieri

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It’s hard to believe that the Planet Ocean has only been in production for about 15 years. It has already become a celebrated dive watch among the community, both for its functionality and design. Join us as we break down the history of the series, its feature options, and review notable references within the Omega Planet Ocean collection.

In 2005, OMEGA debuted the Planet Ocean collection to continue the dive watch heritage of the Seamaster series, which previously included such collections as the Seamaster 300 (the 1960s) and Seamaster Diver (1993). Early editions featured either a black or bright orange bezel and measured either 42mm or 45.5mm. While other color options have since been included within this series of Omega watches, orange remains a cornerstone of the Planet Ocean. Furthermore, the name of the collection emphasizes OMEGA’s commitment to marine conservation work the company supports. Marine exploration and appreciation is the name of the game with OMEGA’s Planet Ocean line.

Omega Planet Ocean

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide

Key Features:

– Multiple case sizes
– 600 meters / 2,000 feet of water resistance
– Screw-down crown and case-back 
– Helium escape valve
– Time and date, chronograph, and GMT models available
– Multiple material options

Click here to learn more about the history and evolution of the Omega Planet Ocean.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

Large, bold, and technically proficient, the Planet Ocean 600M is OMEGA’s ultra-modern diver’s watch. As its name suggests, each OMEGA model in the collection boasts water resistance of 600 meters or 2,000 feet. Furthermore, as expected, the lume on an OMEGA Planet Ocean is fantastic thanks to the Superluminova accents for optimal legibility underwater. It also includes a domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective treatment, which only adds further to the PO’s incredible legibility.

In less than 15 years, Omega has produced three generations of the Planet Ocean dive watch, culminating in four main models – ladies Planet Ocean, mens Planet Ocean, Planet Ocean GMT, and Planet Ocean Chronograph – in a dizzying array of executions. That doesn’t even include the bevy of limited-edition Planet Ocean models in honor of James Bond, GoodPlanet, the Olympics, and more.

With each new family, Omega has furnished the Seamaster Planet Ocean with design improvements, material innovations, and mechanical advances. Despite its short history, the Planet Ocean has undoubtedly risen through the ranks to become one of Omega’s most important models.

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide Chronograph

A Brief History of the Planet Ocean and its Movements

The first editions of the Planet Ocean ran on the Omega Caliber 2500 automatic movement, which supplied the watch with a 48-hour power reserve. While this movement is based upon an ETA ébauche, the Caliber 2500 (released in 1999) was the first to include the Co-Axial escapement – invented by George Daniels, who sold the patent to Omega in 1993.

In 2006, Omega presented the Planet Ocean Chronograph with a 45.5mm stainless steel case and three colorways to choose from: black, black and orange, and black, orange, and white. The chronograph pushers featured colored aluminum rings around them, while the dials included a trio of sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock along with a date window tucked in between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Band options included a steel bracelet, an orange rubber strap, or an orange leather strap. First-generation Planet Ocean Chronographs relied on the self-winding Omega Caliber 3313, a column-wheel chronograph with a 52-hour power reserve and a Co-Axial escapement.

2009 saw the debut of Omega Liquidmetal, a material that fills the graduations and protects the ceramic surface of the bezel for a smooth and resilient finish. The first reference 222.30.42.20.01.001 was produced in very limited quantities and has since become a very prized collector’s item. With this reference also came the transition from a matte to a glossy dial.

Enter the Second-Generation Planet Ocean and Co-Axial Movements

In 2011, Omega unveiled an entirely new generation of Planet Ocean and Planet Ocean Chronographs, all powered by in-house movements and topped with ceramic/Liquidmetal bezels. Omega offered this then-new family of Planet Ocean watches in three different sizes: 37.5mm, 42mm, and 45.5mm. What’s more, along with the standard steel editions, there were also grade 5 titanium models (gold versions joined later in 2012), and the color choices expanded to include blue and white details. This generation also marked the transition from the stainless steel case back to an exhibition case back, giving the wearer a clear view of the new movement, complete with Geneva wave finish.

Inside the ladies’ Planet Ocean was the in-house Co-Axial Caliber 8520 automatic movement (50-hour power reserve). The two larger models featured the in-house Co-Axial Caliber 8500 automatic movement (60-hour power reserve). An upgrade from the cal. 2500, the new Co-Axial cal. 8500 brought with it a silicon escapement with two mainsprings. This design allows for a longer 60-hour power reserve. On the other hand, the Planet Ocean Chronograph versions were equipped with the in-house Co-Axial Caliber 9300 inside their 45.5mm cases.

In 2013, Omega released the Planet Ocean 600M GMT model, which featured a new case size for the collection at 43.5mm. Like the three-hander and chronograph versions, the Planet Ocean GMT also ran on an in-house movement: the Co-Axial Caliber 8605 to drive the hours, minutes, seconds, and additional 24-hour hand. Of course, as a GMT watch, the ceramic bezel of the Planet Ocean 600M GMT model was bi-directional and marked with 24 hours instead of the standard unidirectional dive watch bezel marked to 60 minutes.

In 2016, Omega revamped the Planet Ocean collection yet again, and these are the models that are in the current lineup. This time, the watches include the latest METAS-certified Master Chronometer movements. Omega also reorganized the sizing of the different models. The ladies’ Planet Ocean 600M has a 39.5mm case, the men’s Planet Ocean 600M has a 43.5mm case, the Planet Ocean 600M GMT has a 43.5mm case, and the Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph has a 45.5mm case.

The Planet Ocean 600M 39.5MM runs on Master Chronometer Caliber 8800, the Planet Ocean 600M 43.5MM runs on Master Chronometer Caliber 8900, the Planet Ocean 600M GMT runs on Master Chronometer Caliber 8906, and the Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph runs on Master Chronometer Caliber 9900.

The Caliber 8900 marks a huge milestone for the Planet Ocean series. As a METAS certified Master Chronometer, the cal. 8900 is accurate up to 0/+5 seconds per day and is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss. It includes the same gorgeous Geneva wave pattern and convenient 60-hour power reserve as its predecessor cal. 8500, only now it is METAS certified.

With the third generation also came a new bezel that combines Omega’s innovative Liquid metal process with a rubber insert and a brand new rubber bracelet with a “structured” design and textile finish.

The James Bond Legacy

The Planet Ocean appeared in its first 007 film in 2006’s Casino Royale via the ref. 2900.50.91. The black bezel and rubber strap combo was the right choice for the International Man of Mystery. Omega released a limited edition reference to celebrate the partnership with the Casino Royale Planet Ocean ref. 2907.50.91 decorated with various sophisticated 007 references, such as special engravings on the case back and the 007 logo on the seconds hand.

The Planet Ocean also made appearances in 2008’s Quantum of Solace and 2012’s Skyfall, each of which received its own limited edition. The Quantum of Solace Planet Ocean was sold under reference 222.30.46.20.01.001 in 45.5mm, and the Skyfall Planet Ocean was produced under reference 232.30.42.21.01.004 in 42mm.

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide titanium

Omega Terminology

Helium Escape Valve:

This mechanism is also known within the dive watch community as the HEV. Together with COMEX and Doxa S.A., Rolex developed the one-way valve to allow the gasses that accumulate within the case to release without dislodging the crystal. By releasing the gasses in a controlled manner, the watch can ascend from great depths without damaging the movement. This feature is crucial to the depth rating offered by many great dive watches, including the Omega Planet Ocean.

Liquidmetal

In 2009, Omega introduced the limited edition (1,948 pieces) Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Liquidmetal as the world’s first watch to bond ceramic and Liquidmetal. Liquidmetal is Omega’s proprietary metallic glass alloy (zirconium, titanium, copper, nickel, and beryllium) that is three times harder than steel. It is used to fill the recessed numbers in the bezel, forming a single solid piece with the ceramic insert.

Ceragold

Ceragold is the result of an innovative process that bonds 18k gold with ceramic. It is seen on the bezel where the gold increments are smooth to the touch against the ceramic insert.

Sedna Gold

Sedna is Omega’s patented term for its blend of gold, copper, and palladium, resulting in a lustrous 18kt rose gold metal found on many models within the brand’s catalog.

Super-Luminova

Super-Luminova, or Superluminova, is a luminous material that emits a bright blue glow in dark environments. In the light, it maintains a white hue. This material is celebrated for its incredible legibility in the ocean’s darkest waters.

Master Chronometer

To be labeled as a “Master Chronometer,” the in-house Omega movements have to become COSC certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. They then have to pass eight stringent tests set by METAS (The Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology) designed to test accuracy and anti-magnetism, among several other qualifications.

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide Co-Axial Movement

5 Case Sizes

37.5mm

Omega introduced the women’s edition of the Planet Ocean during the second generation in 37.5mm. As the smallest case size in the Planet Ocean’s production history, this option will appeal to women who seek an everyday watch with dive watch functionality. It’s still bold while maintaining a level of wear-ability that will appeal to a broad range of wrist sizes.

39.5mm

39.5mm is the current ladies’ case size. Just a few millimeters larger than its predecessor, this option is on-trend while maintaining a comfortable size and weight. It also maintains a thinner profile compared to the 43.5mm case.

42mm

Next in the lineup is the discontinued 42mm option, which is presented in stainless steel. It features an aluminum unidirectional bezel and a Helium Escape Valve. Various design sets include leather, steel, or rubber bracelets.

43.5mm

This case option joined the series in 2013 and is now available in the classic three-hand and GMT editions.

45.5mm

45.5mm is the largest case size available to the Planet Ocean series. Currently produced in this size are the chronograph edition and various limited edition Planet Ocean references.

Several Metal Options

The Planet Ocean series is available in a bevy of metal options, making it more than just a diver’s tool watch.

Titanium:

Titanium is ultralight. It’s the perfect metal option for the polarizing Planet Ocean collection. Current references include grade 5 titanium and a matching sand-blasted titanium dial and grey bezel.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel is one of the most common dive watch metal options. It’s found across all brands, including Omega, and is resilient, versatile, and affordable.

Two-Tone:

While developed for exploration in the sea, the Planet Ocean is also suited for use while on land. The varied collection proves that will two-tone options that effortlessly marry robust steel with luxurious gold.

Gold:

The series is also produced in all-gold. Currently in production at the Omega factory are 18k white gold and Sedna gold editions.

Ceramic:

Limited editions of the ceramic Planet Ocean include the Deep Black and Big Blue in various design sets.

4 Versatile Bracelet Materials

Metal:

Options include stainless steel, steel and gold, and lightweight titanium. Metal is the traditional option for dive watches.

NATO:

The NATO was initially developed for military use as a non-metal option. They’re inexpensive and easily adjustable. Today, many wearers will find the NATO preferable during hotter months when a metal bracelet would typically be uncomfortable and sweaty.

Leather:

Leather adds a level of sophistication to an otherwise very sporty and functional diver’s tool watch. The Planet Ocean leather bracelet is supple and includes rubber lining on the underside. Some references also include stylized contrast stitching.

Rubber:

The Planet Ocean rubber bracelet is “structured” for a supremely comfortable hold on the wrist, even while diving. It’s more supple and lightweight than metal, making rubber an attractive option for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Omega rubber also features an anti-bacterial treatment.

Omega Bezels

The Planet Ocean debuted in 2005 with an aluminum uni-directional bezel topped with a 60-minute diver’s scale. By 2009, the bezel was available in ceramic.

While all current Planet Ocean watches have ceramic bezels, some include versions with rubber blended into the ceramic to create the first 15 minutes of the dive timing scale. Furthermore, for the first time, the Planet Ocean GMT now comes with a bi-colored black and white ceramic bezel. Also available to the collection are a new series of stainless-steel Planet Ocean and Planet Ocean Chronograph models with orange ceramic bezels.

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide

The Best Omega Planet Ocean Watches

Orange Bezel Planet Ocean Reference 2218.50.00

Our buying guide kicks off with a classic orange Planet Ocean configuration with a three-link stainless steel bracelet, orange diver’s bezel, and black dial with matching orange numerals. Driving the OMEGA Planet Ocean 2218.50.00 is the Co-Axial Caliber 3313 automatic chronograph movement. It features the famous Co-Axial escapement and offers time, date, and chronograph functions. With 25 jewels and operating at 28,800 beats per hour, the Caliber 3313 includes a 55-hour power reserve.

Protecting the self-winding chronograph movement is the solid case back with the iconic seahorse logo typical of OMEGA Seamaster models. Fun fact: OMEGA has used the seahorse emblem on their Seamaster models since 1958 to symbolize the watch’s water resistance.

Planet Ocean “Deep Black” Reference 215.92.46.22.01.002

It’s rumored that the Planet Ocean Deep Black was developed for an emerging market for all-black watches. As you can already guess from its name, the ref. 215.92.46.22.01.002 includes a black design set, complete with a ceramic case constructed entirely from a single block of ceramic. The Deep Black line has four different color options: those with either blue or red on the bezel, an all-black edition, and one in 18k Sedna gold. The bezels on the blue and red models make a bold statement. These colors were not a random choice. According to Omega, red is the first color to disappear at a depth of 5 meters, making it blend in well with a diving suit, and blue is the last color you’ll see at a depth of 275 meters. These red and blue models feature a matte-black finish on both the case and dial to increase underwater visibility.

Another small yet significant innovation present on these timepieces is the ceramic Naiad locking system. This system was designed for screw-down case backs, ensuring that the engraving on the case back is always aligned properly. These case backs feature a sapphire crystal exhibition back, which is rather uncommon to see on dive watches. This allows the wearer to see the mechanics and movement of the timepiece. What you see at work is the Omega Master Chronometer caliber 8906. This movement is among the highest quality in the industry, passing all eight tests set forth by METAS (Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology) and being resistant to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.

Planet Ocean Michael Phelps ref. 215.32.46.51.04.001

The Planet Ocean series includes numerous limited editions references. The iconic watch manufacturer has a strong relationship with the Olympics, which resulted in the release of the Michael Phelps ref. 215.32.46.51.04.001 in 2017. It features a striking blue and orange feature set accented by the chronograph series’ robust 45.5mm case and a textured rubber bracelet. The modern diver is equipped with a ceramic bezel and runs on the Master Chronometer cal. 9900 with anti-magnetism up to 15,000 gauss and a 60-hour power reserve.

Michael Phelps is one of the most successful Olympians ever, with an impressive 28 medals under his belt. To celebrate that momentous feat, the ref. 215.32.46.51.04.001 was produced in quantities of just 280.

Titanium Planet Ocean Reference 232.92.42.21.03.001

This particular model is an ultralight version of a larger family of Planet Ocean watches. Crafted in titanium, this Planet Ocean sports a 42mm case and a blue Liquidmetal—Omega’s proprietary alloy—ceramic bezel. Compared to its 45.5mm counterpart, this 42mm case is a more restrained approach to an everyday luxury sports watch. The matching blue dial is home to large double broad-arrow hands, baton indexes, and silver Arabic numerals at 6,9, and 12.

While this titanium and blue Seamaster Planet Ocean looks great ashore, let’s not forget it is a diving watch. From its unidirectional rotating bezel and powerful lume to its helium escape valve, the Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean 600M ref. 232.92.42.21.03.001 was born to dive.

Planet Ocean “Good Planet” Reference 232.30.44.22.03.001

The “GoodPlanet” Planet Ocean Omega hails from the collection’s GMT series, which forgoes the traditional 60-minute uni-directional bezel for a 24-hour bi-directional bezel. The watch also includes a dedicated hand on the dial for dual timekeeping. The GoodPlanet foundation focuses on raising awareness for environmental issues. Omega partnered with the organization in 2011. Several notable editions of the Planet Ocean resulted from the partnership, including the steel-on-steel ref. 232.30.44.22.03.001. The watch is also available on a rubber bracelet via ref. 232.32.44.22.03.001.

On this edition of the Planet Ocean GMT, the graduations are presented in orange, as are the 24-hour hand and “GMT” logo on the dial. The ref. 232.30.44.22.03.001 is a unique take on a professional diver that competes with both the mighty Rolex Submariner and GMT Master. Pair that with a notable partnership with the GoodPlanet, and this Omega more than earns its spot on our buying guide.

Black and White Bezel Planet Ocean 600M GMT 215.30.44.22.01.001

A cult favorite among many die-hard Omega enthusiasts, the ref. 215.30.44.22.01.001 Planet Ocean was one of the first to feature a ceramic bezel insert with two colors to distinguish between day and night hours. From the third generation, the ref, 215.30.44.22.01.001 also features a METAS Master Chronometer cal. 8906 movement, complete with a 60-hour power reserve, independent hour hand, and anti-magnetism up to 15,000 gauss. It’s a solid diver that boasts the ability to read two time zones while simultaneously offering substantial water-resistance up to 600 meters. Couple that with the striking two-tone bezel, and you’ve got yourself a watch unlike any other in your collection.

Omega Planet Ocean Price

Omega’s philosophy to continually update the series to remain in competition with some of the industry’s heaviest hitters, such as Rolex, affects the secondary value of the watch as they are seemingly never in very short supply. There are also a vast number of editions currently floating around on the market, making them relatively affordable to collect and easy to find, compared to many of the stainless steel Rolex watches that currently require years-long waits to purchase one at retail.

On the retail level, prices range from $6,200 to $10,700 in either steel or titanium, $12,500 to $16,500 in two-tone, and $24,400 to $28,400 in gold and leather. A quick research of each current model on the used market reveals an average depreciation of around $2,000 for steel and titanium models, around $4,000 for two-tone options, and a much steeper drop in gold references of around $8,000 – $10,000.

Omega Planet Ocean Seamaster Complete Buying Guide GMT

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