There’s no question that the Omega Planet Ocean series has been a huge success for the brand. A collection of Omega watches that manages to exist in that tricky sweet spot of the undeniably luxurious and the massively capable at the same time, the Planet Ocean’s array of sizes, state-of-the-art materials and versatile styling have lifted it into the iconic category. Add to that the very latest in-house movements and some of the best marketing collaborations any watch manufacturer can have, and it is easy to see why it ranks alongside Omega’s best-selling lines.
From humble beginnings in 2005, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean catalog now houses scores of different variants from which to choose. So, to help you narrow down your selection, we have put together this extensive article about the Planet Ocean 600m Co Axial telling you everything you need to know about one of the most exciting dive watch ranges in the business.
Table of Contents:
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
Omega Planet Ocean Key Features:
– Multiple case sizes and material options
– 600 meters / 2,000 feet of water resistance
– Helium escape valve
– Time and date, chronograph, and GMT models available
– Limited Edition and Numbered pieces available
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Timeline
2005: Omega releases the first Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
2011: Omega redesigns the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M with a new movement & clear caseback
2016: Omega upgrades the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M with a Master Co-Axial movement
About the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M checks all the right boxes both as an everyday sporty luxury watch, as well as a robust diving instrument. In fact, it’s so beloved for its design, versatility, and usability, it’s surprising to think that the fan-favorite Planet Ocean collection has only existed for just over a dozen years. Given its recognition, credibility, and popularity, it certainly feels like the Seamaster Planet Ocean collection has been around for a lot longer than that.
Today, the Omega Planet Ocean is definitely a celebrity in the world of luxury watches – having literally been donned by celebrities and movie icons like James Bond. It has also boasted a wide array of styles and variations over the years, giving collectors a diverse range of Seamaster Planet Ocean watches to fit their wardrobe and lifestyle. With all this has also come some serious capability upgrades. So here, we’re going to take a deep dive into the history and evolution of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, as well as show you just how and why we like to wear them. Let’s dive, shall we?
Best Features of the Planet Ocean 600M Over The Years
Since the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M was first released by Omega in 2005, it has been an instant icon and recognized as one of the best dive watches on the planet. while the Planet Ocean 600M was brand new at the time, the new line was built upon the Seamaster legacy that stretched back to 1948, and even features a number of subtle design traits that serve as a nod to the original Seamster 300 diver from 1957.
2005: First Generation of the Planet Ocean 600M
Initially, Omega only released a few iterations of the first generation Planet Ocean 600M, eventually expanding it throughout the first generation to incorporate a variety of bezel colors, numerals, and straps. However, there was the consistency that all Planet Ocean 600M models featured an analog display with luminous hands, a rotating bezel, and that impressive 600M water resistance, made possible by a screw-down crown, a screw-down caseback, and a manually operated helium gas escape valve to protect the Omega Caliber 2500 movement.
The first generation of Planet Ocean watches is most famous for its features in the James Bond movies which cemented its fame. Not only was the Planet Ocean 600M worn by Bond in Casino Royale, but Quantum of Solace.
The first generation of the Planet Ocean is beloved for this connection, but also for the numerous limited editions that came from it, like the Casino Royale Limited Edition ref. 2907.50.91 and the Quantum of Solace Limited Edition ref. 22230462001001. During the first generation, Omega continued to celebrate their new success with other limited pieces like the ref. ref. 22230385001003 which was produced for the Olympics, celebrating the brand’s longtime role as Official Timekeeper for the games.
2011: Second Generation of the Planet Ocean 600M
The second generation of the Planet Ocean 600M wasn’t so much considered a redesign but rather an evolution of the popular line. Omega did add a 37.5mm case in addition to the standard 42mm and 45.5mm cases; however, the aesthetics of the watch also received some slight updates, most notably appearing with ceramic and Liquidmetal bezels for the first time.
Omega also revamped the indices and hour markers, as well as the logo, making them larger and more distinct. One major difference on the dial was the upgraded ‘Seamaster’ name, now appearing in orange instead of white like on the first generation.
With that in mind, the biggest upgrade to accompany the second generation was the new in-house Caliber 8500 movement. What got collectors so excited was that this new caliber featured both a silicon escapement and hairspring, along with two new mainsprings, which together offered an increased 60-hour power reserve.
Omega also outfitted the Caliber 8500 with DLC-coated barrel arbors for less friction and a new, better-looking rotor (which you could now see through the clear exhibition caseback). Also important to note that rather than a traditional quickset date, the new Cal. 8500 movement features a jumping hour hand that can quickly be jumped forwards or backward in one-hour increments, to facilitate changing timezones.
The second generation of Planet Ocean watches is also beloved for welcoming models like the GMT in 2013, including the GoodPlanet Foundation GMT, and a 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Planet Ocean. In 2014, Omega was also able to finally create an orange ceramic bezel for the Planet Ocean GMT, marking the first time the brand was able to achieve this difficult color from this new and highly resilient material.
2016: Third Generation of the Planet Ocean 600M
While there were some aesthetic upgrades to accompany the third generation, we have to start out by highlighting the Planet Ocean 600M’s upgrade to Master Co-Axial movements. This significant watchmaking feat upped the watches’ magnetic resistance up to forces in excess of 15,000 gauss, granting the watch a coveted METAS’s Master Chronometer certification. With this, the watch became the first in history to boast such a high magnetic resistance alongside a 600m/2000ft water resistance and a chronometer certification.
Today, there are dozens of iterations of the Planet Ocean 600M, ranging from durable stainless steel and titanium as well as rose gold, stainless, white gold, and rose gold, and more. Collectors have also adored the bezel variations where Omega combined the now-standard Liquidmetal ceramic with vulcanized rubber.
This allowed the Swiss watch brand to develop an awesome, vibrant orange that wasn’t shiny and looked perfect against the ceramic bezel. There are beautiful combinations like black and orange or grey and orange. There’s also the beloved blue ceramic bezels that look particularly good on the 18k Sedna rose gold Planet Ocean 600M models.
Collectors also love the bracelet options on the third generation Planet Ocean 600M. Their rubber band has been notoriously comfortable to wear, and it has continued to be a fan favorite. With their dressier versions, you’ll find metal bracelets as well as leather straps, like the blue crocodile band on the white gold diamond-bezel Planet Ocean 600M. Other favorites by the collectors include the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics model and the exclusive Michael Phelps limited edition Planet Ocean 600M chronograph.
The Most Recent Planet Ocean 600M Models
Due to the Planet Ocean’s success and popularity, there have been numerous different editions despite its relatively short history.
The Limited Editions
Omega are constantly rejigging the Planet Ocean 600M collection, adding new models and retiring others. As you would expect from Omega, there are a litany of special editions to tempt the serious collector. Some of the most high profile examples have revolved around the Olympic Games itself and the world’s most decorated Olympian.
In 2018, the brand released two limited run watches to commemorate the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Both the Planet Ocean 600M and the Aqua Terra models based their color scheme on the country’s national flag.
The 43.5mm time-and-date Planet Ocean came in with an all-blue dial, bezel and strap, with red highlights on the first 15-minutes of the diving scale and along the stitching on the band. Restricted to 2,018 pieces, each has its individual number and the Games’ logo printed on the case back.
More recently, the delayed Tokyo Olympics was given similar treatment, with Omega bringing out a whole slew of special editions. Alongside a Seamaster Professional model and a few different Aqua Terra references, the Seamaster Planet Ocean ‘Tokyo 2020’ Limited Edition is a 39.5mm three-hander, all in white, with just two splashes of red; on the ‘20’ bezel numeral and on the tip of the seconds hand – again, in a reference to the nation’s austere flag, with only 2,020 pieces produced.
Back to 2018 and legendary swimmer Michael Phelps was also honored with his own Planet Ocean model. The most successful Olympic athlete of all time, with a total of 28 medals spanning five games, his hefty 45.5mm chronograph is the most fun of the three. The combination of a white dial, matched with a blue and orange bezel and strap really makes the watch pop. Plus it is also the most limited of the limited editions, with only 280 units being produced.
Following a pattern, last year saw the unveiling of the Planet Ocean America’s Cup Limited Edition, celebrating the 36th running of the world’s most exclusive yacht race. Decked out in red, white and blue, with a crisp white dial, it includes a handful of distinctive quirks, such as the seconds hand’s counterweight in the shape of the organization’s logo.
New Materials and Sizes
Ceramic has played an important role in the Planet Ocean’s, and Omega’s, story. However, where it was used only on the watch’s bezel up until 2016, which saw the unveiling of the Planet Ocean 600M Deep Black, which made it the first real dive watch crafted exclusively from the material. Not only was the case carved out of a single block of ceramic, the crown, dial, helium escape valve and both the bezel itself and the insert were also made from it.
The 45.5mm GMT model was released in all-black, with Omega taking their cue from the success of their Dark Side of the Moon sub-collection of Speedmaster watches. The ‘Deep Black’ has since gone onto to be issued with a range of different color accents to liven up the monochrome.
That same year, the brand came out with another genuine innovation. Another GMT model, this time measuring 43.5mm, it was launched sporting a distinctive black and white bezel insert. Unlike the two-tone bezels from Rolex, which are actually made in one color and then treated afterwards to achieve the second, Omega’s is an authentic bi-ceramic example and a world’s first. The ref. 126.96.36.199.01.001 (nicknamed the ‘Cookies and Cream’ or ‘Oreo’) has become a highly sought-after variant.
The brand doubled down on its use of ceramic the following year with the introduction of the ‘Big Blue’ – an identical watch to the Deep Black in materials and functions except with a (you guessed it) blue case, highlighted with bright orange features. Along with the materials used, the dimensions of the Planet Ocean series have also been upsized.
There is no longer a 42mm model in the lineup, with the range jumping from 39.5mm to 43.5mm with nothing in-between. That makes a total of four sizes to choose from overall (including the sole 37.5mm ‘Sochi 2014’ Limited Edition and the 45.5mm chronograph models).
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M As An Everyday Luxury Watch
While the Planet Ocean may be somewhat of a newbie to the Omega catalog, the Seamaster line has been around since the late 1940s. Therefore, the Seamaster is the oldest Omega collection still in production today.
When it was first presented, the Seamaster was offered as an elegant dress watch that could handle some splashing, designed for gentlemen who had refined tastes and relatively active lifestyles. Today, the Omega Seamaster collection includes a wide assortment of water-ready timepieces from the elegant Aqua Terra to rugged professional dive watches like the Planet Ocean. However, the core spirit has always remained; Omega Seamaster watches are robust, water-resistant timepieces built for those with fine tastes and active lifestyles.
Take for example the Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean 600M ref. 188.8.131.52.99.001. Part of a larger family of Planet Ocean watches in a multitude of size, materials, and colors, this particular model is a lightweight and modern version.
Crafted in titanium, this Planet Ocean sports a 43.5mm case along with a grey silicon nitride ceramic bezel with orange rubber and Liquidmetal diving scale. Compared to its 45.5mm counterpart, this 43.5mm case is a more restrained approach to an everyday luxury sports watch. The matching grey dial is home to large double broad-arrow hands, baton indexes, and silver Arabic numerals at the 6,9, and 12 locations.
The grey ceramic and titanium version of the Omega Planet Ocean 600M is especially sporty thanks to its grey rubber strap, although a version on a matching titanium bracelet is also available. Omega’s high-quality rubber strap is famously comfortable to wear and features a matching titanium deployant clasp to keep everything securely in place. Casual and sporty, the rubber strap is especially attractive and perfectly matches the dial thanks to the orange stitching on the grey rubber material.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M As Diving Instrument
As its name suggests, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M is built to explore marine landscapes with a more-than-capable water resistance rating of 600 meters. While all versions of the Seamaster Planet Ocean look great ashore, let’s not forget that they are professional diving watches at their core. From the unidirectional rotating bezel and powerful lume to the manually-operated helium escape valve, the Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean 600M was born to dive.
While it’s often customary for dive watches to have a solid casebacks, Omega opted to have a transparent sapphire caseback for all to admire the Cal. 8500 and Cal. 8900 movements working away within. Caliber 8500 is Omega’s in-house automatic mechanical movement that offers 60 hours of power reserve, and the Caliber 8900 takes this a step further offering METAS-certification and antimagnetic capabilities. Beautifully decorated with arabesque Geneva waves, both in-house Omega movements come equipped with the famous Omega Co-Axial escapement, jumping hour hands, free-sprung balance wheels, dual mainspring barrels, and bi-directional automatic winding.
Highly capable from a technical standpoint, yet refined enough to blend in with formal attire, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M is remarkably diverse, despite its serious dive watch credentials. From overboard to boardroom bound, the Planet Ocean is a fine choice for a luxury diver and could very well be the only watch you will ever need for the rest of your life. What do you think of the Seamaster Planet Ocean collection? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.