Friday, February 14, 2014

OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial - A Great Tool Watch That Can Take A Beating, A Review

This OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Reference 2208.50.00 was a gift to my wife back in 2010. I bought it to commemorate her obtaining an open water diving certification. This watch has the "600 M" stamp that denotes its capability to operate down to a depth of 600 meters. A very serious tool watch.

OMEGA launched the Planet Ocean line in 2005. This model, with its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, features a black dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The orange unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel is mounted on a 45.5 mm stainless steel case on a stainless steel bracelet. To put it in perspective the diving capability of this watch, the 600 metres is equivalent to 2000 feet or 60 bar. The Co-Axial calibre 2500 is at the heart of this certified chronometer.

As highlighted earlier, this watch is huge. With a watch case diameter of 45.5 mm which excludes the crown, this watch comes with a number of features. There is a date window situated at the 3 o'clock position. At the same position is the screw-down crown. The crown has a good grip on it and the OMEGO logo can be seen at the top. Part of the case acts as a partial crown guard and it does not hurt the wrist at all if you wear it closer to your hand. Meanwhile, at the 10 o'clock position is the manual helium escape valve to be used when diving at depth. On this model, it is chunkier than the crown but with duller grips and says "He" on it for Helium.

The dial is black with painted markers at 5 minute intervals. There are sub-markers for minute intervals as well. In addition, at the North, West and South positions on the dial are Arabic digits as well (The East position is taken by the date window). The hour-, minute- and seconds-hands are also painted with luminous paint for ease of reference in the dark. The luminous paint used is the Super-luminova which is really effective. A couple of hours exposure to light is sufficient to keep the Super-luminova glowing all night.

The unidirectional aluminum and steel insert rotating bezel is painted orange. There is a lumed pip at the 60 minute position as required under the ISO 6425 Divers' Watch Standard and micro-markers for the first 15 minutes. The rest of the bezel are painted with large Arabic numbering in 10 minute intervals. The bezel is designed with a gear tooth-like design to make it easier to manipulate with heavy diving gloves. It rotates very nicely in 120 click increments.
The dial is protected by a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Both sides of the crystal have been given an anti-reflective coating to reduce glaring.

The base material for the body of the watch as well as the bracelet is the 316L stainless steel. The design of the watch casing follows the Swiss standard with the technical specifications NHIS 91-10 or ISO 1413 (international equivalent). Although OMEGA does not report the shock resistant capability of this watch, by the fact that it follows ISO 1413 implies it is capable to withstand up to 5,000 Gs.

A very well made case. Don't think OMEGA could have done a much better job on this aspect of the watch. Some people have commented on the bulky design but I find it to be perfect. It does take some getting used to but without this, this watch's character would be lost.

This watch uses the OMEGA Caliber 2500, a self-winding chronometer, Co-Axial escapement movement with rhodium-plated finish. This particular caliber is based on the venerable OMEGA Caliber 1120. This is in-turn based on the ETA 2892. OMEGA has added two jewels to the ETA design for the bi-directional, click-wheel automatic winding system. The escapement of the 2500 adds another two jewels, and another two are added to the mainspring barrel for a total of 27. The movement is 12.5 lignes (27.2 millimeters in diameter), and 3.6 millimeters thick. OMEGA cites a power reserve of 48 hours, typical for single-barreled automatic movements of this size.

The watch comes with a solid screw-down case-back. An artistic rendition of the classic Seamaster logo is etched on the center of the case-back. Truly appreciate the level of detailing done. Also, as you can clearly see in the image above (near the crown), the anti-counterfeit engraving.

When the watch is on your wrist, although weighty, you hardly noticed it. It is very comfortable. Unknowingly, the logo will leave a imprint on your wrist which looks cool.

The OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean is an awesome watch that got a lot of it's recognition and  popularity due to the product placement tie-ins to the James Bond film genre. Excellant looking, rugged "sport" watches that still look elegant to be worn to a formal event. This model was one of two Bond watches for the 2006 film, "Casino Royale".

The bracelet and clasp on the OMEGA are of solid construction and design. OMEGA did a good job on this. As a reference, this bracelet and clasp combination is tagged as Part Number 951. Weighty, solid end links and excellent construction. On the clasp are etched the logo, the brand as well as the words "PROFESSIONAL" and "PLANET OCEAN". Resizing the links is easy as it uses the pin system.

I am also glad to report that the Planet Ocean could handle the rough stuff as advertised. My wife uses this watch for water sports and it has been bashed and scraped against rocks, corals, sand etc. A lot of battle scars can be seen (see below).

Despite the damage inflicted on the watch for the past 4 years, it remains precise in its timekeeping. I couldn't ask for more.

Although the Planet Ocean is sizable, it can be worn with formal wear relatively easy. This gives it a distinct advantage of being an all rounder. It is pity that a very high percentage of Planet Oceans would not be able to see action as it was designed for. The pricing as well as the (misplaced, in my opinion) advertising messages creates an impression that this is a show watch instead of a tool watch. Unfortunately, a lot of buyers believe this to be true. Only a few, including my wife, realized its true potential and really put it through its pace.

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  1. hello I want to buy a watch found here seems pretty good, do not know to pick the help of everyone to the point.

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