THE OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN CHRONOGRAPH
Omega’s best known model may be the Speedmaster Professional (flight qualified by NASA for the Apollo missions, and the first watch worn on the moon) but the Seamaster watches aren’t far behind. The Seamaster models designed for professional divers in the early 1970s were among the most technically advanced watches of their time, aimed squarely at professional SCUBA and helium mixture breathing saturation divers, and are avidly sought by collectors to this day. This year Omega introduced a worthy successor to the legendary 600 and 1000 meter dive watches originally tested by, among others, Jacques Cousteau: the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph.
The Planet Ocean Chronograph’s robust but light Grade 5 titanium case houses the Omega in-house chronograph calibre 9300, featuring Omega’s high performance co-axial escapement –unlike most chronographs, the calibre 9300 places the chronograph minute and hour hands on one dial, just like the hands of a clock, making for an easy and intuitive read-off of elapsed time. A traditional central chronograph hand ticks off the elapsed seconds. As an added bonus, the hour hand can be set independently in one hour increments without stopping the watch, making resetting when traveling across multiple timezones a snap.
The bezel is in either high visibility anodized orange aluminum or scratchproof black ceramic, and the sapphire case back allows the owner to admire the movement without compromising the watch’s 600 meter water resistance, a key Seamaster feature (there’s a helium release valve as well –unecessary for anyone who doesn’t do long-term professional saturation diving, but an indicator of Omega’s commitment to real functionality in the Seamaster collection.) A bold, tough companion with a technically and aesthetically distinctive movement, the Seamaster Professional Chronograph is an asset whether you’re topside, or deep below, in what Jacques Cousteau called “the Silent World.”