Omega debuted a new technically advanced lightweight ceramic and titanium Seamaster Planet Ocean dive watch earlier this week.
Uniquely the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Dark Gray comes with a silicon nitride ceramic [Si3N4] case that differs from ceramics that have typically been used in watchmaking (such as Zirconium Oxide ZrO2), including by Omega for years — resulting in a number of notable advantages.
“Compared with other technical ceramics, the low thermal expansion coefficient of Silicon Nitride provides good thermal shock resistance. It is extremely hard, fracture-tough, surpasses the high-temperature capabilities of most metals, and also has a superior oxidation resistance,” according to Precision Ceramics.
All of these characteristics are beneficial for watch cases, but perhaps the most useful factor is that this type of ceramic is particularly hard to fracture.
The 45.5 mm x 17.4 mm (lug-to-lug 51.1 mm) case is not small or conservative — it will have “wrist presence.” Yet, thanks to the ceramic case, the titanium bezel, the ceramic bezel insert, and the titanium movement, the total watch weighs just 107 grams, certainly making it more palatable on the wrist than the dimensions would suggest.
Titanium movements, such as what’s inside the circa 2019 Aqua Terra Ultra Light concept watch are uncommon in the watch industry, though with titanium watch cases (and phones) trending up this year, maybe we’ll see more brands using this strong, lightweight metal under the dial in the near future. Like the movement Omega caliber 8928 Ti, this caliber is not pure titanium and instead uses black ceramised grade 5 titanium for the mainplate and bridges.
Omega caliber 8906 Ti is a 3.5Hz automatic movement that has twin mainsprings mounted in series good for 60 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The 29 mm diameter movement drives hours, minutes, center seconds, a second-time zone, and date function. The movement is first COSC-certified, then further tested by Metas, meaning it’s both incredibly accurate and resistant to magnetic fields as high as 15,000 gauss. From the rotor that winds the mainsprings in both directions to the free-sprung balance wheel to the silicon balance spring, this Co-axial movement is all about performance.
Continuing the lightweight and durable theme, the dial is made of sand-blasted titanium and has a faded gray-brown hue that blends well with the dark gray ceramic case, the dark gray titanium bezel, and the polished gray ceramic bezel insert. Anthracite hands and indexes complete the monotone aesthetic.
Though it’s not 6,000 meters like the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep, the 600-meter depth rating is quite deep and sufficient for almost any use. And being a true professional dive watch, it’s equipped with a helium escape valve for saturation diving.
Omega’s patented NAIAD LOCK caseback and bezel ring technology ensure that neither is ever misaligned. A black and gray rubber strap with a textile motif and a titanium folding buckle with a two-button safety release round out this technical, ultra-lightweight professional dive watch.
The Omega Seamaster Professional GMT Dark Gray (Ref. 184.108.40.206.99.002) retails for $22,200 which is about double the price of a Rolex GMT-Master II in stainless steel. While the Omega features high-tech ceramic and titanium, including a unique ceramised titanium movement, double is a big jump considering Omega often undercuts Rolex prices.
Photos by Omega.