Fit For Atlantis: Omega Introduces The World’s Deepest Watch
Omega is a brand of firsts, after being the first watch to reach new heights in space, they are now the first watch to reach the deepest point on earth. Two extreme opposites that are perfectly fitted for the brand.
Launched today in London, the new Omega Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional is reaching unseen underwater worlds. Perfectly in line with the brand’s history of savoir-faire made for the most extreme of situations.
A New World Record
The five deepest areas on earth, aka 'The Five Deeps' are obviously extremely hard to reach. Only a team of capable and trained professionals can touch their deepest points. For this extraordinary adventure, the adventurer and submersible pilot Victor Vescovo, piloted the Triton-made DSV Limiting Factor submersible to the deepest point of each of the five oceans.
The first stop: the Atlantic Ocean, at the Puerto Rican Trench for a depth of 8,376m followed by the Southern Ocean, South Sandwich Trench at 7,434m, then the Indian Ocean at the Java Trench at 7,192m. The Deepest Trench is not the last stop for the Five Deeps, but the penultimate. Culminating at 10,928m as accurately verified by Victor Vescovo on his descent on May 2019. The fifth and last stop, is deep in the North, in the Arctic Ocean, named the Molloy Deep, with a depth of 5,670m. A world premiere!
Located in the western Pacific Ocean is the Challenger Drop, the deepest point on earth known to man. To put things into perspective, take the highest summit on earth, Mount Everest, and place it at the bottom of Challenger Drop, there will still be about over mile of water above it.
Victor Vescovo became the first person to dive to the bottom Challenger Deep twice. This unprecedented achievement allowed him to discover at least three new species of marine animals. But what about the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional you may ask? Well, it became the first watch ever to achieve the same, diving and working correctly at a depth of 10,928m breaking itself a new world record.
The Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional
For such a monumental task and another first, Omega decided to start from scratch and create a watch that would resist pressure while functioning correctly. They knew that creating such a watch would take risks and push the limits of watchmaking. All so Victor Vescovo would have the perfect companion for this exceptional expedition.
The water pressure at the Challenger Deep is 1086 bars, which is about 1000 times higher than the atmospheric pressure at the water surface. At such levels, a normal diving watch would explode. That is why Omega came out with a technology that can be used not only for this expedition but adaptable for future dive watches.
Surprisingly, this record-breaking depth watch is not as thick as one would think. Omega successfully limited the thickness to 28mm without stopping the timepiece from achieving its daring dive.
Inspired by the lines of Limiting Factor, the now iconic submersible, the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional is also made from parts of the ship. Indeed, the bezel, the case, and crown are made from cutoffs of the submersible's titanium grade 5 pressure hull which necessitated a new advanced forging technique. To attest to the origins and quality of the origin material, those cutoffs bear the DNV-GL stamps.
To avoid the risk of material limitation at the deepest point on earth, the distinctive Manta lugs are left open. Inspired by the space missions, the strap is made of a combination of polyamide and Velcro. The watch is resistant and tested to 15,000m/49,212ft.
All the watches were pressure tested in Barcelona, at the Headquarters of Triton’s Submarine facility. It is the highest level of testing available to the watch industry.
Omega’s Diving History
It's true, that when we think of Omega, we usually think of the first manned expedition to the moon when Neil Armstrong wore his faithful Omega Speedmaster for those iconic first steps. But Omega is no stranger to the underwater worlds, back in 1932, Omega launched the world's first Diver watch – the Omega "Marine." Created in collaboration with Charles Beebe, inventor of the bathysphere, the watch accompanied him on a 14m dive in the 1930's. A great accomplishment at the time!
Launched in 1948, the Seamaster was extremely treasured by aviators and sailors for its water resistance. Nine years later, Omega launched the now hugely popular Seamaster 300, specially made for divers. The Polprof was created in 1970, followed by the Seamaster 120 “Big Blue’ in 1971. In 2005, the first Planet Ocean was launched, which was the first concrete step toward the launch of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional.
Omega never ceases to impress and be the first in many different areas. I cannot wait to see what else Omega has under its sleeve or on its space suit.