First of all, I want to offer a big thank you to 100thMonkey. Not only did he put faith in dealing with a forum noob, but he also met me a day after me sending him a PM about the watch so I could pick it up. He is a real asset to the community.
Secondly, now that I have entered back into the watch market, I hope to be a part of this community on a regular basis. I have been into time pieces for as long as I can remember, and I’m a massive fan of brands such as Omega, IWC, Glashutte and Panerai.
Thirdly, welcome to my review of the Planet Ocean…….
I consider the Planet Ocean to be among one of the most aesthetically pleasing watches out there. It has an uncluttered dial which is easily readable at all angles and times of the day, yet it is far from boring. The 45mm which is the subject of this review is amazingly comfortable on the rubber strap. I always found the bracelet made the PO a little top heavy, it just didn’t sit right on my wrist.
This little Omega Seamaster tribute thread will take you through the history of the Omega brand, the history of the Seamaster, my little history of owning Omegas and then a little review of the watch itself….oh, and be prepared for alot of writing and alot of pictures!!
History of Omega
The idea of the watch brand was initially conceived by two brothers in 1848. A small office was used for their manufacture but by 1889, they became the largest watch producers in Switzerland.
In 1894, a watch was created which was commended for its design and functionality; the brother’s banker suggested it should be called the Omega, the name that was adopted for the brand itself later in 1903.
In 1909 the brand made its debut in the sporting arena, with the Gordon Bennett ballooning contest using Omega as their official timekeeping equipment. Over the next half a century, many different sports used Omega for similar purposes.
Perhaps the defining point in Omega’s history was the development of the Speedmaster in 1957, and then its later use by Neil Armstrong for the quest to the moon in 1969.
In 1993 a museum was opened for the company, and since then has continued to produce class leading watches at competitive prices.
History of the Seamaster
The first Seamaster was sold in 1948, the men’s version incorporated a small seconds counter at 6, whilst the ladies came with the standard dial layout.
The first Seamaster 300m was sold in 1957. They were designed to be very robust divers watches, and these models still fetch a premium price due to their heritage and beautiful design
Then over the years, the design gradually changed to what we come to recognise as the SMP. The first was released in 1988. The second generation of this watch was released in 1992, the main change being the hand design. The picture below shows the first generation SMP 200.
The 3rd generation underwent a substantial overhaul, and this is the version that became the iconic line of Seamaster watches, partly due to its appearance in Goldeneye. (NB - Brosnan used the quartz version, not the 2531.80)
Since then, Omega has been the brand that is associated with James Bond, even though Fleming’s original description suggested a Rolex Explorer was used.
The later releases of the SMP included the electric blue, and the 2254 black SMP in 1998, which is considered to be the ‘tool watch’ of the SMP line, whereas the 2531 is the iconic and more popular model among Bond fans.
The co-axial movement was developed in 1999, and put in the latter batches of 2531 SMP’s, before re-releasing them as the 2280.80 model (red Seamaster)
The Planet Ocean is the new comer of the Seamaster series. Its design attempts to recreate the stunning lines of the first SMP300 released in 1957. Again, the link with Bond was reaffirmed with Daniel Craig wearing the 45mm PO on a rubber strap. A special edition was released which included a limited edition caseback, and orange 007 seconds hand, of which I am not a big fan.
Another version was released for the QoS film, which incorporated a carbon effect dial, and an engraving on the crystal. For those who online casino like the Ltd Ed pieces, it went down well, for the hardcore PO fans, it went down like a lead balloon.
History of Omega and Me
Omega has always been a brand that I have had utmost respect for. They know what markets they are producing for, and they do it well.
About a year ago, I treated myself to a 2531.80. I picked it up for a great price, but because it didn’t come with boxes and papers, it was more of a ‘testing the water purchase’ rather than a long term one. However, after owning that watch I knew the Seamaster range was worthwhile of all the hype surrounding it.
The Planet Oceans have always impressed me. The build quality is amazing, and the timekeeping on them is second to none. I therefore knew that the step up to the Planet Ocean from the SMP would be a welcome one.
The Omega Planet Ocean
Case Diameter – 45mm
Case Height – 15mm
Water Resistance – 2000ft
Power Reserve – 44 Hours (self winding co-axial)
Crystal - Convex AR coated Sapphire
The PO was originally released with black bezel with white numbers, and Orange bezel with orange numbers. This catered for those who wanted a classic looking diver, and for those who wanted something a little more outlandish. The Black bezel with Orange numbers was later released for those in between. I have never been a big fan of the latter combo, and prefer the two originals personally.
Box and Papers
The Planet Ocean comes with the full complement of outer and inner boxes, as well as the cards.
The outer box is made from cardboard, and is super sturdy, whilst the legendary red inner box is nicely finished in leather.
Of course as with any Omega, you get the warranty cards and operating manual too.
Overall, it’s a really nice little setup. When it’s not on your wrist, it looks really nice sitting in the box with the hang tag next to it, and makes a really nice display item on a shelf.
The first thing to hit you about the front of the PO is just how nicely the AR compliments the dial. It has a beautifully textured dial, and the finer details are exquisite. For example, the date window has a nicely stepped border which really adds emphasis to that part of the dial.
The readability of the dial is incredible in all conditions. The lume is monstrous, I have to put it in the box at night otherwise it would keep me awake! Additionally, the shape of the hands and lume marker gives the watch face great presence
The bezel has a nice shine to it, and it clicks around with authority.
The case back is beautifully finished. The Seamaster horse is engraved precisely, and the engravings are finished perfectly. It has the anti-counterfeit logo on the outer part of the case back, and the serial number deeply engraved into the rear of the lugs.
The first thing that you notice is how smooth everything operates. The crown unwinds beautifully, and the date set and time changing functions are equally as smooth. Furthermore, I think the black rubber strap really complements the dial and bezel nicely making it visually stick out on the wrist, whereas the bracelet makes the watch fade into the background.
I really cannot find any faults with this watch, for the price it really brings a lot of satisfaction!
Well if you’ve made it this far, I commend your stamina. 50% of people switch off and enter into their own fantasy after 10minutes of intensive concentration, so if nothing else, at least I know that 50% of you have enjoyed my review so far
The jump between the SMP and the PO is not all that large in terms of individual components. With the PO, everything about it is slightly better than the SMP. However, the jump between the SMP and the PO as a whole is huge. In terms of overall fit and finish, and overall wrist presence the PO is along way ahead of my previously owned SMP. Because everything on the PO is finished to a higher standard, overall, the watch feels in a different class to that of the SMP.
The PO is an incredible watch. If you are considering buying a mid-range divers watch, I would fully recommend getting a PO. The co-axial movement is a workhorse, and the watch itself makes great for everyday use, be it for sports or formal occasions.
In conclusion I am very happy with this purchase and it will remain in my collection. I have finally found a sports watch that I am truly happy with…..now I live in search of the IWC 3714
Thank you for reading this review, I hope you have enjoyed it. Now onto my favourite section, the closing pictures;
All text and photographs property of JCowely