The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Omega has just revealed an incredibly impressive new dive watch: the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional. This new model now holds the record for the world’s deepest diving watch, having survived a 10,928 meter dive into the Mariana Trench.
Journey Into the Mariana Trench With Omega
Located south of Japan, the Mariana Trench is currently the deepest known point in the ocean. While the tallest land point, the peak of Mount Everest, reaches heights of 8,848 meters, the Mariana Trench reaches a staggering depth of 10,928 meters.
While Omega’s new watch now holds the record for the deepest dive into the Mariana Trench, theirs isn’t the first luxury timepiece to take this dive. Famously, Rolex has also had a model explore the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. In 1960, when Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh became the first men to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep at 10,911 feet, they had a Rolex strapped to the outside of their bathyscaphe Trieste. This watch, the Deep Sea Special No. 3, became famous when it survived this mission perfectly intact.
Rolex sent another watch, the Rolex Deepsea, down into the Challenger Deep in 2012. On this expedition, the Deepsea Challenger deep-sea-diving submersible was piloted by film director James Cameron and reached a depth of 10,898 meters. Though the depths reached in this mission were impressive, reaching the ocean floor, they failed to break the record held by the previous mission. That record had remained unbroken— until now.
Omega’s new world record became possible due to their partnership with the Five Deeps Expedition, an expedition to reach the deepest point in each of the world’s oceans. During the 2019 Five Deeps Expedition mission to reach the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean, the Challenger Deep, Omega came along for the ride. Omega sent not just one, but three Omega Ultra Deeps into the ocean’s depths on this mission, which was piloted by Texan adventurer Victor Vescovo. Two rested on the robotic arms of the submersible vehicle, while one was attached to the vehicle’s lander, a data-gathering unit. The Five Deeps Pacific mission was successful— as was Omega’s. This mission broke the record for the world’s deepest manned dive and Omega’s Ultra Deep became the deepest diving watch of all time when the new Seamaster watches remained intact.
The Specs of the World’s Deepest Dive Watch
Diving watches are nothing new for Omega, a pioneer in the world of diving watches since their first sea-tested model, 1932’s Omega Marine. The Swiss watchmakers at Omega have continuously created innovative diving watches throughout the years, such as the legendary original Seamaster and the Seamaster PloProf. Now, however, they’ve raised the bar for diving watches and set a new standard to aspire to.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Planet Ultra Deep Professional was designed with function in mind. The casebody, caseback, and bezel of this watch are all crafted out of forged grade 5 titanium, the same material used for the hull of the DSV Limiting Factor submarine. The lugs of the Ultra Deep, named Manta lugs due to their shape, are also crafted from forged grade titanium and are fully integrated into the case. For the Ultra Deep’s sapphire, Omega took inspiration from the loadbearing conical design of submersible viewports in order to ensure proper stress distribution and optimal water resistance. For the case-to-sapphire installation, Omega used their patent-pending hot form bonding technique, Liquidmetal. This technique allowed Omega to avoid the use of polymer seals and reduce the thickness of the watch’s sapphire.
The exceptional design of this watch led to exceptional performance. The watch remained intact after the expedition, then passed Omega’s rigorous Master Chronometer tests. In addition to remaining perfectly functional after the Five Deeps Expedition at 10,928 meters, the watch performed perfectly at Omega’s pre-expedition tests done at Triton’s Sub’s facility in Barcelona. These tests had a 25% safety margin and created pressures equivalent to those at 15,000 meters deep.
Though the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Planet Ultra Deep Professional was focused on full ocean depth technology and was not designed to be a fashion piece, it’s not short on style. In the design of the watch, Omega used ocean blue accents along the dial, calling to mind the depths the watch was designed to reach. The oceanic color motif continues along the watch’s rugged strap. Upon the caseback lies the Five Deeps Expedition Logo, surrounded by concentric circles designed to evoke the Multi Beam sonar technology used during the expedition. Additionally, for a watch built to withstand enormous pressures, it’s surprisingly slim at less than 28mm.
Unfortunately for diving watch fanatics, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Planet Ultra Deep Professional was not built to be commercially sold. Omega has stated that they created this Omega watch with “the goal to create a watch for a very specific task using technology that could be industrialized in the future.” However, they’ve also stated that “bold adventurers can be confident that this record-breaking Ultra Deep technology is destined to surface again in the near future.” We’re excited to watch and see how Omega will use this new technology in future projects— and, hopefully, future commercial releases.