Watch & Jewellery
EAT YOUR HEART OUT JAMES CAMERON: Omega's Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Omega
To support submersible pilot Victor Vescovo’s Five Deeps expedition Omega produced a 55mm timepiece with the latest dive watch technology
To spread stress distribution, the watch takes inspiration from the loadbearing conical design of submersible viewports, such as ones used on Limiting Factor
'Manta' lugs left open to lower risk of exceeding material limitations at full ocean depth
The hull is forged from grade five titanium, similar to the body of a submarine
Certified master chronometers

Those with primary concerns about whether your mechanical wristwatch can survive in a lap pool or even a bubble bath ought to know that watchmakers have already progressed beyond those scenarios. The best of them are readying its wristwatches with the kind of water resistance that will make it through any potential attempts to break world records for the deepest dive. How? That’s because watchmakers are making those deep dives before you do. Your most recent memory of a record-breaking dive wristwatch ought to be director James Cameron’s 2012 adventure to the sea floor of the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, known as the deepest point on Earth. Strapped to his manned vehicle was a Rolex wristwatch specifically built to withstand the harshest pressures of the unknown, hitting the eventual depth of 10,908 metres (35,787 feet). The wristwatch made it – so did Cameron – and it continues to function perfectly when it surfaced. But in May this year, the record was beaten by another explorer by the name of Victor Vescovo, who has now reached the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Vescovo just clipped Cameron’s record by a few metres, his second attempt into the Mariana Trench. What was unveiled only after the expedition was Omega’s involvement. The Swiss watchmaker created a special diver’s watch to accompany the voyage and set a world record in its field as well, adding to its pioneering moon-landing feat half a century ago. Strapped on the wrist of Vescovo and two others on the submersible’s robotic arm and the lander was the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional, a souped-up and steroid-pumped version of similar models in the series. Interestingly enough, the bezel, case, caseback, and crown were forged from the same block of titanium grade 5 material that made the submersible. The main area of concern in creating a wristwatch for such a testy environment was to ensure a perfect seal, especially between the case and the sapphire. Using its patented Liquidmetal tech, Omega used a patent-pending hot form bonding to create a seal that also helped to reduce the overall thickness of the sapphire. While this wristwatch isn’t commercially available – sorry! – take heart that you’d be seeing these newly developed features in future diver’s wristwatches from Omega. Start planning your new diving spots today.

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