Last May the Swiss watchmaking brand Omega has presented its refreshed Planet Ocean range of diving watches. Besides a gorgeous (but too posh) Liquidmetal model and a couple of watches designed for ladies, there was presented a sweet pair of practical and robust-looking Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.50 mm Chronograph (ref. 18.104.22.168.01.002 & ref. 22.214.171.124.01.001) watches.
As the name implies, the new timekeepers were presented in massive cases that measure 45.50 millimeters in width.
Although looking sporty and fresh, their main selling point is the new Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300 automatic movement.
Manufactured (technically) in-house at Omega’s own production facility in Biel, the new movement allowed the Swiss watchmakers to present the watch in a trendy bi-compax dial layout without losing the traditional chronograph functionality.
You see, when a watchmaker introduces a “bi-compax” chronograph, it means that the watch will have a pair of sub-dials on its face: one of them is reserved for subsidiary seconds indicator and the other is usually occupied by a 30-minute chronograph counter.
As a result, your shiny new chrono cannot count lapses of time more than 29 minutes and 59 seconds long.
The new design extends this period from half an hour to almost 13 hours thanks to a winning combination of hour and minute totalizers squeezed into a single sub-dial.
Besides saving precious space and making the dial look less busy, the new design also makes it easier to read the chronograph’s data since it looks like a miniaturized watch: there is a standard 12-hour scale, a smaller hand to count hours and a bigger to count minutes.
It takes just a single glance on the photos to understand that the chronograph is running for as long as 2 hours, 25 minutes and 37 seconds.
Another interesting detail of the new movement is its double-barrel energy storage system. When fully wound, the watch will run for as long as 60 hours, which makes it very comfortable for those not planning to wear the diver on a daily basis.
Since the watch is officially rated for depths down to impressive 600 meters, it is equipped with a helium escape valve, which is placed at 10 o’clock, and a screw-in stainless steel case back with a sapphire crystal.
The latter offers superb view at the finely executed movement with its oscillating weight sporting the signature Cotes de Geneve in Arabesque motif.
According to the Swiss watchmaker, the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.50 mm Chronograph watch will go on sale later this month at a pretty much democratic price of $7500 (model with the orange bezel on a stainless steel bracelet) and $7700 (the watch with the matte black bezel, also on a bracelet.)
As far as I got it, you will also be able to choose the watch either on black or orange rubber or an integrated black leather strap.
Photos: Omega Watches
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.50 mm (refs. 126.96.36.199.01.002 & 188.8.131.52.01.001) automatic chronograph wrist watch specification
Price: $7500 (Orange bezel, ref. 184.108.40.206.01.002) / $7700 (Black bezel, ref. 220.127.116.11.01.001)
Movement: Automatic, Co-Axial Caliber 9300, 31.58 mm in diameter, double-barrel, tri-level co-axial escapement, in-house, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneve in Arabesque
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Matte black
Hour markers: Luminous, applied
Hands: Arrow-shaped, luminous
Water resistance: 600 meters
Strap: Brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet with Omega’s patented screw-and-pin system; OR an integrated strap either in black leather or in black or orange rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire, screw-in