Omega and the Challenger Deep
The Biel-based company achieved a feat that had never been accomplished before: reaching the deepest point of the oceans. On maps it is referred to as Challenger Deep and to get there you have to descend to 10,935 metres below sea level. Pulse-tingling stuff. But not those of Victor Vescovo, who on board the Limiting Factor went to what is considered the most remote point on the planet. A mission to the edge of the world punctuated by the hands of the Ultra Deep a timepiece that Omega provided for Vescovo.
Two of these were attached to the robotic arms of the piloted submarine, while the third was placed on one of the three “landers” used to collect samples for scientific analysis, on which it remained for 48 hours, returning to the surface in perfect working order. The Maison studied the model for functional resistance to the tolerances required in the Mariana Trench but, to be even more sure of its performance, it wanted to add a 25% safety margin, such as to calibrate its regular operation, as mentioned, up to a good 1,500 atmospheres of pressure (tested at the Triton Sub facility in Barcelona, in the presence of a DNV-GL expert). Translated this means 15,000 metres. At the end of the mission Raynald Aeschlimann said: Ultra Deep will not be an isolated phenomenon. The technology used in producing it will be adapted for subsequent professional specimens’.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep
Said and done. Three years later, the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep makes its debut on the deep-sea scene. The collection consists of seven models and was born out of the experience gained with the Ultra Deep. The performance, in terms of water resistance, is unprecedented. The cases are designed to reach depths of up to 6,000 metres, thus establishing a new record in the Maison’s watchmaking offer available to the public.
Suffice it to say that Omega’s best-performing model to date was the Seamaster Ploprof 1,200M. From a technical point of view, six references of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep have a 45.5 mm steel case and a seventh in grade 5 titanium. In the latter model, the references to the Ultra Deep are highlighted by details such as the LiquidmetalTM graduated scale, the emblematic “Manta” lugs and the asymmetrical case with its aerodynamic lines. The convex and slightly protruding sapphire crystal reveals a dial also in black ceramic-coated titanium with a cyan numeral and a blue-tinted central seconds hand.
Staying on the subject of materials, the steel developed to make the cases of the other six references is also the result of extensive research work carried out in the Bienne-based company’s laboratories. This special alloy, christened O-MEGASTEEL, has characteristics that go beyond normal standards and guarantees unprecedented resistance to corrosion.
The entire Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep collection boasts Master Chronometer certification in compliance with the highest Swiss standards of precision, performance and magnetic resistance, and is powered by the Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8912. Finally, another first in watchmaking, the timepiece meets the ISO 6425 standard for saturation dive watches, as certified by the independent Swiss body.