Whilst in Geneva in last week I was invited by Omega (Australia) to visit their Geneva boutique and meet with Mr. Gregory Kissling, Omega’s Head of Product Management, for an introduction to Omega’s new Seamaster Planet Ocean, with its newly patented method for creating an orange ceramic bezel.
Officially launched at the boutique on 22 January 2014, this is the culmination of Omega’s desire to create a ceramic bezel in orange, a colour already popularised in a previous Planet Ocean model and also a widely chosen colour for diving watches. The challenge that the brand faced in its two years of development towards this goal was that the pigment for the colour was resistant to the high temperatures required for creating such a bezel – they had to find an oxide that could do this.
As it stands, the process has not yet been industrialised, Mr Kissling telling me that they estimate that it will take two to three years before this will be achieved. In the meantime, to show off this new methodology, Omega have released a limited edition of eight watches in a 43.5mm 950 platinum brushed and polished case. With the use of platinum comes weight, this is a watch with not just a lot of visual wrist presence, but also weight presence.
The orange bezel is a bi-directional 24-hour GMT, but with an additional point of interest – 850 grade platinum satin-brushed liquid metal numerals, division lines, inner ring and triangle bezel. In fact, Omega hold a second patent for the method of injection of platinum into the bezel.
Beneath the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is more platinum, a 950 Pt sand-blasted dial. The indices and centre hour/ minute and seconds hands are white gold and the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock numerals, as well as the GMT hand, are in anodised orange aluminium.
The sapphire crystal on the caseback allows a view of the Co-Axial Calibre 8615.
Of course, the watch comes with an orange leather strap with rather extravagant platinum stitching and a 950-grade platinum clasp.
A second orange rubber strap is also delivered with it, as well as a matching orange strap changing tool, in the wooden presentation box.
It is unlikely that any of the owners (the watches are already all spoken for) are likely to take it under water, but nonetheless the Planet Ocean Ceramic is water resistant to 60 bar (600m/ 2000ft).
As mentioned, all eight pieces are already spoken for. Omega have said that this model will not be at Baselworld, and its viewing in Geneva was invitation-only, so it was not only fortuitous timing for me, but also for Horologium readers, as it turns out that these are the only Australian ‘in the metal’ photos of this new piece.
So, orange watch lovers, and I know there are a fair number of you – what do you think?