When talking about the use of ceramic in watchmaking, Omega has to be mentioned. In 2013, it launched the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” which, in my mind, should be considered one of the most important watches in recent history. By then, ceramic had already been widely used and adopted by the watchmaking industry, but the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” took ceramic and used it almost everywhere - save for the movement. The entire case, crown, pushers, buckle and even the dial are made out of ceramic. Since then, Omega has been experimenting with ceramic in more ways, and this new Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” watch is the latest ceramic creation.
If you think about it, the use of ceramic in watchmaking makes sense. If you have a watch made out of more typical materials like stainless steel, gold, or platinum, chances are it is a little scratched up. For people who don’t like scratches, this is a problem. Enter watches with ceramic cases. Because ceramic is so strong and resistant to scratches, it is virtually scratch-proof. In other words, ceramic watches are more likely to stay scratch-free and maintain their pristine look.
The new Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” is the latest full ceramic watch from Omega. In essence, it is a blue version of last year’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black collection watches (reviewed here), but the highlight here is the blue ceramic case. Omega says this is the first time they have done a watch entirely in blue ceramic.
Like the Planet Ocean Deep Black watches, the new Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” is made from a single block of blue ceramic. The bezel, crown and even the dial are all made out of the same blue ceramic material. This is a big watch, measuring 45.5mm wide and just under 18mm thick, but because it is made out of ceramic, which is substantially lighter than stainless steel, it should feel light on the wrist. Water-resistance is a formidable 600 meters, and there’s a helium release valve. In other words, this is a serious professional dive watch.
The blue ceramic bezel features minute markings filled with Liquidmetal and the first 15 minutes of the bezel is filled bright orange rubber so it stands out against the blue ceramic bezel. There are orange accents elsewhere too. The blue ceramic crown, for instance, is signed with a bright orange Omega logo, and the blue ceramic dial is surrounded by a GMT track in the same bright shade of orange. The GMT hand is also bright orange. I’m really fond of the orange and blue color scheme. It looks fun and it is also practical since the two colors contrast brightly. Finally, the hour, minute, and seconds, as well as the hour indexes, are all made out of 18K white gold and filled with white SuperLuminova.
Inside the watch beats Omega’s Master Chronometer Calibre 8906, which features a 60-hour-long power reserve and a silicon balance spring. It is tested and certified by both METAS and COSC. This means that it is an accurate and reliable timekeeper and that it is also highly resistant to magnetic fields - up to 15,000 gauss, in fact. The movement is handsomely finished and can be admired through the display case back.
The display case back is screwed down, but it is special in that it features something Omega calls the Naiad locking system. Basically, it is a locking system that ensures that all the engravings on the rear of the watch stay in its right place and are oriented properly. This is a clear demonstration of the level of attention to detail that Omega gives to its watches.
Blue continues to be a popular color for watch buyers, and I think the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” will find its way into the hands of many Omega fans and dive watch lovers. For readers who have been intrigued by last year’s Planet Ocean Deep Black watches but find none of the colorways enticing enough, this new watch in blue will give you something to think about. I do think that compared to last year’s Planet Ocean Deep Black watches, this watch has a more fun look and vibe, which is perhaps more fitting given that it is a large watch, after all, and large watches should be a bit more shouty and attention-seeking. The reference 126.96.36.199.03.001 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” watch is priced at CHF 10,400. omegawatches.com