Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Omega Seamaster and Seamaster Planet Ocean watches get a fair amount of attention at aBlogtoWatch for good reason, and today we are going to look at the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial GMT in detail. So why all the love? First of all, we are serious dive watch guys even though not all of us actually dive. Such is the power of the high-end sport watch and the allure of “desk diving.” Omega has evolved a lot over the last decade but is thankfully strongest where it counts when producing refined tool watches with a lifestyle twist. When the Planet Ocean versions of the classic Seamaster were originally released in 2005, they were touted as a more durable, high-end range of divers meant to compete with timepieces such as the Rolex Submariner- but without fitting into the same exact mold.

While the Submariner and GMT-Master II watches are decidedly more classic and traditional-style sport watches, the Planet Ocean collection has a different approach, being about modern size, style, and options. Omega more-or-less produces the archetype of a modern luxury dive watch, while the competing Submariner (which we would really argue is a distinct animal) focuses more on being the “timeless dive watch.” We mention this because given the size and popularity of these two major Swiss watch makers, they more-or-less set the bar for what you should get when investing in a sub-$10,000 diver's watch that has an in-house made movement from a “big name” brand. Sorry to disappoint anyone looking for a clear winner between the timepiece icons: they are both excellent in their own respects. I would also venture to suggest that these are each watches that can exist in the same collection or rationally appeal to two equally sophisticated people with slightly different styles and tastes.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Allow me to say that the Planet Ocean timepiece range has always been very difficult to photograph as well as reproduce in marketing images. While the watches look lovely when Omega dolls them up in fancy photography, you really need to see one in the flesh to appreciate it. Omega designed the case, dial, and sapphire crystal to play with light in a particular manner that is simply hard to capture in photography. While the watch is very legible, Omega offers it with a curved crystal and reflective elements on the dial on purpose. It is supposed to offer a “hint of bling” that adds a twist to the otherwise sober refined package. It is an item that literally plays with the light, being an almost flirtatious item on your wrist. What does this mean practically speaking? Well let’s compare it to another dive watch we really like that in some ways is much more conservative – the Tudor Pelagos (reviewed here). In non-reflective brushed titanium with a flat crystal and perfectly matte dial elements, the Pelagos in many ways is the perfect German tool-watch (even though it is Swiss). It looks nice without asking for extra attention and is “duty ready” whenever you like without ever suggesting a party. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is also an extremely capable professional dive watch, but is a bit cockier in its demeanor. It wants to show off a bit and demands attention. If you choose to wear an Omega Planet Ocean exclusively while diving or during other intense activity it will complain that you two never go out for drinks anymore. So while it is a real dive watch, it tends to enjoy looking good in the process.

Omega has also really made an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean for everyone. In addition to a range of colors and dial styles, there is a three-hand, chronograph, and GMT model available. The latter, which I am reviewing today, is the newest version of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean and was released in 2013. In addition to adding a GMT complication, it also adds a third case size in addition to the existing 42 and 45mm wide models. The GMT is 43.5mm wide and in my opinion it is the perfect size for an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean. You know what, a lot of people at Omega agree. The people on their product development team as well as the CEO feel that this bowl of Seamaster porridge is just right for them. While the 42 and 45mm wide Planet Oceans are nothing to scoff at, I truly like this middle size model. Oh, and just to clarify, the three-hand version of the watch is available in both 42 and 45mm wide sizes, while the chronograph is only offered in the 45mm wide case.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Omega needs to appeal to a lot of different types of consumers all around the world, which helps explain why there are so many different dial options even within the GMT collection. This particular model is the black dial and bezel with orange trim that includes orange colored Arabic numerals. You get the conservative look of the mostly black dial, with a hint more sportiness with the orange numerals. There is also the orange-tipped GMT hand as well as “GMT” label on the dial. For review I have a version of the watch on the high-end rubber strap, but of course the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is only truly complete on the matching metal bracelet. Having said that I really so also like the strap. Surely you can have the watch with both, but at this time there isn’t a quick strap changing system that some other brands such as IWC have been building into their watches. I only say this because in the future it would be great if Omega made it more convenient to seamlessly go from a strap to a bracelet.

Perhaps the biggest complaint most people have about the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean collection is the thickness of the case. If I had any complaints it would really be only that. The case isn’t inordinately thick, nor do I feel it is at all disproportionate. Most of the time I even like the heft on my wrist, but having said that I find that when a sport watch has a slightly lower profile I tend to wear it just a bit more often. Some people even complain about the modern Rolex Submariner being too thick – which I actually find quite slim for a dive watch. Though it is worth mentioning that compared to the Submariner’s 300 meters of water resistance, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean has 600 meters of water resistance. At some point that extra durability becomes a mere bragging right, but that does require a thicker case and sapphire crystal.

37 comments
mgomez81
mgomez81

I tried this on the other day, and I'm now trying to come up with (legal) ways to acquire the money to buy one. It's just perfect, especially in 43.5mm. Tried on the Rolex Submariner the same day, and it doesn't even come close to this Planet Ocean. The PO feels solid, and with the rubber strap, just a dream to wear. I can't wait to own this. 


As for those who say too big or too thick? Well, I'm 5'4" in height, and have to use the 2nd to last hole on the Omega rubber strap to get a proper fit (small wrists) and it is not in my unbiased opinion too big or too thick. The 45mm is too big for me. It creeps into gaudy territory as if I were a rap star or blingy athlete. The 42mm feels even smaller than my 41mm Orient Mako. But the 43.5 hits it dead on the money in size. Sure, if you're trying to put on a slim fitting dress shirt, yea, probably going to give you some trouble, but for rolled up or short sleeve, as a sport watch, it's brilliant. It's got some weight to it, but I like that. Once you strap it on somewhat snugly, it feels great. Then again, I lift weights. Maybe a little weight on your wrist is too much to handle. If so, buy a Rolex. Their bracelet on the Submariner feels almost fake it's so light and they don't sell rubber straps. And you'll pay a few thousand more. 


Omega, you sold me. 



sdaedelus
sdaedelus

IMO, Omega is a manufacturer that has grown well with technology. They have introduced new technologies into their lines and produce very elegant watches that are robust, accurate and reliable.

I like the Planet Ocean line very much and to me it seems that the engineers and designers have put a lot of thought into them.

In addition to this the value for money is excellent. 

mrchan
mrchan

It is beautiful indeed, but after trying it at the AD, it is wayy too thick. I am going to go for that beautiful Aqua Terra Blue dial. That is a beaut.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Nice, but not the Omega for me, as I've said before. 


And, while I know this watch line has been around for a good while now, whenever I see or hear the term "Planet Ocean" I can't help but hear David Attenborough's voice telling me about photophores and tidal pools. I know I'm actually referencing Blue Planet, but still. 

LapYoda
LapYoda

I tried on the Good Planet version of this watch last year at an Omega boutique.  Beautiful watch but I just can't pull it off with my dainty wrists.  To echo the other comments, it's too wide (would prefer 42mm or smaller) and *way* too thick.  What some may desire in *ahem* certain anatomy does not translate well to timepieces.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

Look people, it's really very simple. If you don't like thick, heavy watches then don't buy dive watches.  Clear enough?

Second: if height and weight are discussed, or even if they aren't, can we *please* *please* have some numbers to back it up? Some people think 12 mm is thick; others find 18 mm just about right. Some people squeal in horror like a girl if a watch weighs over 200 grams; others find 300 grams just about right. If we don't see numbers then "thick" and "heavy" are meaningless. I mean 100% meaningless.

Finally, anyone considering this watch should look at the infinitely more interesting ploprof. There's a good review [except for the missing numbers....] right here on this blog.

funkright
funkright

I can only agree with DanielPatrick35's comment regarding the price point for this watch (relative to recent history). Add to that the aftermarket resale-ability and the Rolex is the hands down winner. I've tried this watch on (as I was looking to buy it), and while nicely finished (quite well compared to most anything in its range), it is 'top heavy' relative to its width. The Omega Aqua Terra Chrono GMT had the same issue (bought that and wanted to sell it a minute after having it on my wrist). I have owned Paneria; they have a much better weight to height to width balance than these 2 Omega watches. The only Rolex that has a challenge like this is the DeepSea (and even this model doesn't suffer this issue to the same degree).

OmniRak
OmniRak

I have to say that I love Omega's Planet Ocean line of watches. Especially the since the new ceramic and liquid metal models with the newer movements came about.  Personally I don't find them too large in diameter for the average sized male wrist (though 45ish is probably the upper limit to my eye). I do see where some people would have a problem with the "height", but I think that is dependent on how "tight" the individual's skin around the wrist generally is regardless of how wide it is.   I've seen where the PO will "rise up" and ride a wrist high if the person's skin is always extremely lean and tight in that area.  Then the watch looks like it's a flying saucier sitting there.  Sadly It truly does looks odd for those individuals.  But I think on most wrists the watch sits just fine with its back slightly "cushioned" against the person. In those cases the height of the PO is mostly a none factor in my opinion and.experience. 

DanielPatrick35
DanielPatrick35

I absolutely love this watch. It's simply gorgeous with the right amount of gray and orange to look classic and sporty at the same time. I am a 2500 Omega Seamaster PO owner and I also own a Schumacher Speedy. However, given the Omega price hike a couple years ago, I just can't justify buying a Omega PO GMT for just ~$700 less than what I paid for my Rolex Explorer II 216570.

I know that Omega is trying to position itself equal to Rolex, and, being both an Omega and a Rolex owner, they largely back it up in craftsmanship, but I just can't make that jump in my mind when I spent half the money three years ago on the same watch minus one complication and yes, without the 8500 movement. 

I love this watch, but this is one that I might pick up second-hand.

lojolondon
lojolondon

Thanks for the review - please, can we always have a picture of the lume in action? I am sure the Omega lume is great, but it is really important to tell the time in the dark......

stefanv
stefanv

Very nice watch. Too bad Seamasters only come in Large, Extra Large, and Humongous. It would be nice if they made a size that actually fit average sized people. 39 or 40mm would be great.

BIGCHRONO
BIGCHRONO

Unless someone is diving in one time zone, & surfacing in another, this watch is pointless. The price boosting co-axial caliber may impress many, I prefer SuperQuartz, & its eventual transcendants. I'm not seeing, feeling, buying the love.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Judging from the disproportionate number of column inches devoted to the Planet Ocean you'd get the impression this is the only watch Omega make.  Same situation with the Rolex Submariner.  It's a handsome enough well-made watch, minus the slight silliness Mark pointed out.  Still, it's one of the least interesting and most conservative watches in the Omega line.  Blandness does seem to have a monopoly with the general public though.  The favourite ice-cream flavour in the UK and US?  Plain vanilla.  Go figure.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I get that being a GMT watch is has a 24 hour bezel. But without 5 minute markings (at the least) it is not an ISO 6425 dive watch. Nice water proof watch, but not precisely what an actual diver would want to time their dive with. So, the 600 meter water resistance is at odds with it true use (desk diver). Marketing, not real world need for that much depth rating. Nice looking watch. And the band does not say OMEGA in giant letters :-)

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@mgomez81 Thanks for the hands on evaulation.

I think the weight of a watch is more about what you get used to. For instance, I'm right handed so I'm sure my right arm is stronger than my left. However if I strap my watch on my right wrist, I notice the weight while the same watch on my left wrist seems weightless. But if I switch from my usual watches (about 107 grams) to a lighter or heavier watch, then I notice the difference. But only for  a while. Cheers.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@LapYoda Think the shape of the hands have something to do with the 'anatomy' in question too?

Zzyzx
Zzyzx

@Zeitblom I have an ISO-rated professional dive watch that is 39-ish mm. Dive watches don't NEED to be so thick and heavy. Rolex is another brand that does it smaller and, arguably, better. There's a difference between big and heavy because it NEEDS to be, and big and heavy just for the sake of figuratively "shouting" what watch you have on. And, frankly, Omega seems to be taking the latter route recently...

You're speaking to watch afficionados. If we want to complain about 1 or 2 mm, ain't nobody gonna stop us! ;)

funkright
funkright

@Zeitblomumm... I have and do own Panerai and other weighty watches. My comment referenced that it was not weighted correctly given it's weight to height to width balance. Personally, my wrist size @ 7.75" more than suffices for a watch this size. 

Have you tried this piece on or are you speaking without that experience? I have and even the OMEGA store sales clerk referenced it (apparently I wasn't the 1st) when I commented at the time of trying the piece on. Having gone into the store ready to buy, leaving disappointed, to say the least. I had waited years to by a PO GMT :(

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@lojolondon The lume shot of the Planet Ocean GMT has been added toward the end of the review.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

@lojolondon Low light readability is very a very important feature in a watch actually used for diving.

It gets darker the deeper one goes.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@BIGCHRONO I still like the co-axial mechanical movement (so I'd pass on the super quartz you mentioned) but otherwise, I agree - GMT and actual diving are not the obvious mix. Desk diving is another matter. I have to assume Omega knows this and does well selling these. Cheers.

Oelholm
Oelholm

@MarkCarson When you still can use the luminescent pip as an indicator, count down-style, it is adequate, I guess.

TwistyRoads
TwistyRoads

@MarkCarson  I agree 100%... Omega is confusing a dive watch with a GMT, so the bezel by definition is in conflict. But I also wonder what Omega should do with this new GMT complication.  I love my Speedy with the 9300 movement, but I would not really want them to add the GMT complication to a Speedy either, because they would replace the tachymetre scale with a 24 hour bezel.  I guess I would prefer it Omega, like Rolex, just create a "GMT" line and make it unique....not a Seamaster, not a Speedmaster, etc.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

@Zzyzx @Zeitblom Nobody, not even a professional diver, really needs a diver watch these days. The diver is a style, not something you *need*. And as a style, yes, a diver does need to be thick and heavy [though not necessarily large in diameter]. Otherwise it isn't a diver, it is something else. The people who complain about heavy divers would probably be better off looking at pilot watches.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@aBlogtoWatch Thanks for the lume shot. Looks crisp and bright. But it might have been nice to have the GMT hand either in another color of lume (orange perhaps?) or no lume at since there are no 24 hour markings on the dial and the 24 hour bezel is not lumed (except for the pip at 24).

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@DG Cayse Unlike this watch which isn't actually used for diving. But I would still like to see a lume shot. Just because they look cool.

Not only does it get darker, but the red end of the visible spectrum goes away faster underwater so a lot of watches with nice color contrast on the surface has a lot less in the deep. And what goes away after red? Orange of course - hey wait, that's what this watch uses...

lojolondon
lojolondon

Sure, so every review should always include a pic of the watch in low light, IMHO.

BIGCHRONO
BIGCHRONO

@MarkCarson @BIGCHRONOThank you Mr. Carson. I'm allergic to mech/auto watches since every one I ever had ran erratically, usually very fast. The conversion to quartz permanently alleviated the condition. The problems with new, in-house calibers aside from major price gouges, are ongoing  glitches requiring lots of time to solve them, creating massive ill will @ repair shops.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Oelholm I agree that you could use the pip and the dial markings to time a dive. My comments was only that it does not comply with the ISO 6245 spec for a dive watch (which may not matter to some). But that is more or less the accepted minimum for a watch to be called a 'Dive Watch". Cheers.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@TwistyRoads Yeah, the 24 hour bezel does not buy you much unless you prefer to never reset the GMT hand and just rotate the bezel as you traverse time zones. They could have printed a 24 scale on a chapter ring and then used the normal unidirectional dive bezel making it a better dive watch. 

mrchan
mrchan

Fully disagree, we are watch lovers, we can complain about anything we like. And no, divers don't need to be thick and heavy and bulky, have you not seen a submariner? Give an opinion but don't be so forceful about it. Geez.

mcv1973a
mcv1973a

Nonsense.

A dive watch is a necessary piece of equipment. Dive computers and other pieces of digital wizardry have a tendency to fail on occasion, and I can attest to that fact personally. My Doxa has been in the water longer than my grandkids have been alive, and it has not failed me yet.

Murphy's Law applies just as much a hundred meters down as it does on dry land.

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