This Omega Has Gone Deeper Than Any Other Watch
Omega had been to the moon. Now, it has gone to the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Omega was commissioned by the Five Deeps Expedition, the first manned mission to the deepest point in each of the five oceans in the world, for a watch to accompany adventurer Victor Vescovo in the submersible watercraft, Limiting Factor.
Three watches went along on the dive – two strapped on the submersible’s robotic arm and another on a Lander that would move around the bottom of the ocean gathering data. Here's a closer look at how this Seamaster Planet Ocean accomplished this incredible feat.
1/5 A body made of titanium Grade 5
The case, bezel, caseback and crown are made from leftover titanium grade 5 that used to construct the pressure hull of the Limiting Factor, ensuring the same toughness and resilience of its diving partner.
2/5 A conical viewport design
The sapphire crystal-to-case assembly takes its cues from the submersible’s viewport that is engineered to minimise pressure on the inside edges of the cone where the stress factor is highest. Additionally, it uses Liquidmetal to seal the sapphire to the case to avoid the use of polymer seals and reduce the sapphire’s thickness.
Also see: The origins of iconic dive watches from Panerai, Blancpain and Seiko
3/5 Open lugs
Also made of titanium grade 5, the lugs, dubbed Manta for its distinctive design, are deliberately left with a gap to allow room for the inevitable high traction loads.
4/5 Innovative strap material
Drawing upon its experience in space, the strap is polyamide with Velcro closure for a secured hold.
5/5 Rigorously tested before and after the dive
The watches underwent rigorous testing at the Triton Sub facility in Barcelona under the supervision of a DNV-GL surveyor. To be completely certain of its worthiness, it added a 25% safety margin, meaning it was pressure tested up to 1,500 bars or 15,000m. Surfacing after the mission, the watches were sent to Swiss Federal Institue of Metrology (METAS) for a 10-day test to receive the Master Chronometer certification.
Also see: 4 Swiss watch brands with their own quality assurances