In 2005 Omega launched its Planet Ocean collection, a second collection of dive watches, positioned above the Seamaster Professional collection (the James Bond watch) and it has been a huge success since day one. The Seamaster Planet Ocean is available in two sizes, 42mm and 45.5mm, and in 2011 Omega introduced the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph 9300, which we reviewed and photographed for you here. Two years later, in 2013, Omega introduced the long-expected Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT. We’re going to review the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT Goodplanet for you today.
The Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT, or short PO-GMT, is available in the known colour codes of the Planet Ocean, with a black dial and silver/white markers and hands. Only the tip of the GMT hand and the word GMT on the dial are in orange. There’s also a special model with a navy blue dial and bezel that is created as a tribute to the partnership between Omega and the GoodPlanet Foundation. And that’s the version that we’re looking at today. We got the version on the (very comfortable) blue rubber strap with single folding clasp and enjoyed wearing it. But let’s first start with a tiny bit of history…
Omega’s Seamaster models have a long history and through the years we’ve seen quite a few variations. The first model that was introduced in 1948 looked like what we would describe today as a dress watch and it wasn’t until 1957 when the Seamaster got the looks of what we now-a-days consider to be a dive watch. A round stainless steel case with a rotating bezel and a depth rating that allows more contact with water than washing the dishes or taking a shower. The Seamaster 300 reference 2913 has become a collectable piece and this year Omega introduced a good looking re-issue of it (see here).
Although Omega says the Seamaster 300 was the first in the ‘Professional’ line, the in 1988 launched Seamaster 200m is the first Seamaster with the word ‘Professional’ printed on the dial. It was the third version with ‘Professional’ on the dial, launched in 1993 and unofficially called the ‘James Bond’ version, that gave the Seamaster Professional its huge popularity among a much bigger audience. Later Omega added a Seamaster Professional 300m GMT to the collection, and earlier this year our contributor Mario wrote about his experience of wearing the newer Seamaster Professional Co-Axial 300m GMT for an entire year.
The design of the in 2005 introduced Seamaster Planet Ocean recalls that of the first Seamaster 300 meter models that were launched in 1957. Since 2013 there’s finally a GMT version of the Seamaster PO, and it’s equipped with Omega’s in-house calibre 8605 with GMT time zone function. In our review of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chrono we already concluded that the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea got some serious competition. Now we’re curious to find out whether the Rolex GMT-Master II also gets a real competitor with this Omega Seamaster PO GMT.
Sporty, robust, modern, functional, stylish, elegant. Just a few words to describe the new Seamaster PO GMT that I heard from people when asked to capture the watch in a word (or two). I also feel that all these words are applicable and perhaps some more words, like for instance ‘comfortable’. While the other words to describe the Seamaster PO GMT were depend on the situation, it was comfortable in all situations. This is however not something that can be seen by other persons, however it’s a very important characteristic of this superb all-round watch.
I’ve worn the Seamaster PO GMT with a suit and shirt, with a casual outfit and on the beach. It looked good in every occasion, with every outfit and felt great on the wrist as well. That was for a large part due to the rubber strap. While I’m not the biggest fan of rubber straps (I’d choose the version with steel bracelet) I was a bit amazed by the number of positive comments on the looks of the rubber strap. The blue dial, orange accents and robust case all got a lot of very positive feedback.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT Goodplanet (that’s a long name) packs a lot of interesting and very handy features. First of all there’s the nice size 43.5mm stainless steel case that is very nicely finished. There’s the in-house movement with co-axial escapement, there’s the (convenient) 60 hours of power reserve when fully wound and finally there’s of course the very convenient GMT function! All these features will be described, but first we need to explain a bit more about the GMT function.
Office GMT vs. Traveller’s GMT
There are several ways to display the time in another, second, time zone. Watches with a GMT function are quite common and feature an extra 24-hour hand to indicate time in another time zone. There are so-called traveler’s GMT watches and office GMT watches.
The traveler’s GMT watch has an independent adjustable hour hand, like the Rolex GMT-Master II and all variations of the Omega Seamaster GMT (including this new Seamaster PO GMT.) This is the perfect watch for travellers because you can easily adjust the “local time” that is indicated by the hour, minute and second hand. When you unscrew the crown, pull it in first position, you can adjust the hour hand with one-hour increments. The 24-hour GMT hand will not be affected and keeps indicating the correct home-time. The date is connected to the local time, so you have perfect indications for the location where you just landed: the local time, local date and the 24-hour hand will indicate your home time.
On 99% of the other GMT watches, the 24-hour hand can be adjusted independently. This is the so-called office GMT watch. It allows the wearer to adjust the 24-hour hand to the correct time in a second time zone, for instance a business partner on the other side of the planet. You immediately see whether it is day or night in that other time zone. The hour, minute and second hand and the date will remain indicating the correct home time. When traveling this watch is less convenient, because when you want to adjust the time to your new local time, you also have to adjust the 24-hour hand that will not automatically remain in your home time.
As the nickname says, this is a great choice for wearing in the office. For travellers we recommend a true traveller’s GMT.
Dial / hands
In total there are 9 variations of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT; five with a black dial and four with a navy blue dial. The blue dial is an indication for either the titanium version, or, like the one we reviewed, for the Goodplanet version that underlines the partnership between Omega and the GoodPlanet Foundation. The Goodplanet version is the only one with orange numerals on the rotating bezel and an orange 24-h GMT hand.
The dial is in the already well-known Planet Ocean style, and features style elements similar to the old 1957 Seamaster, just like the newly introduced Seamaster 300. Applied on the dial are the polished, facetted and rhodium-plated hour markers. Between the hour markers is a minute railtrack that serves as minute markers and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Great detail: the date disk is black and the date numerals are in white. The upper half of the dial features aan applied Omega logo and name, and “GMT” in orange. The lower half shows the words ‘co-axial – chronometer – 600m/2000ft’ printed in grey/white.
The hour, minute, seconds hands are polished, facetted and rhodium-plated, and coated with white Super-LumiNova which emits a blue light. Exception the minute hand, which emits a green light, as does the dot on the 24-hour bezel. The orange GMT hand is crafted from anodized aluminium.
Case / strap
In terms of size the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT finds the middle ground between the two versions of the non-GMT version Planet Ocean, which are 42mm or 45.5mm. In diameter it measures 43.5mm and its height it measures an impressive 17.25mm. This rather impressive height contributes to the also rather impressive depth rating of 600 meters. That means you can wear the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT for exactly the sort of activities that its name indicates; diving! Despite its robust dimension, it looks great with formal attire and causal outfit alike. Just don’t try to button your shirt’s cuff close, because the watch is too thick for that, and do not wear it with a dinner suit / tuxedo simply because it does not match. In all other occasions, this is a perfect all-round watch!
The stainless steel case features a beautiful mix of polished and straight brushed finishing. The domed (and of course scratch-resistant) sapphire crystal is enhanced with anti-reflective treatment on both sides that works great. Often, when you look at the time, it looks like there’s no crystal at all.
The stainless steel watch is quite heavy, however there’s also a titanium version for those who prefer to keep things light. Both the crown and the helium escape valve are knurled, which ensures a really good grip. The crown is bit ’embedded’ in the slightly asymmetrical right side of the case, offering some protection for the crown. Our test version came with a blue rubber strap, that featured a white stitching. While I was not too fond of the looks of the rubber strap (though it’s very comfortable!!), many people complimented the strap.
Now the part that usually intrigues the team here at the Monochrome headquarters, is the movement. And in this case (pun intended) the movement is very interesting, and we’ve covered it on several occasions before. So please check our previous articles and I’ll be short ‘n sweet in the description today. Since Omega is going to introduce their new Master Co-Axial movements into the entire collection, we would not be surprised if this Seamaster PO GMT will be equipped with Omega’s 100% anti-magnetic movement soon.
The self-winding movement is equipped with Omega’s three-level Co-Axial escapement and Si14 silicon balance spring. The 2 main spring barrels are mounted in series and, when fully wound, deliver 60 hours of autonomy. The winding mass winds in both directions, to reduce winding time, and is finished with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque.
The verdict – pros and cons
This is the easy part for me to write, because the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT Goodplanet is such a superb watch that I can only recommend. Yes, it has an annoyingly long name. The size is just right, the weight as well, the options for strap or bracelet offers choices for people who either want it on a steel bracelet or on a leather or rubber strap. And when that is not enough, and the wight is simply too much, you can opt for the titanium version.
I’ve been a fan of the Seamaster Planet Ocean since the first moment I saw it. Now it has been equipped with a GMT function (to be precise, a traveller’s GMT) it has become even more complete. In my opinion this is the best alternative for those who want an alternative to the Rolex GMT Master II. It’s actually the only real competition for Rolex in this segment.
Interesting fact: Omega offers a full four-year warranty
- Case: 43.5mm in diameter, 17.25mm in height, stainless steel, domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating on both sides, flat sapphire crystal pane in case back, 600 meters water resistant, screw down crown and helium escape valve
- Movement: Omega caliber 8605, self-winding movement with Co-Axial Escapement, silicon balance-spring on free sprung-balance, 2 main spring barrels mounted in series, automatic winding in both directions, rhodium-plated balance bridge and oscillating mass, finish with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque, 60 hours power reserve
- Indications: hours, minutes, seconds, 24-hours GMT, date
- Strap: blue rubber strap with white stitching to be closed with a single folding clasp with release buttons – other options are a metal bracelet or a leather strap
Recommended retail price of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT Goodplanet is € 6.090 Euro – the other versions come at a price of € 5.740 (on rubber strap) or € 5.840 on the steel bracelet (prices include 21% tax)
More info: www.omegawatches.com