The Omega Seamaster Ultra Deep Professional’s dive to 10,928 metres has made 2019 a historic year for the Bienne maison. The deep point was reached by American retired naval officer Victor Vescovo, in his submarine.
To achieve this results, Omega realized an extraordinary bespoke watch capable of withstanding the crushing pressure of up to 15,000 metres beneath the sea. That timepiece is the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional.
The three examples made were tested at a depth of 10,928 metres in the Challenger Deep last May and passed with flying colours. Omega attached two to the robotic arms of Vescovo’s Limiting Factor while the third was located on one of three Landers designed to collect samples for analysis and on which it remained 48 hours; before returning safely to the surface in perfect working order. The Ultra Deep won’t be a once-off phenomenon. The technology used in it will be adapted for other professional watches.
The case, bezel, caseback and crown are all made from the same Grade 5 titanium sourced from the same alloy as the hull of the Limiting Factor. No welds at all were used so that the thickness could be kept under 28 mm. That might seem a lot but, at 11,000 metres, the glass would be enduring 16 tonnes of pressure. For the gasket, molten LiquidMetal was poured into a machined channel and then the sapphire crystal compressed into it until the LiquidMetal cooled to form a very powerful yet flexible seal. The crown and caseback are both screwed down and the caseback has a laser-etch expedition logo at its centre. The manta ray-inspired continuous lugs are integrated into the case but have a gap in the middle for flex.
Omega used the same in-house automatic Co-Axial 8912 calibre as in the Ploprof 1,200M which has a 60-hour power reserve and is Master Chronometer-certified to stringent METAS standards.