Omega just set an unbeatable world record for the deepest dive watch ever
In May 2019, undersea explorer Victor Vescovo successfully piloted his submersible Limiting Factor to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which at nearly seven miles beneath the Pacific Ocean, set a new world record for the deepest dive. Vescovo's 4.6m-long, 3.7m-high craft was built by the US-company Triton Submarines, with the aim of having a vessel that could make repeated dives to any part of the ocean, with a 9cm-thick titanium pressure hull that can withstand 1,000 bars, the equivalent of 50 jumbo jets piled on top of it.
What wasn't known until now was that Omega’s new experimental dive watch, the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional, was strapped to the outside. (In fact, there were three Ultra Deep Professionals on the dive, codenamed FOD-X1, -X2 and -X3, standing for Full Ocean Depth – one on each of the main vessel’s robotic arms and one on the detachable lander vehicle. After a technical hitch meant that one of the robotic landers remained on the ocean floor for two-and-a-half days before being retrieved, its watch was still ticking).
This makes Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional the deepest diving watch of all time, having reached the deepest point on Earth, besting the previous record held by Captain Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in 1960, who were accompanied by the mighty Rolex Deepsea Special.
Resembling a pumped-up version of Omega’s existing Seamaster Planet Ocean, the Ultra Deep Professional required the development of a new forging technique and a weld-free construction, though it still measures slightly less than 28mm thick. It features a bezel, case body, case back and crown milled from forged grade 5 titanium – machined cut-offs from Limiting Factor's actual hull.
Though not commercially available, Omega has hinted that elements of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional, both its design and construction, could make their way into future Seamaster releases.