In 2005 Omega launched its Planet Ocean collection, a second collection of dive watches, positioned above its 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, 42-mm and 45.5-mm, and in 2011 Omega introduced the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph 9300, which we at Monochrome Watches 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 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT (“PO-GMT” for short), is available in the familiar color 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 received 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 Seamaster watches 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 that the Seamaster got the look of what we nowadays consider to be a dive watch — a round, stainless steel case with a rotating bezel and a depth rating that allows for more contact with water than washing the dishes or taking a shower. The Seamaster 300 reference 2913 has become a collectible 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 Omega Seamaster 200m, launched in 1988, 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 Omega James Bond watch, that gave the Seamaster Professional its huge popularity among a much larger audience. Later, Omega added a Seamaster Professional 300m GMT to the collection. Earlier this year, Monochrome contributor Mario wrote about his experience of wearing the newer Seamaster Professional Co-Axial 300m GMT for an entire year.
The design of the Seamaster Planet Ocean, which debuted in 2005, recalls that of the first Seamaster 300 meter models launched in 1957. In 2013, Omega finally introduced a GMT version of the Seamaster PO, and it’s equipped with Omega’s in-house Caliber 8605 with GMT time-zone function. In our review of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chrono, we concluded that its well-known competitor, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea, had some serious competition. Now we’re curious to find out whether the Rolex GMT-Master II also gets a true 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 I asked them to capture the watch in a word (or two). I also feel that all these words are applicable, along with some other words like, for instance, “comfortable.” While the other words to describe the Seamaster PO GMT will depend on the situation, it was comfortable in all situations. While comfort is not a quality that will be readily apparent on the surface, it’s a very important characteristic of this superb-all-around watch.
I’ve worn the Seamaster PO GMT with a suit and shirt, with a casual outfit and on the beach. It looked good on every occasion, with every outfit, and felt great on the wrist as well. That was in 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 how this one looked. The blue dial, orange accents and robust case all got a lot of very positive feedback.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m GMT GoodPlanet (yes, it’s quite a long name) packs a lot of interesting and very handy features. First of all, there’s the nice-sized 43.5-mm 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 the very useful 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 a 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. These can be divided into so-called “travelers'” GMT watches and “office” GMT watches.
The travelers’ GMT watch has an independent, adjustable hour hand, as on 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 travelers because they can easily adjust the “local time” that is indicated by the hour, minute, and second hand. When you unscrew the crown and pull it into its first position, you can adjust the hour hand in 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 about 99% of the other GMT watches, it is the 24-hour hand that is 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 — that of a business partner on the other side of the planet, for example. 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 type of GMT 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 travelers, we recommend a true traveler’s GMT.
Dial / hands
In total, there are nine variations of the Omega 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 for the one we reviewed, 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-hour GMT hand.
The dial is in the already well-known Planet Ocean style, and features style elements similar to the old 1957 Seamaster’s, just like the newly introduced Seamaster 300. Applied on the dial are polished, faceted and rhodium-plated hour markers. Between the hour markers is a minute railtrack that has minute markers and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Another great detail: the date disk is black and the date numerals are in white. The upper half of the dial features an 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, and second hands are polished, faceted and rhodium-plated, and coated with white Super-LumiNova which emits a blue light. The exception is 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 aluminum.
In terms of size, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT finds the middle ground between the two versions of the non-GMT version Planet Ocean, which are 42-mm or 45.5-mm. In diameter it measures 43.5 mm and its height is an impressive 17.25 mm. The watch’s thickness contributes to its similarly 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, i.e., diving! Despite its robust dimensions, 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 or tuxedo simply because it does not match. For all other occasions, this is a perfect all-around 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 nonreflective treatment on both sides that works very well. Often, when you look at the time, it looks like there’s no crystal at all.
This 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 “embedded” in the slightly asymmetrical right side of the case, which offers it some protection. Our test version came with a blue rubber strap with white stitching, which, as mentioned, drew many compliments and was quite comfortable.
This is the part that most often intrigues the team here at the Monochrome headquarters. 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 and sweet with the description today. Since Omega is going to introduce its 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 two mainspring barrels are mounted in series and, when fully wound, deliver 60 hours of power. The rotor 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 overall a superb watch that I can definitely recommend. Yes, it has an annoyingly long name. But the size is just right, as is the weight, the options for strap or bracelet offers choices for people who prefer a steel bracelet or a leather or rubber strap. And even if the weight is 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 that it has been equipped with a GMT function (to be precise, a traveler’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 even offers a full four-year warranty.)