Ceramic has lately been embraced by the watch industry, not just on bezels but on entire watch cases. Compared to stainless steel, ceramic is harder, lighter and much more scratch resistant; it also has a matte finish that sport-watch buyers seem to love. The issue with ceramic is its brittleness, which would be a problem on a dive watch, the case of which is subjected to high water pressure and knocked against rocks and reefs. This hasn’t stopped OMEGA from trying their hand at a ceramic dive watch, with their new Deep Black version of the lauded Seamaster Planet Ocean.
The Deep Black series is comprised of a black, blue, red and 18k gold-accented versions, each with a 45.5mm case carved out of a single block of ceramic — which, despite the aforementioned weakness of the material, OMEGA claims has a depth rating of 600 meters. Included on the case are a helium release valve and a sapphire exhibition case back (a rarity on dive watches with this sort of depth rating) with a patented “Naiad Lock” system designed solely to keep the text on the case back perfectly lined up with the rest of the watch. It’s the same geeky, somewhat frivolous engineering we’ve come to expect from OMEGA.
Speaking of, OMEGA has continued to push the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) standards, which are considerably more stringent than those set by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), on the rest of its range. Thus the new ceramic Planet Oceans feature a new automatic Co-Axial GMT movement that is accurate to within -0 and +5 seconds per day and is antimagnetic to 15,000 gauss. And if you drop $10k on a fully ceramic dive watch capable of hitting 600 meters under the ocean surface, you should expect nothing less than that.