Hot off the presses from Biel, Switzerland, this is Omega’s latest high-tech dive watch, the Omega Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT “Dark Grey.” Its naming comes from this specific model’s use of a dark grey ceramic case that promotes ceramic’s known ability to manage wear and tear while also being quite a bit lighter than a standard steel example of the same model. Being somewhat more specific, the case is made from silicon nitride ceramic (Si3N4), and though this has a pronounced effect on the weight of the watch (which is only 107 grams without the strap), Omega has selected its full-size diver for the ceramic treatment, so the case is 45.5mm wide, 17.4mm thick, and 51.1mm lug to lug. While ceramic forms the case, NAIAD Lock case back, and bezel insert, the watch uses titanium for the bezel’s base structure and the folding clasp on the included grey/black rubber strap.
But that’s not all – the dial and the movement for this Planet Ocean are also made of titanium. The dial is made of sandblasted titanium, and the movement uses ceramised grade 5 titanium for the main plate and bridges to form a special version of Omega’s caliber 8906 (here called the 8906 Ti). The movement’s specs are unchanged, with METAS chronometer certification, magnetic resistance to 15,000 gauss, a rate of 25,200 VPH, 60 hours of power reserve, and a flyer GMT function that references a 24-hour scale on the rehaut. With 600 meters of water resistance, while this is not the first time that the brand has created a ceramic Omega Planet Ocean GMT, the extensive use of titanium makes the Dark Grey ceramic PO more than 30 grams lighter than something like the largely similar “Deep Black” ceramic PO. That lightness is not without cost, though, as the new Dark Grey PO has a punchy price tag of $22,000. From an aesthetic level, I really dig what Omega has done here. I think the grey ceramic looks much less severe than the brand’s previous use of black ceramic. In step, I also really like the titanium dial, the black-accented applied markers and hands, and the orange accents. The movement, too, feels special and specific and looks really good through the case back. But I don’t get the sizing. Don’t get me wrong, I know there is a market for 45.5mm dive watches from Omega (they make several iterations). And I recognize that if you’re going to make a large watch, materials like titanium and ceramic can help make that watch more palatable to a wide range of wrists. At 107 grams (without the strap), this is a genuinely lightweight sports watch, even before we start to factor in the dimensions. What I don’t get is why not also make a model in a more conventional size? Why not find a way for the watch to be quite a bit thinner?
From a tech and materials standpoint, I dig it. I love the dive-GMT layout, the grey coloring, and the use of a material that is more exciting than steel. I remember being at Baselworld (pour one out) when the original version of this watch was launched. It was big then, and that was years ago.
If you have the wrist for it, I have no doubt that it’s a very cool and rather distinctive wrist presence. But I also think it would be sweet to see something similar offered in the existing 39.5mm range of the Planet Ocean. Omega already makes a ceramic PO in that range and it’s 14.5mm thick (and 98 g). Would be cool as a GMT, no?