I’ve been reading about time pieces for over 2 years now and have always been meaning to purchase one. Upon hearing Omega was raising prices again, I decided I need to make the jump now. I was on the fence between the Omega Speedmaster Professional (sapphire sandwich and moonwatch), the Omega Planet Ocean (what Daniel Craig in one of the recent James Bond movies), Bell & Ross BR126 Vintage Sport, and the Tag Heuer Carrera. All are priced around the same price point.
The Bell & Ross BR126 Vintage Sport is simply stunning to look at. However, the fact it has stock ETA movements, immovable bezel, and was priced the same (if not more) as both Omega watches was discouraging.
The Tag Heuer Carrera was always something on my eye except I’m a bit disappointed with the fact they chose a stock ETA Valjoux 7750 movement and priced it close to the Omega. Also there was some drama they had where they claimed they made their own movements when instead they just modified Seiko automatic movements.
So it came down to the Speedmaster Professional and the Planet Ocean. The Speedmaster Professional is simply timeless, but it looks a tad more dressy compared to the Planet Ocean i.e. not able to wear it for as many occasions.
I decided to go with the Planet Ocean.
Unfortunately this is not the latest Planet Ocean they released. This is the 1st gen using the Omega 2500 movement, which is a modified ETA 2892 movement. As much as I would have liked the Omega in-house movement from the latest Planet Ocean, I couldn’t really justify the price which is over $1500. The watch came in a red leather box with the Omega logo on it. My dad owns a 1980s Omega Deville and still has the box. The box looks very similar back then as they do now, so kudos to Omega for keeping it that way.
I love the black dial on this with rotating bezel. Telling time is pretty easy as I’ve never really had an issue with it. The numbers are easy to read, and the sapphire crystal is very clear from all angles. There are ridges on the bezel that make it easy to grasp when rotating. The seconds hand rotates seamlessly. I’m typically used to quartz movements, so the automatic movement is a very nice change. The knob on the top left is the helium escape valve that is supposed to be used by divers when they rise to the surface and experience pressure changes. Unfortunately I’m not a diver, but it’s nice to see how much thought Omega had to actually make this into a real diver’s watch and is not simply a gimmick. The band on this piece is very nice. I thought about getting a leather or a rubber strap, but the stainless steel right now is holding me through.
One of the primary differences aside from the movement between the Planet Ocean 8500 and the 2500, is the lumination at night. In both, the different marks at every 5 minutes emit green lumination. The seconds hand also luminates green. In the Planet Ocean with Omega 8500 movement however, the seconds hand luminates blue. Also from what I’ve read, the case on the 8500 is significantly thicker which I’m not entirely fond of nowadays.
This is the 42mm version as my wrists are only 6 inches, but it fits perfectly for me. The steel band straps have a few scuffs now that I’ve worn it a few days. They are very comfortable though. The watch itself may be heavy for some people, but I personally don’t have an issue with it.
All in all, I’m very satisfied with my first official time piece. Every little detail is very noticeable, and people who aren’t even watch enthusiasts have already started asking me about the watch. It’s almost time I should maybe look into buying an actual camera instead of using an iPhone, so I can capture the granular details of the case and band.