The Omega 'Big Blue' Planet Ocean Ceramic has arrived at Topper
There are certainly bigger dive watches out there, though there are arguably none more blue, and thus none more deserving of the moniker "Big Blue" than the latest addition to Omega's ceramic Planet Ocean 'Deep Black' series. Topper has taken delivery of our first stock of this model and we are eager to share our initial impressions with you.
The 'Big Blue' has rightfully earned its nickname due to its 45.5mm by 17mm case measurements. However what many dive watch fans might not appreciate, is just how comfortable Omega's "big" watches have historically worn – particularly those in the Planet Ocean Deep Black series, which benefit from their sharply downturned integrated rubber straps, compact (relative to the case size) 51mm lug-to-lug measurement, and lightweight ceramic case construction. In fact, the Big Blue only weighs 142 grams on the strap, compared to a 43.5mm 8900-series Planet Ocean in stainless steel on the same strap, which tips the scale at 136 grams – a mere 5 grams lighter.
As you can see from the images above, on my 7-inch wrist, it's very balanced and wears well within my comfort levels as a fun, and extremely capable sports watch. What you can't see from the photos, is how nicely weighted the case feels. Of course much of this is owed to Omega's ceramic (or "zirconium dioxide" as it's subtly called out on the dial just above the "Co-Axial" wordmark at 6:00) build, which is about 30% lighter per cubic centimeter than stainless steel, but slightly heavier than titanium, yielding a comfortable medium between the two – a boon for those who might find steel too heavy, and want something more scratch resistant than titanium.
Omega's ceramic casework is also unique in that we're treated to some beautiful and complex finishes – something very few brands are able to accomplish with ceramic, where a singular, homogenous finish is the easiest, and most cost-effective means in watchmaking. Many of these finishing signatures like circular brushing, and both satin and high-polished surfaces are present on the Big Blue, mirroring those found on the other 8900-series stainless steel Planet Oceans.
Fans and vintage dive watch collectors might notice that Omega is co-opting the nickname of another Seamaster, and tipping its hat to the 'Big Blue' ref. 176.004 from 1973, which was comparatively large, and markedly capable dive watch that featured the latest dive watch technologies of that era. Granted, 176.004 was a diver's chronograph, but in many of the same ways, the Big Blue of today feels like a worthy recipient of the moniker, because it's once again the pinnacle of the Seamaster collection, and home to the leading edge of Omega's latest case and movement innovations, just as the 176.004 once was in the seventies.
Note the similarity in case tone and the beautifully brushed case sides on the Big Blue and the Ocean Commitment II from Blancpain
However, the two respective 'Big Blue' watches differ in more ways than just their execution (chronograph vs. four-hand GMT) – the Planet Ocean Big Blue takes the blue dial and orange detailing to the next level, with a bright blue ceramic case and bold orange accents throughout. It's not the first blue ceramic case we've seen though (that honor goes to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Ocean Commitment II Flyback Chronograph introduced in 2016), nor is it the first time we've seen new innovations being shared between fellow Swatch Group brands. It makes sense that Omega would leverage Swatch's extensive R&D with ceramic though – imbuing uniform color to ceramic, while achieving the hardness levels needed for everyday wear has proven to be extremely difficult – which is why we're only recently starting to see ceramic cases in colors other than just black and white.
As with the Ocean Commitment, the Big Blue case is rendered in a similar beautiful matte shade of blue, but one that comes alive in the sunlight, making it a fantastic vacation watch (especially with the GMT capabilities tracking home time, and the independently adjustable hour hand jumping easily to local time), as well as a great option to bring a little dose of color wherever winter may find you.
In addition to the new blue case, the watch features many of the signature planet ocean features from each of the three major iterations of the watch. It has the familiar 12-6-9 dial layout with applied 18k white-gold elements, a matching blue ceramic bezel with its diving scale rendered in both rubber and Liquid Metal, the new wave-edged Naiad Lock screwdown caseback, Omega's latest Master Chronometer GMT movement (cal. 8906, to be specific, which has anti magnetic resistance to 15,000 gauss), and the Planet Ocean's signature depth rating of 600 meters. Omega is able to achieve this capability by building the Deep Black and Big Blue watches from a single block of hardened ceramic.
Here you can see how the Naiad screwdown caseback positions all the engravings with the same top-to-bottom orientation every time
Big Blue (and by extension, the Deep Black) has carved out a segment all its own – one that's extremely capable and bold, but in a very modern, high-end way. There's simply nothing like it. If you are interested in learning more about the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT 'Big Blue' or would like to reserve one for yourself, we'd welcome you to inquire by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.