New world record
The Five Deeps Expedition, the world’s first manned expedition to the deepest point in each of the five oceans, is the brainchild of submersible pilot and adventurer Victor Vescovo: the first person to have reached both the highest and lowest points on the planet. To support Victor’s bold expedition OMEGA produced a Seamaster Planet Ocean timepiece that takes dive watch technology to a new level.
Omega and The Five Deeps Expedition
In April - May 2019, The Five Deeps Expedition team made history. After sonar mapping the ocean floor to find the deepest spot in the Eastern Pool of Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, Victor Vescovo singlehandedly piloted DSV (Deep Submergence Vehicle) Limiting Factor - the world's deepest diving operational submersible – to the deepest point on planet Earth.
New world record Deepest dive in history
Depth: 10,935m / 35,876ft Updated in 2020 from 10,925 m (35,843 ft)
Mission duration: 12 hours
“Like the submersible, OMEGA’s Ultra Deep was built to last: designed for multiple dives and not just a single shot at the world record”
OMEGA has been making divers’ watches since the 1930’s, but to create a timepiece robust enough to survive the demands of The Five Deeps Expedition would require an innovative approach and a team effort. OMEGA is always up for a challenge.
It took imagination, ingenuity and multiple deep dive simulations to get the blend of design, technology and materials just right, but despite the many challenges, OMEGA succeeded in creating an innovative timepiece that is truly exceptional.
Just like the viewport assembly on a submersible, the sapphire-to-case assembly on a full ocean depth watch is an area of concern. To spread the stress distribution, OMEGA took inspiration from the loadbearing conical design of submersible viewports, such as those used on Limiting Factor.
Fully integrated into the titanium casebody, the lugs of the Ultra Deep are left open to lower the risk of exceeding material limitations at full ocean depth, as both the watch and the strap can be subjected to high traction loads. They are called “Manta” lugs due to their distinctive look.
The hull of DSV Limiting Factor is made from (DNV-GL certified) forged grade 5 titanium – and so is the watch. The body of the bezel, casebody, caseback and crown have all been machined out of cutoffs from the submersible's titanium hull. What better material for a full ocean watch than the body of a submarine?
After their deep dives, all of the Ultra Deep timepieces passed the strict tests set down by METAS to become certified Master Chronometers. What a journey! From the deepest place on the planet, to the highest level of testing in the watch industry.
Used for many years on OMEGA's watches, Liquidmetal® ensured a firm yet flexible sapphire-to-casebody assembly. This innovative patent-pending hot form bonding made it possible to avoid the use of polymer seals and to reduce the sapphire's thickness.
“OMEGA’s goal was to create a watch for a very specific task using technology that could be industrialised in the future”
All of the watches were pressure tested at Triton Sub's facility in Barcelona with the attendance of a DNV-GL surveyor. The chosen maximum pressure is equivalent to the depth of the Mariana Trench, but to be extra sure and to comply with dive watch standards, OMEGA insisted on adding a 25% safety margin, which meant the watches had to perform perfectly at an astonishing 1500 bar / 15,000 meters.
Designed to withstand enormous pressures, OMEGA’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional is packed with full ocean depth technology yet is surprisingly slim and light at less than 28mm. The expedition logo is located at the center of the caseback inside concentric circles evoking the Multi Beam sonar technology used by The Five Deeps Expedition team to map the Ocean Floor. Relevant information including the model, reference number, DNV-GL certification, maximum tested 15,000m depth and materials are all laser-engraved.
For scuba divers content to explore the depths to more human-friendly levels, OMEGA has produced an exceptional range of divers’ watches packed with exceptional technology.
OMEGA’s history of ocean exploration goes back a long way. In 1932 the brand released “The Marine”, which became the watch of choice for many diving pioneers. It featured an ingenious patented double case sealed with cork to keep the water out and a strap with an adjustable clasp and diver’s extension. Initially tested in Lake Geneva at 73m, the watch was subjected to even more stringent laboratory tests 5 years later, which found “The Marine” to be completely waterproof at a depth of 135m.