This or That – The Omega Seamaster Professional or Planet Ocean
Article By: Logan Hannen
Oct 02, 2018
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look at two Omegas that each offer something very similar in fundamental purpose, but very different in design – the Seamasters Professional 300m and Planet Ocean.
So real quick, some nomenclature – both the 300m and the Planet Ocean are technically members of the “Seamaster Professional” family. However, since we’re going to get into depth ratings (which the 300m is), it’s just going to get confusing if I call the 300m by it’s technical name in the middle of it, so from here on out the 300m will simply be the “Professional” and the Planet Ocean will be the Planet Ocean. Deal?
Right: Seamaster Professional 42mm w/ blue bezel and dial, Left: Planet Ocean 43.5mm w/ blue bezel/dial
The first differentiator between the two is size. The Professional pictured above is 42mm in diameter, while the Planet Ocean is 43.5mm. The Professional, as of 2018, now only comes in 42mm in the modern incarnation (the 41mm and 36.5mm are still in the collection, but clearly are not the focus of their current marketing efforts and don’t feature the return of the “wave” dial as seen on the 42mm). The next smallest Planet Ocean, for reference, is 39.5mm.
Today, we’re comparing the newest incarnations of both pieces – the 42mm Professional and the 43.5mm Planet Ocean. The biggest difference, though ultimately the least consequential if you understand how water resistance ratings work, is the depth rating of these two watches. The Professional is, as it’s full name implies, water resistant to a depth of 300 meters. That is more than suitable for nearly every situation you might encounter that could possibly involve getting the piece wet, but in an effort to outdo themselves, Omega released the Planet Ocean in 2005 with a depth rating of double that, at 600 meters. The Planet Ocean, as such, has always kind of been the Professional’s big brother in a lot of ways, even though the Professional came first.
Omega Master Co-Axial Caliber 8900
Where things get interesting is when we look under the hoods of these two. The Planet Ocean is powered by the Master Co-Axial caliber 8900, a METAS certified version of the caliber 8500 (METAS certification being an even higher level of chronometry testing than the COSC standards) that comes with a 60 hour power reserve and magnetism resistance up to 15’000 Gauss. By contrast, the Professional is powered by the Omega caliber 8800, a similar, but entirely new movement where the major change has been the moving of the date window to 6 o’clock instead of the traditional 3 o’clock. The caliber 8800 also features a power reserve of 55 hours, a strange discrepancy, admittedly, but one that probably has to do with the redesign of the movement’s architecture to accommodate the new date disc location.
Daniel Craig as James Bond sporting the new 42mm Seamaster Professional 300m
Now, if you’re not in the know, then the short version is this – Omega (specifically the Seamaster) has had a pretty solid working relationship with Agent 007 since 1995, with the film Goldeneye. Up until 2006’s Casino Royale, Bond wore a Professional 300m, and indeed he did in that film as well, but he also sported a Planet Ocean on a black rubber strap early on in the film (specifically in the embassy sequence), and then continued to sport a combination of Planet Oceans and Aqua Terras up until present. With a new Bond film on the horizon (with, I might add, one of my favorite directors of all time, Cary Fukunaga, at the helm), it seems oddly appropriate that Omega would once again call upon Agent 007 to promote their modern update to the Professional family. Whether or not this piece will accompany him in the new film remains to be seen.
So the big question (the one in the title of this article, in fact): which one? The Omega Seamaster Professional 300m or the Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean? Well, here’s my philosophy – both are fully functional dive watches. Both feature a helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position. Both are steel, on a bracelet. Both, in our example, are blue. That being said, the Professional seems to be very likely the new Bond watch, and features the return of the iconic wave pattern on the dial. The Planet Ocean, by contrast, is a big, beefy tool at the end of the day, one with a Bond connection as well, and one with a more unique, but perhaps not as iconic design.
For me, it goes like this:
The Planet Ocean is the perfect beefy sports watch between the two, despite how capable the Professional is. It’s ideal for the guy or gal who spends much more time traversing the jungles of South America, swimming in the Mediterranean, or, y’know, going for a morning run around the block. It’s the sportier of the two is the main takeaway here.
By contrast, the Professional is definitely my pick for the ultimate dressy dive watch (perhaps only behind the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms). It’s thinner, its curves are more sensuous, and it overall has a much less beefy, much more refined feel, and to prove it, I’m going to include a picture of it all dressed up.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale
That’s my official ruling geeks. Agree or disagree? Be sure to let us know and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam!
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