Omega's latest is dressed in blue ceramic for the first time
Omega has leveraged manufacturing techniques first developed by its sister brand Blancpain for its latest version of the Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT, aptly nicknamed "Big Blue."
By adding a special pigment to the zirconium-based ceramic compound, the incredibly strong and scratch-resistant case takes on a vibrant blue hue. Unlike diamond-like carbon (DLC) or physical vapor deposition (PVD) coatings, which can sometimes wear or scratch through to base metal, this coloured ceramic ensures that such wear or damage will never be an issue.
In addition to this cutting-edge case, Omega also created a new style of bezel insert for the new release. The first quarter of the 60-minute timing bezel utilises a bright orange rubber marked with ceramic minute indices just breaching the surface of the rubber.
With the amount of high-gloss finishing on both the case and dial, this matte detail was an effective way for Omega's design team to balance out its design.
Vintage collectors reading this may well recognise the "Big Blue" nickname from a piece from Omega's archives. The original Omega Seamaster Big Blue from 1972 — a rather hefty and dive-capable GMT chronograph — was one of the first chronographs engineered to be usable up to 393 feet (120 meters) under the surface.
Although a chronograph is not part of the new Big Blue, its dial and accent colours pay a fitting nod to the vintage timepiece. As with other Planet Ocean GMT models, this latest edition is powered by Omega's Master Chronometer calibre 8906, which runs at 25,200 vph, has industry-leading magnetic resistance, and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.
The new model, priced at $US11,700 (about $A15,385), is expected to land in retailers by the late third or early fourth quarter of this year. (omegawatches.com)