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  • Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 8900 43.5


    nordwulf

    Planet Ocean 600M Co-axial Master Chronometer
    Model number: 215.30.44.21.01.001
    Case size: 43.5mm
    Retail price: US$ 6,550
    Product sheet: Omega Planet Ocean Product Sheet 21530442101001-en-us.pdf

    Recommended reading: Planet Ocean: The Full Story Of Omega’s Iconic Modern Dive Watch - A Blog To Watch

    This is a long-term owner review and will provide a detailed log of ownership. It will be updated with new information through time and hopefully will be an interesting journey of owning and enjoying a luxury watch. It will be different and much longer than a regular review that talks about the technical details and how it wears for a short amount of time. I had a lot of questions about buying an expensive Omega luxury watch and hopefully the information in this review will be helpful for others.

    Introduction

    I have worn watches as a tool to tell time for a long time and became interested in watches and horology in general only about 3 years ago. It started out with a few inexpensive Seiko and Citizen watches and the iconic Seiko SKX009 was one of them. It was a good place to be as it started as an inexpensive hobby. The collecting slowly progressed to the range of $500 - $1000 which still seems to be the sweet spot for value versus price. The arrival of my first Swiss automatic watch (Certina DS Action Diver) was an exciting moment and many more from Hamilton, Eterna, Oris, Christopher Ward, Alpina, and Damasko followed. 

    When I started with my first watches, I thought I would never spend more than a few $100 on one. But that ended up with my most expensive watch to date which was an Oris Aquis for around $1300. What does this have to do with a review of an Omega Planet Ocean you may ask?  It is just a short explanation of how I worked my way up into this watch obsession and not just went to a store, bought a luxury watch and that was it.

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    The journey

    It took a while to find an expensive luxury watch that will last a long time, fits in in many places where I wear watches and I won't get bored with. I always liked Omega as a brand and the Seamaster has been my favorite. I first started looking at the Planet Ocean and then seriously considered the Aqua Terra. I visited an AD in Gibraltar while on vacation last year and looked at the Aqua Terra but just couldn't make the decision at that time.

    There are a few ways to acquire a luxury or any kind of watch these days. This applies to the USA but I imagine this pretty much is the same in other countries all over the world.

    • Omega Boutique (OB) 
    • Omega Authorized Dealer (AD)
    • Trusted Reseller
    • Grey market dealer (Jomashop, Authentic Watches, Prestige Time and so on)
    • Pre-owned from dealer or private party

    Buying from an Omega Boutique or Authorized Dealer is the safest way to buy and includes full manufacturer warranty. Resellers usually buy watches from ADs with full manufacturer warranty at a discount and sell them on to consumers. Watches from grey market dealers in the USA usually don't come with manufacturer warranty and they provide their own in-house warranty.

    Grey market watches from well-known companies are authentic and can give you a significant discount from retail price. Pre-owned watches can come in all kinds of conditions and may or may not include manufacturer or aftermarket warranty.

    I was close to order my Omega from Jomashop as I have had good experiences with them in the past. This doesn't mean everyone has a good buying experience and there is a difference of buying a watch that costs a few 100 or a few 1000  dollars/euros/pounds.

    Omega Boutiques do not give discounts but may include some other products in the sale. Authorized Dealers often give discounts and it shouldn't be too difficult to get 10 - 20% off depending on the model. Discounts are usually only give in the store or by phone. 

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    Purchase - 5 April 2019

    I prefer to communicate through email or other type of messaging as it is much more efficient and it is nice to have a record of the conversation. But maybe that is why dealers rather don't do it this way as they may get in trouble with Omega. I came in touch with an AD that was recommended through a Seamaster group on Facebook group and the transaction was very easy and convenient.

    The discount was attractive and the price came to just a few 100 dollars more than buying from grey market and same as from a  trusted reseller on the Omega forum. And this of course included the full 5-year warranty from Omega. A Paypal invoice was emailed and the purchase was confirmed.

    A word of warning.. casual communication through email and chat can be nice but you have to be very sure you are dealing with the right person and company. It is all too easy to get scammed these days so buyer beware. It is safest to go to the actual store of this dealer but this may not be practical. The closest AD is 200 miles away from me so that isn't very convenient.

    Watch received - 6 April 2019

    The dealer was kind enough to upgrade their regular UPS shipping to overnight with Saturday delivery without extra cost. The dealer is located in Pennsylvania and I closely monitored the progress through the UPS network. The UPS site has a new feature where you can track the progress of the actual UPS truck with your package and I admit was a bit of a virtual stalker and refreshed my screen many times. You probably understand when you are into watches and have a new watch on the way.

    The store and people are a big part of the buying experience and the reason why a luxury watch costs much more than the average time piece you can buy at a regular department store. I wished I lived closer to Pennsylvania but it was just a bit too far from Northern Michigan. And buying out of state means the watch was not subject to PA or MI sales tax. Of course you should declare any out-of-state sales purchase where tax hasn't been charged on next year's tax return if required..

    It is quite a different experience receiving a luxury watch delivered in a cardboard box by a dirty UPS truck than getting the full OB or AD experience. However, it was securely packaged and it made the journey without any problems. 

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    Presentation box and included materials

    The presentation box and other materials are top notch and of very nice quality. Most watch boxes end up in a closet never to be seen again but this one stays on  my desk and is where the Planet Ocean rests at night when I am home. The light-colored wooden box with soft cream-colored interior is just a pleasure to feel and look at.

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    The inside cover hides a few small storage spaces where you can keep the hang tag and spare links. There is a soft cloth pouch which I suppose can be used for storing or transporting the watch but I wouldn't recommend that without using a watch pillow of some sort. This will prevent the bracelet from flopping around and avoid scratching of the case back.

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    Documentation

    The watch came with the 3 red cards that should come with a new Planet Ocean 8900 were in the regular Omega card holder.

    • Master Chronometer card
      This will show the reference number of the watch model, the watch serial number and an access code you can enter on Omega's website to view the METAS test results. More about this later.
    • Pictograms card
      This will have the reference number and serial number of the watch. the back of the card shows the pictograms with features of the watch like water resistance rating, bezel material (ceramic), anti-magnetic rating, type of movement and so on.
    • Warranty card
      It used to be the reference number and watch serial numbers were printed on the card and the dealer would stamp the card and fill in the purchase date. They can also have only the name of the dealer without the numbers printed and the dealer would fill these out by hand. This is information I have read online and as explained by the dealer I bought the watch from.

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    Serial numbers and dealer name blurred for privacy reasons.

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    Proof of Manufacturer Warranty

    The warranty card for this watch wasn't filled out. I had the invoice when I submitted payment but that only listed the model number and not the serial number of the watch. The dealer said I could send the card back to them and they would fill it out for me. But I could do the same myself as well.

    They also assured me they had a record of all the details and any warranty work would not be an issue at all. I am very cautious with these kind of things and asked if they could send me a receipt of proof of purchase with all the watch details including the serial number. I received the receipt with official dealer details, receipt number, watch details, purchase price and all my details a few days later and all was good in my world.

    Information from the forums show that authorized dealers also register this information with Omega and it makes sense they keep record of watches that have factory warranty and sold by Omega Boutiques and ADs. But I rather have proof of this for my own records, can be used for insurance purposes and may add value when selling the watch again.

    I would be very careful to buy a new or used watch that does not come with an official sales receipt. Just a blank warranty card with a printed name and no numbers does not have much value to me. Anything can easily be faked these days. I don't know if you can contact Omega with a serial number and find out the purchase date and warranty coverage.

    Bracelet sizing - 12 April 2019

    Patience and the right tools are important for bracelet resizing. Removing links from the Omega Planet Ocean bracelet is not difficult but it is easy to leave marks on the screws and bracelet when you're not careful or have a screwdriver that does not fit properly.

    The links are held together by a solid bar that is held in place with 2 very small screws at each end. The width of the screw heads is 1.6 mm. I have a set of reasonable quality precision screw drivers including a 1.6 mm size but the blades of these were just a bit too thin for the screw heads and they moved around a bit when applying pressure. 

    I had another 1.4 mm from a different set but that was too thick to fit into the screw heads. I used some sand paper to sand down the tip until it fit comfortable into the heads. Push down on the screw driver while turning to make sure it doesn't slip out of the screw head. It didn't take much force to unscrew and there was no thread-locker applied to the screws.

    You may need a push pin tool or small wire like a paper clip to push out the bar. Make sure the screws are tight but not too tight. Check the screws for the next few days to make sure they don't become loose. It may be a good idea to use a thread-locker to make sure they stay secure.

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    The bracelet itself is all brushed surfaces which is great for a tool watch like this. The clasp has a push button inside that allows extending the bracelet for about 1 cm. This is great for expanding wrists when you go from a cold and dry environment to hot and humid. This should be standard on any bracelet on a luxury watch.

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    The adjustment can be made without having to take of the watch from your wrist. Just open the clasp, push the button down with your thumb, slide and make the adjustment you want. Perfect.

    There also is a divers extension for adding another 2.5 cm in case you want to wear the watch over a wet suit or jacket. The clasp is very smooth on the inside when folded up and there are no parts sticking out that may cause uncomfortable pressure points on your wrist. 

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    How it looks, feels and wears - 25 April 2019

    I have had the watch and worn it for a few weeks now. I was initially concerned about the size of the watch. It is marketed as 43.5 mm but found out that is a bit misleading.

    The case measures 43.5 mm at its largest diameter without the crown. The diameter of the bezel is 42 mm so it looks and wears a lot smaller than the 43.5 mm suggests. The case is actually slightly asymmetrical and it comes out an extra 1.5 mm on the right side of the case to function as an integrated crown guard.

    The shape of the case sides are angled a bit so it also doesn't have the presence of a large case. Combine this with the lug-to-lug size of a relatively short 49 mm and this watch really wears smaller than the 43.5 mm spec suggest. I have/had watches that are:

    • 41 mm (Seiko SKX007)
    • 42 mm (Glycine Combat Sub)
    • 43 mm (Christopher Ward C60 Trident)
    • 43,5 mm (Oris Aquis)
    • 44 mm (Alpina Alpiner GMT)

    This Planet Ocean 43.5 definitely wears like a 42 mm dive watch.

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    The height of 16 mm was a concern as well and taller than most dive watches. But after wearing it for a while, I don't notice the height anymore and other watches now feel a bit flat on the wrist.

    The wrist presence is just right for me. It looks like a quality timepiece without being too loud or attracting the wrong attention. Many watch enthusiasts will know what it is from a distance but the general public won't notice and won't care. However, this may be a negative for some and may be better off with a luxury watch from the other Swiss brand with the crown.

    The weight of the watch on the bracelet is 214 grammes / 7.5 oz with all links for about an 8" wrist. Each links is 2g. The watch head is probably about half the total weight and it wears nicely balanced on the wrist. You feel you're wearing a watch but often forget you do.

    I wish the bracelet would have half links for the perfect fit. I want to use the full adjustment range for an expanding wrist and sometimes you just need that half link. I ordered a half link from the AD and will update this review when installed.

    Perfect size for my 19 cm / 7.5 inch wrist.

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    I have owned several other 40 - 44 dive watches through the years and here are a few pictures comparing the size of the PO 8900 43.5 to others.

    Christopher Ward C60 43mm - Planet Ocean 8900 - Seiko SKX009

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    Glycine Combat Sub 42mm - Planet Ocean 8900 - Seiko SBDC053 42.5mm

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    Performance and accuracy

    The 8900 movement and master chronometer specifications are very impressive with a guaranteed accuracy of 0 to +5 seconds per day (spd). The certification an testing process by the Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) is extensive and all the details about how a watch is tested can be found on the Omega website (link). 

    Quote

    Metrology: the science of weights and measures or of measurement - a system of weights and measures
    Chronometer: an instrument for measuring time, especially one designed to keep accurate time in spite of motion or variations in temperature, humidity, and air pressure.

    The Master Chronometer card has the serial number of the watch and an access code you can use on the Omega website to see the results of the tests by METAS: https://www.omegawatches.com/en-us/masterchronometer

    Below are the results of this particular 8900 movement in the Planet Ocean. It is important to note the entire watch with the movement is tested as opposed to COSC testing where only the movement is analyzed.

    I like my watches to run a bit fast and the METAS certification was an important part of purchase decision. So seeing the average precision of +1.2 seconds per day was perfect.

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    Test results in a controlled environment and real world performance are not always the same. It all depends on how often a watch is worn, activity of the wearer, temperature, storage position when not in use and so on. I timed my watch with an Watch Tracker app on my iPhone for about 17 days and was a bit disappointed to see the watch was actually running a bit slow at -0.7 seconds per day. 

    The good news is that it is still amazing accuracy and it is very consistent in how it runs. It gains about a second when it is stationary at night and looses a couple of seconds during the day. 

    There is a great discussion on the Omega forum where METAS test results, timing tolerances and real world accuracy and performance are discussed. Find those threads here:
    Timing tolerances - a guide to understand how they work
    METAS results versus real world performance

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    Do you have any questions, information to add, found any errors in this review or just want share some thoughts about this review or the watch? Please share your comments below! 👇

    Edited by nordwulf

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    Guest Mick

    Posted

    Fantastic review, very detailed, great photos. You could write reviews for a watch magazine. With my time with a Planet Ocean, I agree with everything you said. It is an amazing watch

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    Mick, thanks so much for your kind words about the review. Glad to hear you are enjoying your Planet Ocean as well.

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    Guest Jason

    Posted

    You provided an outstanding review. I was planning on buying a new Rolex Submariner date watch but after yuur review and seeing one in person, I pulled the trigger on the same exact watch. I really had my heart set on the Rolex for over a year but after your review and comparing it to the Rolex 4 different times, I was convinced I liked the Omega more. Not only did I save thousands of dollars as it's less expensive, I like the look of the watch and to be able to see the movement from the back makes it more enjoyable to admire.

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    Guest Stefanus

    Posted

    Great review. You state that the guaranteed accuracy is 0 to +5 secs per day. Is this a guarantee provided by Omega? If so, where can it be found?

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    Jason,
    Thanks for your feedback and good to hear my feedback was helpful for your decision. I hope you are enjoying your new Planet Ocean.

    Stefanus,
    I don't think Omega provides a guarantee on accuracy. As mentioned in the review, accuracy can vary depending on the wearer and conditions and there are some threads on the Omega forum about accuracy.

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    Guest Stefanus

    Posted

    1 hour ago, nordwulf said:

    Jason,
    Thanks for your feedback and good to hear my feedback was helpful for your decision. I hope you are enjoying your new Planet Ocean.

    Stefanus,
    I don't think Omega provides a guarantee on accuracy. As mentioned in the review, accuracy can vary depending on the wearer and conditions and there are some threads on the Omega forum about accuracy.

    Thanks. I have had my PO for 9 months. It's a great watch but after initially gaining some time each day, for the last 2 months it has been consistently losing about 1 second a day. The Omega Service Centre did a quick check on it and the result was +0.24. I bought the watch because somewhere I read that it was guaranteed at 0 to +5 and I hate a watch which loses time. I don't know how it can be rated at +0.24 and still be losing time.

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    Mine gains a few seconds a day when it is stationary with dial up and looses a few seconds when wearing it during the day. I recently got a watch winder to keep it all wound up and that seems to make it run slightly faster as well. But I don't wear it all day every day.

    Try to put your watch in a few different positions (face up, face down, on its side with crown up) when you're not wearing it. This may speed up it up or slow it down depending on the position.

    My watch seems to be picking up speed just a little after 2 months of ownership and can't complain at all about the average accuracy.

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    Guest Robbie

    Posted

    Help can’t make up my mind on wither to go for size 45 or 36 planet ocean . My wrist size is 7” .Any comments please. Thanks Robbie 

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    On 7/11/2019 at 8:09 AM, Guest Robbie said:

    Help can’t make up my mind on wither to go for size 45 or 36 planet ocean . My wrist size is 7” .Any comments please. Thanks Robbie 

    The 43.5 (wears like a 42) would probably be best for a 7" wrist. 

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    My favorite travel watch, switching time zones with the jumping hour hand is so easy and one of my favorite features of this watch.

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    Guest Harrystc

    Posted

    I just bought a used PO from a man in a small village in Eastern Europe. It is a barn find and I have done this many times with Rolex.  I carefully restore the watch using my trusted watchmaker.

    My question is should I change the bezel from orange to black?  It must be changed as the small pearl at the 12  is broken off.  I intend to restore the Planet Ocean and be totally honest when selling it.  

    Do I go with another orange bezel,or change to black?  The major numerals on the dial,are orange but I have seen used watches with orange numbers and a black bezel.  I think that looks great.

     

    the watch is nine years old and runs perfect, having three seconds per day.

     

    orange or black bezel.  Watch guys what do you think?

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