Thursday, February 14, 2013

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 8500 - Review

So here's a little sidestep from the regular updates that I normally do. Though not the first, as I like to take pictures and talk about new gadgets, games etc as well.

Anyhow, I recently bought a new watch and decided to give my input on it, as there's surprisingly few user made reviews out there for this timepiece. And the ones that I found didn't have all so many pictures on them.

Now to start, It's pretty obvious that I like the watch as I just bought it, so this review could also be read just as a pictorial overview of sort. :)

Omega Planet Ocean 8500 (45,5mm):

The watch comes in the red leather box  of course like every other Omega -watch. The box itself is made of quality materials, as you would expect from a watch of this caliber. It's sturdy and the inside of the box is covered with satin (or satin like) material. On the right side of the watch in this picture is the "secret compartment", where I myself keep the excess bracelet-parts.

Here's the whole box and the cleaning cloth that has the Planet Ocean logo on it. Im not sure if Omega still ships these cloths with the new PO:s, or are they a thing of the past which were made for the old 2500 versions? Anyhow the store that I bought this watch from had these so I got one as well.

So the actual watch is a great looking watch for sure and just oozes quality. I personally really loved this watch from the start. To me the versatility of this watch is just in it's own level. It has been called a "sporty watch" and I get where that comes from, but I can just as easily wear this with a suit as I can use it with a shirt and jeans -combo.
It's brushed steel -looks are also pretty eye-catching, but it's still very elegant as it doesn't have any two tone shiny parts in it.  Even if you know nothing about watches this one will definitely give you that sense of quality, but it doesn't throw that in anyones face so to speak. And that's pretty much what I personally want from a watch.
Of course you need to like divers-watches to really appreciate the looks of the PO:

I really like the look of the new dark grey bezel that they put in this version. I also liked the look of the older 2500 version, but I think I like this grey one better. To me the bezel looks very classy and it differentiates the PO from every other divers watch out there that has a black shiny bezel. This gives the watch a lot more character in my eyes.
And the bezel is made of ceramic now, so that was definitely a plus to me as it doesn't scratch nearly as easily as steel.
Bezel centers nicely and it has a very firm but smooth feel to it.

Size 42mm vs 45,5mm:

I really had a hard time at first in making a choice between the 42mm and the 45,5mm models, so I decided to give my overall input on this as well. I actually already "made up my mind" for the 42mm one when I was going to the store, but eventually I ended up with the 45,5mm version and personally I am glad that I did.
Reasoning behind the 42 for me was that it's more of a "normal sized watch". In the end when I tested them both at the same time and looked them side by side, the bigger version just really pleased my eye a lot more. To me the smaller one just looked inferior in my wrist, so I ended up making my decision just purely on aesthetics and the feel on a personal level.
My wrists are rather small even though my hands are not. My wrists are are about 6,75 - 7 inches but they are rather flat. The PO is a heavy (230g for this big version) watch and pretty thick too, but they both felt very nice on the wrist.  Personally I usually like my watches pretty big as I like the wrist-presence that they give.
I also liked the bracelet on the bigger version a lot more, as it's quite a lot wider and I like that hugging feeling.

The watch also looks a lot smaller than it actually is in my opinion. I think it's because of the bezel, and the lugs that are really nicely shaped and end short. Compared side by side the 42mm version actually looked smaller than the 41mm Seamaster 300m version, and I feel like this 45,5mm version is about the same size as my 42,5mm Certina Action Diver. Go figure, but you really need to see it in person yourself if you don't believe me. :)
Finally my word of advice if you are thinking between the models: test them both at the same time. You really can't get a decent picture of the watches from the internet. Test them both and choose the one that you feel more comfortable with and like the looks more. After all, you are buying it for yourself. Besided they are both nicely proportioned so it's hard to go wrong, as they both look great. :)

The Dial:

This 8500 version has the planted on Omega logo which is made of white gold. Also the numerals are planted rather than painted, and that's a great addition. It's small little details like this that give this watch a nice 3D effect when you look at it from different angles. Also the orange Seamaster -text gives a nice contrast on the black dial and the silvery parts.

It's hard to see at first and even harder to capture in a photograph but the dial is actually textured rather than just plain black (you might need to check the larger picture by clicking the photo):

All in all I really love the dial, it's just so clean and crips. That's actually a fairly good word for the whole watch, clean. It has so much contrast and clean, clear lines.

One thing I wish though, is that they would have made the date -window a bit bigger in this 45,5mm version, as there would be enough space to do so. Date is displayed on a black background with silver numerals, and the contrast again is very crisp so it is very easy to read. Bigger one would have just been a small improvement in my eyes though.

Crown and the mechanics:

The detail in here again is just superb, the crown is nicely made in a way that the Omega logo stands out. Winding the clock is very smooth, and I love the addition with 8500 mechanics where you can jump hours. It's now very easy to change the time when you travel to another time region.

After this we get in to the actual mechanics and heart of this watch, the "Omega inhouse co-axial 8500" -movement. I know there's some people that don't think of 8500 as a real inhouse movement as ETA also has been involved in generating it. It's a topic that I won't go into detail here, as it makes no difference to me. In the end, it's a very respected movement these days and seems to be lifting the whole brand as well. Omega also warrants these for four years which is pretty nice.

And it's just beautiful:


Lume seems to be on par what I expected. It's bright and the watch looks awesome in dimmed light:

Here's the watch in total darkness:

All in all I am very pleased with the PO 8500 as you could expect. The attention to detail is just awesome in every part of the watch. Everything is so clean, clear and stylish. The domed sapphire glass is dual coated with anti reflective materials and is crystal clear and extremely scratch resistant.

Bracelet is very sturdy and the lock clicks nicely when you snap it on. The watch also moves surprisingly little in the wrist even though it is rather heavy. I think that's because the watch just sits very well on the wrist and the see-through backside keeps it in place.
What also pleasantly surprised me was how easily this fits under the shirt. It is a thick case yes, but you still don't need to buy bigger shirts just because of it. :)

I won't go much in to detail with the helium escape valve as it's probably  purely for aesthetics for 99,9% of this watches owners. But it's there if you need it and it just looks cool.
I suspect that the prices for these Omega 8500 watches is going to keep on rising in the oncoming years. You just get so much of swiss made quality and innovations for a lesser price than let's say a Rolex. (I have nothing against Rolex, just pointing out what I believe will happen and that's just usually the brand that everyone keeps comparing the PO to).

Now the price is still pretty steep, but you really get what you are paying for. At the time of writing this the price given by Omega for this PO Co-Axial 8500 is 4740 euros. I have heard that they are consistently trying to catch up Rolex, so they seem to be pushing the prices up all the time.
And the marketing also is really up there, as the Bond - Skyfall also proves.

Awesome watch, few more pics just for the sake of it:

Hope you liked my review of the PO, whether you are a fan of mechanical watches or not. If you have question or remarks just drop a comment. :)