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20 Jun

Rolex Sea Dweller vs. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean –Which Is The Ultimate Dive Watch?

If you’re inclined to explore the ocean’s deepest depths, you just want a seriously robust, waterproof (and handsome) watch to accompany you. Rolex and Omega, the two iconic brands, are considered to be the makers of the world’s best dive watches—the Rolex Sea-Dweller and the Omega Planet Ocean.

But when you ask someone to choose one, it leaves them in splits. The two have no other similarity except for sharing the same designation. With different features, functionalities, and movements, the watches are very different from each other, and one can actually say they are oceans apart.

Most of you will be loyal to one brand or the other. But we’d like to take up this noble cause of comparing them side by side and breaking down the various attributes. Ultimately, you never know—you might as well change your mind!

So, who do you think will win this competition in the sea? Rolex or Omega? The decision is yours to make.

Brief History Of The Rolex Sea-Dweller

The Rolex Sea-Dweller’s origin dates back to the 1960s, a time when scuba diving surged in popularity, and there was a growing demand for more sophisticated diving watches. The Sea-Dweller was designed to meet this specific demand and surpass the technical requirements of professional divers.

Its exceptional water resistance sets the Sea-Dweller significantly apart from its contenders. Rolex teamed up with COMEX and Doxa S.A. to develop and patent the helium escape valve, which allows helium to escape from inside the watch case when the difference between the inner and outer pressure reaches a critical level. It was targeted at professional deep-sea divers.

Released in 1967, the first Sea-Dweller Ref. 1665 had a water resistance of 2000 feet. Since then, Rolex has continued to push the limits, and today, the Sea-Dweller sports a water resistance of up to 4000 feet.

Brief History of The Omega Planet Ocean

Omega introduced the Planet Ocean in 2005 with various exceptional materials, such as gold, stainless steel, platinum, ceramic and titanium. Omega also provided this model with strap and bracelet options, including steel, NATO, or rubber straps. In all honesty, Omega created this timepiece for the commercial market.

The watch was designed to brave the depths and has a water resistance of up to 2000 feet. Released when oversized watches were gaining the most popularity, the Planet Ocean sported a beefy case design, measuring 42mm and 45.5mm, adding to their demand. The first Omega Planet Ocean housed the Omega Calibre 2500, upgraded with the brand’s Coaxial escapement.

By all accounts, the sporty Omega Planet Ocean model was a hit from the start, appearing in several James Bond movies. The list includes Casino Royale (2006), Skyfall (2012) and many others. With every movie release, Omega launched a 007-themed limited edition Planet Ocean.

Key facts about the Rolex Sea-Dweller

  1. The Rolex Sea-Dweller is a watch for professional divers who spend long underwater periods.
  2. Derived from the Submariner, Rolex beefed up the model to ensure much greater pressure resistance.
  3. With its helium escape valve and incompressible body, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is a technical Rolex watch that stands apart.
  4. The first Sea-Dweller model, Ref. 1665, was in production for 16 years, and the latter, Ref. 16600, secured its place in the catalogue for almost 20 years. Rolex produced very few of these watches. For every 10 Submariners, Rolex produced one Sea-Dweller. This low production validates the idea that Rolex always treated it as a watch for professional divers and not as a mere commodity.
  5. From a collector’s perspective, the Rolex Sea-Dweller represents excellent value, as their rarity demands.

Key facts about the Omega Planet Ocean

  1. The Seamaster is the oldest watch line in Omega’s vast catalogue and is still in production today.
  2. The Omega Seamaster watches are powered by both quartz and mechanical movements.
  3. Omega released a few iterations of the first generation of Plant Ocean 600M and eventually expanded it to incorporate a variety of materials, bezel colours, and straps. However, it maintained consistency with an analogue display, rotating bezel, luminous hands, and impressive 600M water resistance.
  4. The first generation of Omega Plant Ocean is famous for its features in the James Bond movies, and numerous limited editions have been released in honour of it.
  5. The Omega Seamaster has eight different sub-collections, making it the most diverse collection.

Design & Functionality: Rolex Sea-Dweller vs. Omega Planet Ocean

  • CASE

Sea-Dweller—The stainless steel waterproof case measures 43mm x 15.5mm. Rolex constructed it using corrosion-resistant 904L steel. It has a screw-down case back and a monobloc middle case. On the left side of the case is the integrated helium escape valve.

Planet Ocean—The Planet Ocean is available in various sizes, depending on the model you choose. In this blog, let’s turn our attention to the hefty 44mm stainless steel case. It has polished and brushed finishes, a screw-down case back, and a manually operated helium gas escape valve to protect the Calibre 2500 movement.

  • BEZEL

Sea-Dweller—It has a unidirectional/bidirectional black aluminium or ceramic bezel with numerals and graduations coated with a thin layer of platinum. The bezel also features 1-minute markings from 0 to 60 and an upside triangular marker at 12 o’clock, highlighted with a lume dot.

Planet Ocean—It is outfitted with a black, unidirectional ceramic bezel. Omega uses the OMEGA Liquidmetal™ for the diving scale. Similar to the Sea-Dweller, the Planet Ocean also features 1-minute markings starting at 0 and going up to 60 and has an upside-down triangular market with a lume dot at 12 o’clock.

  • DIAL

Sea-Dweller-Sporting a black dial with luminous hour markers, the dial of the Sea-Dweller is quite understated. The word ‘Sea-Dweller’ is in red, adding a touch of colour. There are classic Mercedes-style hands, baton and dot hour markers, and an upside-down triangle marker at 12 o’clock. Rolex’s patented Chromalight display offers luminosity for up to eight hours. It has a date window at 3 o’clock, magnified by a Cyclops for easy readability.

Planet Ocean– Omega has always emphasised luxury for the Planet Ocean models, which is evident from the dial. Crafted from polished ZrO2 ceramic (as indicated by the engraving at the dial’s centre), Omega elevates the dial’s quality and finish to new heights. It has arrow-shaped large and luminous hands, Arabic numerals and baton markers, all highly legible underwater. The word ‘Seamaster’ and the depth rating are orange, adding a pop of colour to the monochromatic look. At 3 o’clock is the date display.

  • MOVEMENT

Sea-Dweller– The Rolex Sea-Dweller houses the latest generation Calibre 3235, a self-winding mechanical movement created and produced by Rolex. It features 14 patents, including the innovative Chronergy escapement. Made of nickel-phosphorous, the Chronergy escapement offers high-energy efficiency and great reliability and is also resistant to magnetic fields. The 3235 Calibre is Superlative Chronometer certified, which means it is COSC certified and has undergone more tests performed by Rolex after casing.

The rate accuracy of the Sea-Dweller is -2/+2 seconds per day. Rolex conducts a series of specific tests in its own laboratories to ensure the movement meets the brand’s desired high standard. There’s no questioning Rolex’s watch accuracy.

Planet Ocean—The Calibre 8900, a self-winding movement with Coaxial escapement, provides power to the Planet Ocean. It is certified as a Master Chronometer, meaning it has been certified not once but twice. The movement first passed the COSC testing, qualifying it as a chronometer. After that, it was subjected to eight other rigorous tests set by METAS.

These extra tests include exposing the watch to magnetic fields in various settings. As a result, the watch is resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. Furthermore, to qualify for METAS’s strict accuracy standard, the movement must have an accuracy rate of 0 and +5 seconds per day. This is meticulously checked in varying positions and extreme temperatures, which Omega allows you to view when you search for the certificate number online.

For easy comparison, we’ve listed the key attributes of each movement below:

 ROLEX CALIBRE 3235OMEGA CALIBRE 8900
Frequency28,80025,300
EscapementChronergyCoaxial
Precision-2/+2 seconds a day/after casing0-5+ seconds a day/after casing
Power Reserve70 hours60 hours
CertificationSuperlative ChronometerMaster Chronometer
  • BRACELET

Sea-Dweller—Made of 904L stainless steel, the Rolex solid-link Oyster bracelet is legendary and is considered one of the best steel bracelets in the industry. The double extension system allows easy adjustability without a tool, making it perfect for daily wear. The Fliplock extension link extends the bracelet by 26mm, and adjustments can be made in 2mm increments for a total of 20mm (approximately).

Planet Ocean—The Planet Ocean has an integrated steel three-link bracelet equipped with a patented extendable foldover clasp, allowing you to wear it over a wetsuit. The bracelet is comfortable on the wrist and looks handsome as well. But, to be fair, it’s not quite the same standard as the Rolex Oyster bracelet.

THE END RESULT – Rolex vs. Omega

Both the watches are sporty and are the world’s best dive watches. While the Seamaster feels bigger on the wrist, the Sea-Dweller beats it with its exceptional ability to go underwater, twice the Planet Ocean. Regarding looks, Rolex is uniformly handsome, and the Seamaster appears a bit flashier with the signature orange markers.

However, the point where these two watches align is their robust, waterproof stainless steel cases, making them practically astute and ideal for everyday wear.

In the end, it’s safe to say you’ll enjoy wearing both timepieces, as both have admirable traits. It’s up to you and your preference whether you pick an Omega or a Rolex.

We suggest seeing both the watches in person before deciding on one. Here at Luxbrokers, you’ll find a long list of pre-owned luxury watches, including the Rolex Sea-Dweller and Omega Planet Ocean. Check for yourself to buy the watch that appeals the most to you. Browse the watches online or call 0207 123 5081 to book an appointment.

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