In one year from now, the 2014 Winter Olympics will begin in Sochi, Russia. Swiss watchmaker Omega will be traveling to Russia to assume the responsibilities of Official Timekeeper at the upcoming games. Omega has proudly and frequently held this role since the 1932 Olympic games, making next year’s role the 26th time as Timekeeper for Omega. In celebration of this tradition, Omega has produced two special limited edition timepieces, called the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean “Sochi 2014” and available in both a women’s (37.5mm) and men’s version (45.5mm). Being as the games will be held in early 2014, only 2,014 pieces of these limited edition watches will be available.
These fine watches will surely be the most coveted souvenirs of the winter games. The Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.5 mm and 37.5mm “Sochi 2014” timepieces are powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial caliber 8500 and caliber 8520 respectively. These are reliable and well-known co-axial movements that have defined the modern mechanical watch. Exclusive to Omega watches, this movement includes a Si14 (silicon) balance spring and as a diving watch, is water resistant to 600 meters (2,000 feet). The 37.5mm ladies model is inspired by the colors of the Russian flag, with white ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel with minutes 1 through 5 lacquered in blue, and minutes 6 through 10 lacquered in red all on a stainless steel case. Sized for a feminine wrist, the 37.5mm Seamaster Planet Ocean also possesses a brushed screw-in case backing that is imprinted with the “Sochi 2014” Olympic logo. There is also a helium escape valve located at 10 o’clock on the case.
The men’s 45.5mm version of the Seamaster Planet Ocean comes fitted with much of the same robust features and colors as the women’s. The rotating diving bezel on this model is outlined with a black ceramic ring (white on the women’s), which contains a chromium nitride divers’ scale. Both the number markers and rhodium-plated hands on the black matte dial are painted with white Super-LumiNova, which produces a blue glowing light. The same qualities are on the white lacquered dial on the ladies version, with an exception for the minute hand and 12 o’clock dot, which actually glows green. These features were included to help divers record their time with grater ease.
Omega has a long history of prestige and tradition in their watchmaking. Both the British and American air forces used Omega as their official timekeepers for combat units during World War I. Also used extensively by NASA, an Omega watch was the first watch on the moon in 1969. Obviously Omega is known as a timepiece to be taken seriously, especially in fields where the smallest minutiae are the difference between success and failure. Record-setting Olympic swimmer and multiple gold medal winner Michael Phelps is an official Omega “Ambassador” and advertises the Seamaster Planet Oceans; even more glamorous are the Omega watches that haven often been shown off in James Bond films since the early nineties.
Though released a year early, it is safe to say the hype over these limited Olympic Seamaster Planet Oceans will not wane any time soon.
Written by Amani Liggett