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Victor Vescovo and Kathryn D. Sullivan: from space to the deepest abyss

By Editorial Team
3 min read
Victor Vescovo e Kathryn Sullivan

In 2019 adventurer Victor Vescovo led the Five Deeps expedition to the deepest point on the Earth. It set the new world record of 10 925 m ± 4 m (35 843 ft. ± 13 ft). After taking part in this epochal journey into the Challenger abyss, OMEGA returns today to support the courageous Victor in an incredible new mission.

In 2020 the LIMITING FACTOR submarine rewrote history again. During the mission, up to eight scientific dives took place in all three basins that make up the Challenger abyss.

Victor Vescovo e Kathryn Sullivan

Among those who took part in the first trip there was NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space in 1984. With this year’s dive she also became the first woman to reach the bottom of the ocean. In addition to the Seamaster Planet Ocean, Sullivan also wore the Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker. A timepiece designed specifically for astronauts and now also used by marine explorers.

«Outside the porthole there is the most extraordinary point of all the oceans on the planet, and we have reached it.»

Kathy Sullivan

OMEGA congratulates Kathy on becoming the most vertical woman in the world. The only person to have conquered both space and ocean abysses. An important milestone that shows that exploration knows no limits.

Seamaster Planet Ocean and Victor Vescovo

The Five Deeps Expedition, the first expedition in the world to bring man to the deepest place in the five oceans, is an initiative of submarine pilot and explorer Victor Vescovo.

He is the first human being to have reached both the highest and lowest points on the planet.

To support Victor Vescovo’s bold venture, OMEGA has created a Seamaster Planet Ocean watch; raising the standard of technologies for underwater timepieces to new levels.

Victor Vescovo: diving to the highest depth

In April-May 2019, the Five Deeps Expedition team entered history. After mapping the ocean floor by means of the sonar system – in order to find the deepest point of the eastern part of the Challenger abyss in the Mariana Trench – Victor Vescovo piloted the DSV (Deep Submergence Vehicle). Limiting Factor, the operational submarine capable of reaching the highest depths in the world, leading it to the deepest place on Earth.

«Like the submarine, OMEGA’s Ultra Deep was designed to last a long time and face not only a difficult challenge towards a new world record, but numerous dives.»

Victor Vescovo

OMEGA always welcomes challenges

OMEGA has been manufacturing diving watches since the 1930s, but the creation of a robust timepiece capable of meeting the needs of The Five Deeps Expedition has required an innovative approach and shared commitment.

Imagination, genius and numerous diving simulations. These are the ingredients of the perfect formula that, despite countless difficulties, OMEGA has conceived by combining design, technology and materials in a truly exceptional innovative timepiece.

«OMEGA’s goal was to create a watch for a very specific use using technologies that could be reproduced on an industrial scale in the future.»

A series of severe tests

All timepieces were subjected to pressure tests at the Triton Submarines plant in Barcelona in the presence of a DNV-GL expert. The maximum pressure selected is equivalent to the depth of the Mariana Trench, but for greater precaution and compliance with diving watch standards, OMEGA insisted on increasing the safety margin by 25%. The performance of the timepieces was then examined at the exceptional pressure of 1500 bar (15 000 meters).

Performance and style

Designed to withstand very high pressures, the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep Professional is equipped with technology for full ocean depth, yet its design is thin and light: less than 28 mm. The expedition logo is placed in the center of the caseback, framed by concentric circles reminiscent of the multi-beam scan sonar technology used by the team of The Five Deeps Expedition to map the ocean floor. The watch is engraved with all the most important data, including the model, the reference number, the DNV-GL certification, the depth of 15,000 m at which it was tested and the materials.

Victor Vescovo
3 min read

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