Unveiled in 2002 as Omega‘s more leisurely sports watch, as opposed to the thoroughly athletic Seamaster Professional, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is now in its third generation – with the flagship being the weighty and pricey Worldtimer in platinum.
Despite being older the Aqua Terra has gotten better, with tighter lines, sharper detailing an the latest generation Master Chronometer movement. And most importantly, the new Aqua Terra watches cost marginally less than the equivalent models they replace.
The new Aqua Terra retains its signature look, which is just slightly retro, but with nips and tucks to keep it fresh. While the new case swab retains the same outline, keeping the twisted lugs also found on the Speedmaster Moonwatch, it has been given a stronger form with more prominent angles, as well as a conical crown for better grip.
Similarly, the dial stays much the same, with “Broadarrow” hands and arrowhead hour markers. Also, the stamped linear motif on the dial inspired by teak decks of sailboats is now horizontal instead of vertical, and the text on the dial has been reduced by one line with the sensible elimination of the depth rating. At the same time the date window has been moved to six o’clock, giving the dial better symmetry.
The automatic Aqua Terra watches are now equipped with Master Chronometer movements – the cal. 8900 or 8901 in the men’s models and cal. 8800 for ladies – which contain all of Omega’s technical innovations, including the frictionless Co-Axial escapement designed by George Daniels that’s standard in many Omega watches.
More notable are the patented, non-magnetic alloys for the escapement parts and a silicon hairspring – together they give the movements a magnetism resistance of over 15,000 Gauss, an industry record and almost equivalent to the magnetic fields generated by a small MRI machine. And like all of Omega’s newest calibres, they are certified for timekeeping and functionality by METAS, the federal Swiss meteorological and measures organisation.
A lot to choose from
Over 60 versions of the new Aqua Terra are available, divided almost evenly between those for men and women. The men’s watches are available with 38mm or 41mm cases, while the women’s models can be had in 28mm, 34mm or 38mm sizes. The smallest, 28mm size is only available with a quartz movement.
Case materials range from steel to solid 18k Sedna gold, the proprietary Omega rose gold alloy that doesn’t fade with time, along with combinations of the two metals. The titanium case Aqua Terra has been done away with.
A plethora of straps and bracelets are available to go along with that, including a newly designed rubber strap with a crosshatch pattern and a metal end link to integrate it into the watch case.
Price and availability
The new Aqua Terra watches are priced well, with retail generally 8% or so below that of the comparable model of the earlier generation.
The men’s Aqua Terra in steel on a leather strap (either 38mm or 41mm) starts at US$5400 or S$7600. The top of the line men’s watch in 18k Sedna gold with a matching gold bracelet is US$29,200 or S$40,500.
And the ladies’ Aqua Terra in steel with a quartz movement (28mm) starts at US$2800. The larger, automatic ladies’ model (34mm) starts at US$6400 or S$8850, while the 18k gold model is US$23,700 or S$32,850.
They will be available in Omega retailers and boutiques starting September 2017.
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