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In The Metal: OMEGA Aqua Terra – Where the Sea Meets the Shore

In The Metal: OMEGA Aqua Terra – Where the Sea Meets the Shore

in-the-metal-omega-seamaster-aqua-terra-150m

The OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M is a sporty all-rounder that works just as well at a yacht club as in the city. A combination of cutting-edge technology and practical features qualify this watch for everyday wear. With a price of less than 5,000 euros, the timepiece is also a perfect choice for first-timers entering the luxury segment.

The Aqua Terra is part of the Seamaster collection, but ultimately prefers to steer clear of deep waters. As its name suggests, this model bridges the gap between water and land. As a result, this watch appears much slimmer and more sophisticated than the other models in the collection, such as the Seamaster Diver 300M, let alone the Seamaster Ploprof 1200M.

Aqua Terra: A watch that lives up to its name

The Aqua Terra is available in several versions, but the models equipped with a rubber strap stand out in particular, translating the maritime heritage into a modern material. In this review, we will therefore focus on the light blue stainless-steel version with a blue rubber strap (ref. 220.12.41.21.03.002) and the model with a black dial and matching black rubber strap (ref. 220.12.41.21.01.001) as a more elegant alternative.

With a horizontal stainless-steel bar between the lugs, the rubber strap is integrated into the case, creating a seamless transition from watch to strap. The deployment buckle is equally impressive with its flawless craftmanship, double pushers and integration into the strap; unlike a pin buckle, the excess length is neatly concealed inside and does not have to be attached to the outside with additional loops.

With a bit of imagination, the dream of owning a yacht (almost) comes true

When looking at the Aqua Terra, you might unconsciously try to sniff out the sea breeze. With a little imagination, the case becomes the hull, the dial with its “teak” pattern becomes the rolling wooden deck, and the movement becomes the powerful engine, which doesn’t take us along the Balearic coast, but instead gently sets the seconds hand in motion.

The hull

The stainless-steel case of the Aqua Terra is characterized by the alternation of polished and satin-brushed surfaces. Together with the polished bezel, the watch looks highly sophisticated. With its symmetrical construction and polished flanks, the case shape is also almost too round. However, this is compensated for by the strap, creating a harmonious overall appearance. The case measures either 38 or 41 mm in diameter. Due to the construction of the watch, part of the 13.20 mm height disappears into the wrist, which makes the Aqua Terra even slimmer.

On that note – thanks to its curved lugs, the watch fits snugly around the wrist. The shape and dimensions, in combination with the light strap, ensure a high level of wearability and comfort. The newly designed conical crown fits the shape of the case well, but is not overly easy to get a grip of, making winding from zero power reserve uncomfortable. Meanwhile, on the caseback, the movement can be viewed through the sapphire crystal. In addition, the caseback is decorated with a wave pattern that – continuing with the ship metaphor – can perhaps represent the sea we are floating on.

Up on deck

The dial is characterized by its “teak” pattern, which is reminiscent of the wooden deck planks of fine, classic yachts. Together with the applied indices and the OMEGA logo, which is also applied, this gives the front of the watch visual depth, which is particularly impressive from the side. Unlike its predecessor, these “teak” lines run horizontally rather than vertically, creating a more tranquil and pleasant aesthetic.

The short hour hand, the vintage-inspired “Broad Arrow” minute hand and the indexes are filled with Super-LumiNova, but these areas are quite small and thus cannot be read at first glance in the dark. The Aqua Terra is therefore not a good companion at night – neither on board nor ashore.

On the baby blue version of the Aqua Terra, the second hand is coloured blue. Together with the slightly lighter blue of the dial and the matching strap, this creates a unique composition that is the highlight of the collection and is more likely to inspire at first glance than the monochrome black version. The black version however is easier to wear and more to the point – less frills, more watch.

In contrast to its predecessors, the date window is at 6 o’clock instead of 3 o’clock and replaces the hour marker. Usually, the date window is placed at 3 o’clock so that it is not covered by the sleeve and can be read without effort. However, the placement at 6 o’clock on this watch gives the front a coherent overall picture and improves its symmetry.

Similarly, the text on the dial also embraces minimalism, which makes the front look even neater. Overall, the dial is very compelling and very clear. It does exactly what it should. With its “teak” design, the Aqua Terra brings just enough maritime accents to qualify as a Seamaster without appearing unrefined.

The motor

The OMEGA Aqua Terra is powered by the manufacture’s Calibre 8900. This mechanical movement is state-of-the-art and very well-suited for everyday use. The automatic winding mechanism winds the two barrels that together provide a power reserve of 60 hours. The energy is regulated by OMEGA’s Co-Axial escapement, which is the only alternative to the ubiquitous Swiss lever escapement and is designed primarily to increase service intervals. The freely oscillating balance spring is made of silicon, enabling the Aqua Terra to withstand magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss (not that the watch would ever be exposed to such a flux density in everyday use).

With water-resistance up to a pressure of 15 bar (150 m), the watch can also withstand any accidental dive, and can be worn when swimming. OMEGA also surpasses the usual requirements in terms of accuracy and not only meets the COSC chronometer standards (- 4/+6 seconds per day) but also the stringent tests of the METAS Institute (0/+5 seconds per day). The idea is that this way, the wearer will never be late for an appointment – at best, too early.

All these characteristics make the Aqua Terra a timepiece you can rely on. It’s truly a relief not to have to worry about magnetic fields from laptops, or water damage after going home in the rain. Add to this the power reserve of over two days and the automatic winding, and you have a watch that is always ready to wear. The date window, as well as the time zone function, are the icing on the top of the cake for a watch with an already very practical calibre – but more on that below.

The Aqua Terra ashore

However, the OMEGA Aqua Terra not only shines on board a fine yacht, but also back on land. In fact, it is an extremely pleasant companion to have by your side in the hectic pace of everyday city life: its pleasant dimensions and the comfortable band mean that the watch is never a burden. Another advantage of the rubber strap is that it is very resilient. Working on the laptop is so much easier without having to worry about scratching either the bracelet and/or the laptop. The date window and the time zone function have also proven to be extremely useful.

The time zone function allows you to adjust the hour hand without moving the minute hand or stopping the watch. This makes it very convenient when setting the local time on international flights. In addition, the date also jumps when the hour hand moves past 24:00. This not only works forwards, but also backwards, which is a special feature; a date that changes backwards is seldom found, even in calendars of the highest calibre. However, this is also the only way to adjust the date. The Calibre 8900 does not offer quick adjustment.

Despite the sporty strap, the black version in particular is very much flexible in terms of dress code. Of course, it goes more with a summer shirt than with a Windsor knot, but with a little bit of courage, the watch can be worn even in a more serious setting. Since the OMEGA Aqua Terra tends to fly under the radar anyway, you don’t have to worry about making an inappropriate impression. The Aqua Terra can do without the bling factor. It impresses more with its understated elegance than with a fluted white-gold bezel.

Final thoughts

The Aqua Terra brings a welcome sea breeze to the big city. Unmistakably maritime, yet cosmopolitan enough to cut a good figure in any context. The Aqua Terra is simply a beautiful watch – but in a reserved way. Not love at first sight, but perhaps on the second. Add to this the high wearability, comfort, plus even better craftsmanship and general quality of the watch.

Last but not least, the ultra-modern Calibre 8900 is a piece of craftsmanship you can rely on. The power reserve of 60 hours and the automatic winding make it a watch for which no babysitter is necessary – you can trust it to work, and work well. In addition, the date window and the time zone function really come in handy.

Yes, the luminosity could be better and a quick date adjustment would be a welcome improvement, but the bottom line is that with this watch, OMEGA surely offers the total package needed to satisfy every watch buyer. Whether onboard or ashore, you can rely on the Aqua Terra.

The OMEGA Aqua Terra with a rubber strap costs 4,970 Euros and is available in OMEGA Boutiques, the OMEGA Online Shop and from most authorised retailers.

www.omegawatches.com


FEATURES

BRAND:OMEGA
MODEL:Aqua Terra 150M Omega Co‑Axial
Master Chronometer 41 mm
REFERENCE:Blue dial, rubber strap
220.12.41.21.03.002
Black dial, rubber strap
220.12.41.21.01.001
CASE MATERIAL:Stainless steel
DIMENSIONS:Diameter: 41.0 mm
Height: 13.20 mm
WATER RESISTANCE:15 bar (~ 150 m)
DIAL:Blue or black, “Teak” pattern
STRAP/BRACELET:Rubber with folding clasp
MOVEMENT:OMEGA Co-Axial 8900
MOVEMENT TYPE:Automatic
POWER RESERVE:60 hours
FREQUENCY:25,200 vph (3.5 Hz)
FUNCTIONS:Hours, minutes, seconds, date, timezone function
PRICE:EUR 4.970

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