Omega Aqua Terra Introduction
The Aqua Terra is a member of the Omega Seamaster family of fine Swiss-made watches. Both sporty and elegant, the Aqua Terra timepiece provides the versatility to be a true everyday watch that is easy to wear for women and men at the office or on the beach.
The Aqua Terra Wearer
Unlike other watches in the Seamaster line, the Aqua Terra was designed as a sporty dress watch with more modest underwater capabilities. Aqua Terras are water resistant to 150 meters with a non-rotating bezel, so while they are not professional dive watches, every Aqua Terra is fully capable of flawless performance when submersed. Ranging from a Ladies case size as small as 30mm to the commanding 43mm version, the Aqua Terra fits comfortably on any wrist, whether paired with a bathing suit, golf shirt or under shirt sleeves and a suit jacket.
Omega Aqua Terra
The Aqua Terra 150M was introduced in 2003. Powered by the calibre 2500 Co-Axial movement, the first Aqua Terra (ref. 250X.XX) was produced in 36, 39.5 and 42 millimeter versions. The watch featured a clean face with tapered arrow markers and Dauphine hands enhanced with an arrow on the minute hand. The date window at 3 o’clock was positioned inside the marker, which varies in size from small to large, depending on the case size.
With the second generation’s debut in 2008, Omega refreshed the Seamaster Aqua Terra’s look and features. In what was perhaps a signal of Omega’s vision for the watch’s natural environment, the watch face’s teak vertical stripe pattern resembled the woodwork typically found on the decks of luxury watercraft. The pattern remains a hallmark design element of the series, even as its vertical stripes flipped to horizontal with the 2017 Aqua Terra Master Chronometer.
The second generation also included a movement update, as the 2500 was replaced with the calibre 8500. There were several noteworthy additions in the second generation including annual calendar, day/date, GMT and Chronograph GMT and the >15,000 Gauss magnetic resistant versions. Omega also introduced the Aqua Terra Golf series along with the GoodPlanet and James Bond Skyfall and Spectre special editions.
The third and most recent generation of the Aqua Terra was released in 2017. Watches in this collection are characterized by a more symmetrical case design housing a Co Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8800 or 8900, horizontal teak concept pattern dials, a conical crown and relocation of the date window to 6 o’clock. The Ryder Cup edition, Worldtimer (a first for Omega), and the Aqua Terra Ultra Light sports watch—which was developed in conjunction with golfer Rory McIlroy—are notable additions to the collection.
A Watch for the Modern
As part of the Seamaster family, the Aqua Terra has a direct connection to James Bond. The Aqua Terra 150M in steel with a blue dial (ref. 126.96.36.199.03.001, discontinued) that appeared prominently on Bond’s wrist in 2012’s Skyfall was actor Daniel Craig’s personal choice. After 007 wore an Aqua Terra 150M in 2015’s Spectre, Omega released a special edition of the watch featuring the Bond family crest on the dial and a skeleton caseback inspired by the classic Bond gun barrel sequence. The Aqua Terra once again proved its spy-worthiness in 2020’s No Time to Die (ref. 188.8.131.52.03.004).
Omega Aqua Terra
The Seamaster Aqua Terra collection infuses Omega’s engineering prowess into a comfortable, versatile all-around everyday watch. Current collections include the 150M Gents, the 150M Ladies and the Golf, Ryder Cup, Ultra Light, Worldtimer, > 15,000 Gauss and GoodPlanet.
New Aqua Terra watches are covered by a five-year warranty. Omega recommends that water resistance is tested annually and a complete service performed on a 5-8 year cycle. Elegant both inside and out, the Aqua Terra’s design elements and features include:
- A variety of dial colors and styles, including the textured teak stripe patterns that resemble the woodwork on the decks of luxury watercraft.
- Round cases from 28mm to 43mm in steel, gold, platinum, titanium and two tone
- Range of complications including date, day/date, annual calendar, GMT and a limited-edition world timer
- Co Axial automatic and quartz movements with select hand-wound versions
- Water resistant to 150M
- Anti-magnetic protection up to 15,000 gauss
- Non-rotating bezel
- Screw down crown
- Domed sapphire crystal with etched Omega logo
- Luminous highly legible markings
- Date window at 3:00 on pre-2017 models and 6:00 on more recent Aqua Terra watches
- Integrated bracelets and a variety of strap options
Aqua Terra Value and Collectability
Retail prices on new Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watches range from $2,750 to nearly $50,000. Quartz versions are available with significant discounts, as are automatic Aqua Terra models. Pre-owned Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watches offer exceptional value, especially since all models in the collection feature Omega’s precision engineered movements. Collectors favor limited quantity special editions, but the Aqua Terra is truly more suited for wearing than collecting. With that in mind, any well-maintained used Aqua Terra in good condition should provide a lifetime of flawless operation.
Starting in 2015, Omega partnered with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to take chronometer certification to a new level. METAS is responsible for the stewardship of units of measure in Switzerland. Together with Omega, METAS developed a certification process that goes beyond standard chronometer certification.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra benefits from this new certification, which comprises eight individual tests over ten days. A large focus of the METAS certification is testing with extremely strong magnetic fields, well beyond any other testing regimes. Why is this important for a mechanical watch? Electronic devices and magnetic fields are all around us, all the time, and these magnetic fields can be dangerous for a mechanical watch. Exposing a mechanical watch to even a moderate strength magnetic field can magnetize micro parts inside the watch movement, causing a substantial change in the precision of the watch. Even the simple act of placing a mechanical watch on top of a loudspeaker could cause a magnetism problem.
Watch repairs due to magnetism are very common, and Omega took a huge step towards reliability with this new certification. Thankfully, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is up to the task, with its extreme level of resistance to magnetism.