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Hands-On With Omega’s Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch

Hands-On With Omega's Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch Hands-On

We covered news of Omega’s anti-magnetic 8508 calibre when it was announced back in January. The movement was shown fitted in an Omega Aqua Terra model which is now available for purchase as the Omega Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss. Using a special version of Omega’s co-axial 8500 series, the >15,000 Gauss is the world’s first completely anti-magnetic watch. While other brands have a long history of producing magnetic-resistant watches like the Rolex Milgauss or the IWC Ingenieur, Omega’s solution is not to shield the movement but rather to produce the movement using non-ferrous materials.

Hands-On With Omega's Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch Hands-On

Capable of withstanding magnetic fields in excess of 15,000 Gauss (1.5 Tesla), thanks to the construction of the movement, the AT >15,000 Gauss (ref comes fitted with a sapphire display case back, a design not possible in magnetically-shielded watches. The 8508 is otherwise a very recognizable member of the calibre 8500 family, with automatic winding, a co-axial escapement, 60 hours of power reserve and Omega’s Si14 silicon balance spring. This technologically advanced movement design is the result of a partnership between Omega, ETA, Asulab and Nivarox FAR.

Hands-On With Omega's Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch Hands-On

Magnetism is a huge factor in the accurate performance of a watch and demagnetization is a common step when servicing a watch. The >15,000 Gauss is capable of withstanding a 15,000 gauss magnetic field without losing the ability to maintain COSC timing. While anti-magnetism may be a passive feature, it is a big innovation in movement design and Omega is so happy with this new movement that they plan on implementing the technology into all of their watches by 2017.

Hands-On With Omega's Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch Hands-On

Hands-On With Omega's Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch Hands-On

The Omega Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss sports a steel 41.5mm case and its recognizable, teak-style black dial has a yellow lacquer treatment that is very subtle but works well with the yellow dial accents and distinctive seconds hand. It’s hard not to like the Aqua Terra design and, much like the green AT Golf, I like the splash of color added to the >15,000 Gauss version.

On wrist, you’d have no idea that this version is technically any different from any other 41.5mm steel Omega Aqua Terra, aside from the inclusion of a bracelet with polished center links. While not specifically limited, the Omega Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss with its $6600 USD price tag ($100 less on a brown leather strap) will likely be one of the rarer Omega Aqua Terra variants of this generation and it is a noteworthy evolution point on Omega’s watchmaking timeline.




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  • Vhough

    Really nice watch!

  • Emperius

    Beautiful watch. James, do NOT shave. I don’t understand how others shave, grows prematurely and looks terrible, no offense to others but were supposed to be gentlemen here. No homo.

  • D S Vilhena

    Nice watch

  • Fraser Petrick

    Don’t need the yellow 35,40,45,50 numbers around the outside of the dial (clutter).Not crazy about the bumblebee yellow and black second hand. Love the bracelet. I want one. Some bad.

  • vmarks

    Fraser Petrick Wait until 2017, and you can have the Aqua Terra without the bumblebee markers. I have no idea if they’ll offer you the bracelet with polished center links, though.

  • Zeitblom

    I can just see someone wearing one of these into an MRI machine to test it out.

  • wuyeah

    I think Omega should upgrade all the current Aqua Terra to 15,000 Gauss, instead of making a special edition 15K Gauss model.  Aqua Terra isn’t a diver, which this new anti-magnetic feature will give AT a brand new character overall. No need to for special treatment of yellow accent, bubble bee hands. Just keep the AT sophisticated as is and upgrade the interior.

  • marbstiu

    milgauss lightning hand > bumblebee hand

  • wuyeah only way to compete with green/orange and a lightning seconds hand is something even wackier! I think they could just make the seconds hands plain yellow in a normal production piece–and keep the bumble bee look for the limited edition.

    Either way it lends character and you know the industry likes to blow its own horn–so I doubt they’d want to tone it down much.

  • Ulysses31

    A nice watch with useful features for those working in medical and scientific fields.  I’m not sure how handy it would be for the average user.  If you don’t have a specific need for it, get a regular Omega and avoid that wasp hand.

  • Kris C

    Nice, and now that it has been done, I see no reason why this cannot become some kind of growing standard in the industry as a whole. Obviously some people are more at danger of being around stronger magnetic fields due to work or whatever, but magnetization is a potential problem for all watch wearers, and why did it take until 2013 until someone made an entire movement non-ferrous.

  • aleximd2000

    I bought an Aqua terra steel gold and after a week of wearing is looking pretty pretty nice and I am fond of it. It is very well shaped to the wrist , doesn’t prickle your hair , and you can wonder when flip it and admire the caliber. Anyway I like very much the bumblebee arrow second hand. And the price is very good from my opinion. Take care and all the best.
    Your wrist looks very good James. Cheers

  • spiceballs

    I like the Aqua Terra and I think this variation (with yellow accents) works well, altho not sure that I’d ever need such antimagnetic protection?  I did find the AT to sit a high on my wrist, but certainly solid attractive watches.

  • RLaR

    Thanks for this review, James.  I now have a new dream watch to wish for.  What a beauty!

  • Zeitblom Yep, no one said the case and bracelet are anti-magnetic, just the movement. As a giant magnet terminally attaches your watch to it, the watch continues to keep correct time.

  • Emperius I’ve seen Ariel’s lady. If he is a homo, then I want to be one too.

  • JackStuder

    Nice watch, and we’ve been hearing about it forever.  Any word on availability?

  • Inline5

    Although this is a huge advance for omega, I have to wonder whether this may in fact hurt brand image/sales. Omega already update their collection quite rapidly, hurting resale values as anyone whose tried flipping will tell you. If I were interested in buying any omega new, I would hold out and buy 2nd hand. I myself have been looking at their 9300 speedmasters quite seriously, but now I will wait until this technology gets rolled out in the chrono movement. I doubt a more easily magnetized movement will hold its value in the future when this advance gets rolled out.

  • Emperius


  • Maybe I’m wrong here, but I’d think Omega is more interested in you (the watch buying public) buying new Omegas rather than buying used ones. So while they have some concern with having a product that ‘retains its value’, they are more inclined to do what puts money in their pocket.

  • Inline5

    No arguments here. I just find it odd that they are quite vocal about this being implemented in their whole lineup in really what has to be said is quite a short time frame. Me, I will sell my omegas prior to then.

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