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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

In 2017 Omega released a slew of new Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M watch models, which offered easy to miss, albeit important changes to the brand’s premier sports lifestyle dress watch. Sport-style dress watches are important in many markets such as the United States, where elegance as well as masculinity are key areas of interest for many consumers. The Aqua Terra isn’t just designed for the United States however, which makes the larger Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer watches very important global products for Omega. Let’s take a close look at just one of the many versions of the updated Aqua Terra timepieces in this aBlogtoWatch review.

While many people think of hardcore dive watches when they think of the Omega Seamaster collection, the more casually-themed Aqua Terra better represents the first Omega Seamaster watches (from 1948). At the time the Seamaster wasn’t a serious sport watch, but was rather a sportier dress watch that a “well to do father could wear while playing with his children and not worry about getting wear or experiencing some shock.” Thus, from the beginning the Seamaster was a luxury lifestyle item (with utility behind it of course), and not the serious diving instrument that versions of the Seamaster later evolved into.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

As a sportier timepiece (despite the dressier appearance), the Seamaster Aqua Terra will easily handle the majority of what a wearer could throw at it. 150m of water resistance easily allows for even recreational diving, and the chunky metal case is robust enough to put up with its share of abuse and wear. The dial also happens to be highly legible, with enough lume for a clear view in darker environments. In many regards, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is a very capable sport watch, though its intent is to be a status-symbol dress watch (or at the very least a fashion statement) at what are almost entry-level prices from the brand.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

While many people admire Omega for Speedmaster chronographs and Planet Ocean divers, models such as the Aqua Terra (as well as the even dressier De Ville models) are those which Omega intends for the wrists of professionals needing a handsome timepiece for urban or business professional needs. It’s supposed to be just sporty enough to suggest an active lifestyle (or an appreciation thereof), but with an elegance which lends itself well to more formal attire.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

The funny thing is that Omega’s current marketing for the Aqua Terra sees its wearers (some of which are the brand’s celebrity ambassadors) on boats, traveling, and generally doing things one might not consider work, but rather leisure. This lends itself well to attractive visuals, but Omega’s point is more that people who wear Aqua Terra watches regularly reward themselves for working hard – and this makes the Aqua Terra a timepiece for hard working professionals (all over the world).

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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

Omega has long since wanted the Aqua Terra to rival some of Rolex’s similar sporty/dressy timepieces ranging from the Milgauss to the Datejust. Today the Aqua Terra is more directly a competitor of the Milgauss – even though Omega is clearly more prolific with its design choices and even has various size options (there are currently 22 versions of this watch on the Omega website). The Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M comes in both 38mm and 41mm wide sizes for men – along with a host of strap, bracelet, material, and dial options. These choices also allow for a sportier and more casual wearing feel, to more conservative, dress-style ranges. I chose to review this 41mm wide Aqua Terra reference 220.10.41.21.02.001 in steel on the matching steel bracelet because I felt as though it was a good mixture between the sportier and dressier sides of the collection.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

Let’s return to what Omega updated in 2017 with this latest family of Aqua Terra models. It includes mostly aesthetic refinements along with technical upgrades. The most important update is the across-the-board use of METAS-certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements. Inside this watch is the in-house developed and produced Omega caliber 8900 Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement. For many people, the biggest upgrade in this movement compared to outgoing ones is high magnetism (15,000 Gauss) resistance.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

Omega chose the Aqua Terra collection to debut its anti-magnetic movements back in 2014 with the release of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss (aBlogtoWatch review here). Since then Omega has promised that over the next few years it would slowly replace all in-house made movements with those which are METAS-certified. Moving forward, all Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watches will contain the high performing METAS-certified movements. This is important not only because of the price point of the Aqua Terra models, but also because of the high-volume nature of this production. METAS certification began as a low-volume effort and has since blossomed into a really impressive process located within Omega’s newly opened and expanded movement manufacturing and watch assembly factory (that I recently had the pleasure of visiting) in Biel, Switzerland.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

To show the practical utility of METAS-certified movements, I demonstrated the magnetic resistance of these movements to a friend. The movements (either the calibre 8800, 8900, or 8901 depending on the specific Aqua Terra model) can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback window, which means there is no special magnetic shielding. Rather, the movement simply doesn’t have ferrous metal parts. Going back to my demonstration, I proceeded to take a particularly strong kitchen magnet and placed it on the back of the case (it didn’t even lightly attach). One could see that the movement was operating normally. This certainly wouldn’t have been the case with a more traditional movement that is subject to magnetism.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch Review Seamaster Wrist Time Reviews

The calibre 8900 automatic movement is simple and very nice to look at in addition to its solid timing performance. The automatic movement operates at 4Hz with 60 hours of power reserve (between two barrels), and of course has an Omega Co-Axial escapement. The movement features some silicon parts such as the balance spring. When the crown is pulled out one stop, you can independently adjust the hour hand, which makes the movement ideal for those who travel frequently. This is also how you adjust the date – though it takes a bit longer than a traditional quick-set date adjustment feature. My favorite thing about Omega’s movements is how they look. I continue to feel that they produce some of the most attractive industrially-made mechanical movements out there.

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  • Moving the date to 6 is an improvement for sure. Still not a bargain, but a nice watch none the less.

    • spiceballs

      And if still a little thick?

      • Yeah and that’s kinda odd. I thought maybe the co-axial movements were thicker than most but turns out they aren’t. So go figure why Omegas are overly thick.

  • JosephWelke

    It’s nice and inoffensive. If you want a Co-Axial movement, this may well be the cheapest way to get one, considering AD discount. Other than that movement though, nothing about this watch recommends itself above other offerings.

    • IG

      I don’t want a Co-Axial movement.

      • Spangles

        Why not?

        • IG

          It’s a non-solution to non-existing problems (lubrication/servicing).

          • Spangles

            You don’t want a watch with superior rate stability which can run forever with no servicing? That’s the goal. I want a mechanical watch that lasts for centuries, it’d be cool, even if I only own it for decades.

            Plus, it’s a part of Daniels’ genius.

          • IG

            Forever? LOL In the 90s they experimented with “special” lubricants supposed to be usable for 20 years but in practice they were worse than normal lubricants, so nowadays Omega declares the same 4–5 years service intervals for every mechanical watches. The only difference is that the watches with co-axial movements have 3-year warranty instead of 2. So the co-axial stuff is just different with minimal advantages compared to the standard lever escapement.

          • Spangles

            Omega is now at 8 year intervals for Master Chronometers, warranties are now 4 years, iirc.

            The goal is a watch that doesn’t need lubricants at all.

  • MeaCulpa

    Ariel, maybe it’s time to actually do some research and apply yourself when doing reviews. Firstly you can google when the seamaster was introduced instead of “thinking” and you would find that the year was 1948. Secondly if every other paragraph contains a parentheses your doing something wrong and should do a re-write.

    • spiceballs

      “your” or you’re?

      • MeaCulpa

        You’re. Sorry, second language and all that.

      • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

        Care is needed when playing the “Grammar Nazi.”
        For many in a chatroom, English is not their 1st language.

        Just sayin’….(edit: it also helps to read the entire thread before posting)

        • spiceballs

          I don’t normally bother with such so you might want to check the context – ie, if someone is going to advise on syntax then they ought to get their spelling correct? As for the term “Grammar Nazi'”, I find that extremely derogatory (viz, Nazi) and suggest that it should not be used. My Polish father and his family suffered under their brief but brutal rule.

  • Yan Fin

    It should be the first watch on Mars. Support a petition to Elon Musk. Moon topic is so tired.

  • Andrew Welch

    I really like the new aqua terra but I don’t love it. It’s a very nice watch that packs a lot of value especially in the movement. But just like Ariel said, the bracelet falls short compared to a Rolex. For someone who wants a nice watch that can do everything this is the perfect one watch. Would you choose this or Rolex DJ41 in smooth bezel, oyster bracelet configuration?

  • Paul Thomas

    great review great watch.
    from the pictures it does not look too thick. Any idea of the exact thickness of both the 38 and 41 mm?

  • I have a 39mm AT Railmaster – on a 7.5″ wrist – and because of the shape and size of the lugs, as well as the large dial, it wears so much bigger. I couldn’t imagine what the 41mm looks like.

    IMHO, if you’re going for the larger size, the only other AT worth having is the pre-’17 GMT version in blue. The vertical dial stripes are less “Hey is that a TAG” than the new horizontal iteration. Also, one can still pick up the 38.5mm versions on the grey market for around 60 percent MSRP.

    Also, “For many people, the biggest upgrade in this movement compared to outgoing ones is high magnetism (15,000 Gauss) resistance.”

    Well, for maybe a handful of people. Unless you’re working around electric coil motors or are actively addicted to sticking kitchen magnets on your watch collection, no one gives much of a thought about the magnetic resistance of their watches. Least of all someone who is dropping 5 large on a luxury accessory to wear while kicking around their yacht. Let’s not turn ‘magnetic resistance’ into the same stroking exercise that ‘water resistance’ turned into. You don’t need a 1000m diver with a helium escape valve there, Cousteau. You work in the accounts receivable department.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a255ed7811ae5490d5415e7baf7f2e8341bb591392c662f0a8e1539d0b688808.png

    • ProJ

      Magentism is a real problem if you go through Airport scanners frequently.

      • I doubt it. The The magnetic field of a walk through metal detector is ~3,741 milligauss. According to ICNIRP a watch movement isn’t affected until 10 Gauss and that’s after “continuous exposure”. If your credit cards aren’t affected by an airport scanner, your watch movement certainly won’t be. The whole “anti magnetic” claim is a marketing ploy meant to make a product sound more technologically amazing than it really is.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Very true. Not sure what would happen if Magneto wore it.

          • Omega would make a limited X-Man edition with a red second hand and sell it for $500 more.

  • BNABOD

    So what’s wrong w the bracelet because “bracelet doesn’t feel quite as well-refined. The bracelet links don’t feel as weighty or neatly-fit as those on a Rolex” isn’t much of an explanation. Define refined, define weighty and then define neatly-fit. Omega bracelets are different than Rolex and they feel different yes but link wise weight wise I don’t see them as any less than a Rolex. They are thicker yes, links look completely different yes and so does the clasp so maybe they feel different because they are different?
    Anyhow I think this watch is ugly though, never liked the aqua Terra and if I were to do something in this style i would get a Grand Seiko

  • Raymond Wilkie

    This is a very well put together watch. I expect nothing else from Omega. Sadly it’s a bit on the small side, Can’t find a thickness but am guessing 14mm.

    • Spangles

      Not thick enough?

    • ProJ

      Yes I am guessing 14 too. Too thick for a time-and-date-only watch. What did they leave to Panerai?

      The antimagnetism here is amazing though.

  • PollyO

    A nice design, well executed but just a little vanilla. Sort of a basic model BMW of a watch. It’s all quite nice but just lacks something to set it off. I think making it a little larger would have added a bit of presence to it.

  • Greg Dutton

    Since you have watches in-hand for reviews, please take a second to measure thickness and lug-to-lug. It’ll take you a few seconds, but the information will be hugely helpful to your readers. Thanks!

    • ProJ

      Agree 100%. I and many others have said it before. We need to put thickness, as well as lug-to-lug dimensions in the summary at the end. How easy that can be! We are not even asking for weight, although it will be nice to have too ?

      • Dufresne

        Yes! ABTW, please start doing this!

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Agreed. I couldn’t find the thickness of this watch anywhere.

    • Spangles

      They can’t because real measurements might conflict with official brand measurements.

    • MeaCulpa

      Added suggestions, take pictures of all the watch “mugshot style”, with the same angles for every watch so one can compare the watches.

    • Usually the watch brands supply such info. At trade shows it would be a bit much to carry calipers with you to accurately measure watches. Cheers.

  • SuperStrapper
    • IanE

      Isn’t this just reflections?

      • SuperStrapper

        It’s what I assumed as well but look at the same marker from different angles and the miss still shows. It can’t be that much of a miss butnif that Is the appearance I’d never want to put it on. It’s like they partnered with HMT.

      • ProJ

        They are certainly reflections.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Reflection.

    • Parallax – the depth/thickness of the applied makers may be what you seeing.

  • DanW94

    Not to my liking. I’m not a fan of the white, vinyl siding dial.

  • IG

    Dark secrets…

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Reflections.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    The lines of the dial.

  • BobHoover Tiangco

    Very nice design, but Im still on the fence on whether this new design is better than last year’s. Another great review, Ariel. Been waiting for this one!

  • Middle

    I like Omega but they need to learn how to make a bracelet. What is with all these dual finishes?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Don’t forget the upgate incident of 2017

  • Ranchracer

    This is one of my favorite Omegas at the moment, and not because it’s affordable in the relative sense. It’s just a clean design that can easily be worn with jeans or a sport coat.

    Just watched the video, and have to disagree with Ariel on his comment regarding the lack of a taper on the bracelet. All you have to do is look at the side links to see that they get narrower as they approach the clasp, so the bracelet does in fact taper.

    Other than that, thanks for the review of another excellent Omega!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Wee note to IT . Your link to different social sites hide the last words of the lines of text. You already have a link at the bottom of the review.

    • Good Gene 42K18

      Anything else? Why don’t you just move to L.A. and make their website?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Oh for god sake Gene! I was asked to spot little niggles on the new site. Nothing i can do about other bloggers 🙂

      • R La R

        Another bitchy comment from SB.

      • ABTW is asking for feedback, so Raymond is clearly within the lane here.

        • Good Gene 42K18

          I’ll put :)’s after everything from now on. 🙂

          • You just like dicking with our Raymond 🙂

    • BobHoover Tiangco

      that link was a major PITA, blocking the end of every line I was reading

  • The images for these two new platform posts are way oversized (200%) when received in my Outlook inbox. The remaining older image (for the Mr. Jones post) still appears in a good form factor.

  • Mr. Snrub

    I like it despite the criticisms. Might get one for my Dad’s retirement this year. He loves his Seikos but I think he’d appreciate this.

  • SPQR

    Good review up to a point. The first being one of accuracy; this watch is 41mm not 41.5mm. Please check the manufacturers specifications before asserting “it is 41.5mm actually”. It is not. the previous model (vertical lines, Master Co-axial i.e. non-METAS (far better looking too in my opinion)) was 41.5mm. As for the assertion that “Today the Aqua Terra is more directly a competitor of the Milgauss” – this is clearly nonsense. To begin with the Aqua Terra has a date window, the Milgauss does not, the Aqua Terra has black, blue, grey, slate grey/blue, silver and white dials, two tone models and full gold as well. the Milgauss is a restricted range of very specifically “anti-magnetic” watches. The intention of Omega is clear this is a rival to the Datejust range. The reason the reviewer probably does not want to acknowledge that is because the magnetic resistance of the Aqua Terra is 15 times that of the Milgauss and presumably far more than 15 times that of the Datejust. As for magnetic fields not being an issue for consumers actually they are and will increasingly become so. if you have a tablet device or cell/mobile phone in a case that shuts off the screen when it is closed the magnets in the case will cause a mechanical watch a problem. So do the magnets in the tablets, phones, laptops themselves and so on. Finally if you drive a hybrid car or fully electric car there is a substantial magnetic field generated by the electric motors. Finally I would also like to know what it is about the bracelet that the reviewer thinks is not adequate. The older versions of this watch had a very heavy high quality bracelet spoiled by a butterfly clasp that tended to dig into the underside of the wrist and had no “on the fly” adjustment. This is one reason I do not like the Aqua Terra much. From what I can tell from the new watch in the stores the clasp has moved from a mechanism behind the bracelet that folded onto it and caused the uncomfortable bulge to a clasp set inside the last link of the bracelet that is more of a double “fold over” arrangement but still without any possibility of adjusting it “on the fly”. The new non-limited edition Railmaster also has the same clasp (this is one reason I got the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition as that has a proper fold over clasp with “on the fly” adjustment). I also think the new Railmaster with the vertically brushed graphite or silver dials and lollipop second hand is a much more characterful watch than the Aqua Terra as well as being several hundred pounds/Euros/Dollars cheaper. it also has a fully brushed case and bracelet, same screw down crown and 150m water resistance and METAS movement and is 40mm not 41mm. It is also about 2mm thinner than an Aqua Terra with the Cal.8900 movement as it lacks a date and “time zone” jumping hour function because it uses the Cal.8806 movement instead. Bracelet aside that would be the one I would go for.

    • seoulseeker

      Good reply up to a point. The first one being one of accuracy. You state that the Aqua Terra has a resistance to magnetic fields that is 15 times that of the milgauss.

      It’s common knowledge that the most susceptible component in a watch to magnetic fields is the hairspring. Even on non “master coaxial” movements like the 8400, 8500, and 9300 you can expect to have quite solid resistance to magnetic fields.

      Looking at the issue from that perspective, the original Milgauss was able to boast a thousand, of a “mille” gauss of magnetic resistance without featuring the parachrom hairspring found on modern rolex movements.

      I absolutely guarantee you that the modern Milgauss maintained the name “Milgauss” only for history and continuity’s sake. If the two watches were tested head to head, magnetic resistance might be much more similar than you would expect.

      Anyways, I personally feel that the Aqua Terra falls somewhere in between being a competitor for the Datejust and a competitor for the Milgauss. Omega’s use of quirky colors in some models (like the golf, or the model reviewed in this post) can make the model much more sporty than any Datejust could ever be.

      • Lode_Runner

        Good comment up to a point (kidding!)

        As far as the original poster’s comment about the “41mm” case size, what is your basis for disagreeing with Ariel? It is true that Omega now says the AT is 41mm whereas the previous model was listed as 41.5mm, but everyone knows those case measurements aren’t supposed to be scientific. The article notes the published 41mm size but notes that it’s “actually 41.5mm,” so unless you’ve actually measured it, I wouldn’t assume Ariel got that wrong. Omega could simply have chosen to round the case sizes down while keeping substantially the same size as the outgoing models.

        As far as the Rolex spectrum, it’s not surprising that it’s not easy to identify a precise Rolex watch the Aqua Terra “competes with.” I don’t think there is a direct analog to the Aqua Terra be found, which is part of the point of the Aqua Terra.

        As far as the Rolex Datejust is concerned, that watch if anything seems closer to the Omega Globemaster (especially with that coin edge bezel) than the Aqua Terra, in terms of its slightly dressier appearance, etc. If you were forced to identify something in the Rolex line that sort of serves the same quasi-sporty purpose as the Aqua Terra, I think the Milgauss is probably the closest, but again, the comparison will always fall apart when you look at the details of the two. These are two companies with very different product lines, price points, marketing strategies, etc., so the assumption that any Omega watch must have some direct and corresponding Rolex analogue seems flawed.

        • fgclolz

          Based on looks alone I think the current Explorer I is the closest at 39 mm.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    The arrow minute hand bothers me for some reason. I actually like an arrow hand, but I’d rather the design be confined to the hours. Or a littler arrow for the minutes if you already have an arrow for the hours.

  • R La R

    Nice review, Ariel. Thanks.

  • Good Gene 42K18

    great watch

  • HectorAsuipe

    So much fluff about the lifestyle and target market. If these companies insist on creating a context for their watches, then potential customers will have to either form their lifestyle to fit the watch’s predetermined contextual application or get something else. Just let me decide whether or not I like the watch without telling me about how it is for an “active semi-formal sport” lifestyle or a “semi-active formal sport” lifestyle or some such nonsense.

    As to the watch itself, well, it’s fine. I like the orange accents and the crown signature. The bracelet drawbacks will keep it out of my watchbox, just like the Globemaster’s clunky links, unfortunately. The movement and the dial design are solid. The slab side of the case (9 o’clock) could do with a little finesse.

  • benjameshodges

    This was a really helpful review. Thanks Ariel.

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    Brave of you to hold a kitchen magnet to it – that’s a very Richard Feynman test of performance (I’m thinking of his famous test of the rubber seal on the Space Shuttle – dropping it in a freezing glass of water and squeezing the cold seal to show that it had lost its elasticity). Fortunatley the watch meets the magnetic spec! I ummed and erred about this watch a few years ago – the 15000 gaus and green ‘golf’ models. Nice. Just a note on the review – far too much on the intended market segment and exactly who should be wearing it and what they should be aspiring to look like in their time off. This sounds like it’s recycled from a marketing focus group and profoundly NOT what a watch review should be about…

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    Very good review of what is maybe my favorite combo watch – sports/dress.

  • Greg M

    I really like this dial, it feels art deco skyscraper to me.

  • Thomas

    3.5 Hz

  • William Kulp

    I am saving for the grey dial and rubber strap.Do you think the price will come down after Baselworld?

  • Dan Finch

    Have to say that I’d pay $1500 more to go for the entry level Rolex over an Omega. Even though both are about the same MSRP, the Omega always sells at a discount.

  • Vinmu

    Question about the “steel on rubber strap” version of the Aqua Terra 150M Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41 mm (220.12.41.21.02.002)

    Is the strap interchangeable? If I buy the rubber strap version, am I able to switch it for a NATO strap?

    https://www.omegawatches.com/watch-omega-seamaster-aqua-terra-150m-omega-co-axial-master-chronometer-41-mm-22012412102002/

    • Vinmu

      I assume the answer is “yes”, but the seller (authorized retailer) says
      “no”. I will buy the watch if (and only if) I am able to change
      straps, but I need the retailer to guarantee that I will be able to do
      so

  • Dan Finch

    I think we can safely say that while Rolex has slept, Omega has been steadily improving their watches, to the point of being Rolex’s equal, and perhaps more advanced in some ways. At a price of almost half!. And with the games Rolex is playing lately, it comes at the perfect time! If you strip away the hype, branding, styling, and look at just the quality and usability of watch itself, Omega makes one of the best watches for the money. It may not be one of the sexiest watches out there, but spending more will not necessarily result in a better watch…

    • fgclolz

      I just got a 38 mm Aqua Terra recently with the blue dial that kinda shifts colors and I’m loving it! I was initially considering a DateJust, an Explorer 1 and a Globemaster, glad I went with the AT. Did a lot of research and came up with the same conclusion as yours. I’m not after resale value or prestige or anything, I’m after something accurate, reliable and reasonably-priced relatively speaking.