Like I said, all the 2017 and newer Seamaster Aqua Terra watches are fitted with Co-Axial Master Chronometer movements (Omega speak for their in-house movements with co-axial escapements that are METAS-certified). Let’s now examine the various (mostly subtle) aesthetic updates to the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. The thing that caught my attention first was the new “tab” designed between the lugs of those models fitted to the great bespoke rubber straps. This is an aesthetic element, but helps remind you that the straps are fitted very tightly to the case, and according to Omega, allow all models of the Aqua Terra to fit better on even smaller wrists.
Omega mostly worked on reworking the Aqua Terra dials to make them a bit more legible, a bit cleaner, and overall a bit more refined. Perhaps the most obvious difference is the use of horizontal lines on the dial versus vertical ones. Depending on the specific Aqua Terra model, these lines will appear differently, and are all (according to Omega) inspired by teak wood decks on boats.
In addition to removing and cleaning up some of the dial text on the Aqua Terra, the dials are also now perfectly symmetrical. This is thanks to the fact that Omega moved the date indicator window to the 6 o’clock position from the 3 o’clock position. As a big proponent of dial symmetry, I applaud this decision. Having said that, I can also appreciate how people not as well-versed with the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection may at first glance not see what Omega did to spruce up the collection. To a degree that could be a point of praise for Omega. It is often said by watch designers that the best designs are those which upgrade the look of a product, without the consumer immediately knowing what is different (since it means the product retains the same sense of familiarity).
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra dial has always been among the most masculine and strong-looking of the dressy sport watches out there. Dial quality is very good thanks to Omega obsessing over little things such as textures and finishes. This particular model has great legibility because the black-colored and brushed hour markers and hands contrast very well with the light-colored dial. More so, the applied nature of the hour markers allows for a welcome sense of depth to the dial. In my opinion these are the best looking Aqua Terra faces to date.
Omega offers this dial style with the pictured orange second hand, or in a similar monochromatic dial but matched to a two-tone steel and 18k Sedna (rose) gold case. This model looks nice on the matching steel bracelet, but I think many people will like it on the available black rubber strap with dial-matching orange stitching. Speaking of strap, there are four types available including the steel metal bracelet, leather straps, rubber straps, and NATO-style straps.
In my opinion, the steel bracelet will be the preferred aesthetic choice for most people relying on the Seamaster Aqua Terra to be an office watch. Omega’s case and dial quality are great, but the bracelet doesn’t feel quite as well-refined. The bracelet links don’t feel as weighty or neatly-fit as those on a Rolex, which is what Omega is aiming for. The bracelet performs well, but Omega still has a bit of work down the line to make the bracelet feel as “money” as the case part of the watch. While I am typically a bracelet guy, I really like how the newer Aqua Terra feels on the rubber strap as well.
As I mentioned above, Omega offers versions of the Seamaster Aqua Terra in both 38mm and 41mm (41.5mm actually) wide models. Not all models are available in both sizes though. The size you choose is entirely related to your anatomy and aesthetic preferences. For me the 41mm wide model is the right fit, and I think the swoopy round case (water resistant to 150m) looks best on my wrist. As a sportier dress watch the Aqua Terra isn’t what I would call thin in size, which might be its biggest drawback to some who want a slim dress watch. Though with its wearing comfort and sportier sensibilities, I didn’t find the thickness to bother me (as someone who admittedly rarely wears long sleeves).
I found it interesting that in 2014 the 15,000 Gauss watch was priced at $1,000 more than the updated Seamaster Aqua Terra watches. Omega has been generally consumer-focused in its pricing, which is one of the best things to appreciate about the brand right now. Of course, these are still luxury-priced fine watches, but as prices get closer to what consumers should look for, I think Omega timepieces are a really good deal these days.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer combines a lot of values that watch and style lovers are looking for. There is the benefit of a big brand name, as well as the focus on “watch lover detailing” such as the sophisticated, high-performance movement. Omega strove to produce a wide-appeal men’s dress/casual watch that a serious watch lover could approve. Not everyone will love the design of the Aqua Terra, but that is always something that comes with a distinctive design. Those solidly in the sport watch camp will likely prefer other Omega models, but for those who need a well-rounded timepiece for a variety of wearing situations, the Seamaster Aqua Terra continues to be a very strong option with a healthy variety of style to match your needs. Price on a strap is $5,400 USD, and on the bracelet the price is $5,500 USD. omegawatches.com
>Model: Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M
>Price: $5,500 as tested (ref. 188.8.131.52.02.001)
>Size: 41.5mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, when wanting to look presentable but a bit under the radar while at a business or social event.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone with a smaller watch collection that mostly focuses on the utility of each watch that can rely on something like this for office or business watch duty.
>Best characteristic of watch: Strong design and legibility house a great performing movement which has a lot of “Omega exclusives.” Faithful interpretation of what the Seamaster collection was originally designed for. Lots of visual options to suit the needs and tastes of specific wearers. Priced well.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Bracelet quality falls a bit short. Some of the color options seem a bit strange or not conservative enough for a lot of wearers (which is ironic in what is supposed to be a relatively conservative watch).