Omega ups the ante with this new Seamater Aqua Terra GMT Chronograph watch. The timepiece is available in either steel or 18k red gold, and on both versions the hands and hour markers on the dial are in 18k gold. Sounds like Rolex territory to me. Not sure if any previous Seamaster Aqua Terra watches had gold (white) in the dials of even steel watches. The vertical line pattern of the dial is meant to look like the deck of a boat (the “Teak Concept”), which explains part of the ritzy character of the watch. The dial will have highly polished features, and you can tell it is nice and deep to look into. There is of course a metal (steel or gold) bracelet available in addition to the alligator strap. The watch will be a good size at 44mm wide. Things were getting kinda crazy with the 46mm plus sizes that Omega started to dabble with a little while ago.
The watch has a rotating GMT style bezel and the iconic red arrow GMT hand. I like the length of the GMT hand on a watch like the Rolex Explorer II a bit better, as I think it is a bit stubby here on the Omega. However, on this watch dial the GMT hand is about as long as it can be given the large applied hour markers. The hands are done pretty well, but I would have liked the chronograph seconds hand to look just a bit less like the minutes hand. I can see how telling the time at a quick glance might be confusing, especially if the chronograph is running. Despite that, the chronograph subdials are very well designed and highly legible. Omega is experimenting with placing text inside of the seconds subdial which is a good touch. That way you get the important text “Omega Seamaster GMT” nice and bold, with the other still less emphasized and to the side. It also helps the dial be symmetrical. This was also likely done to battle the Rolex “too much text on the dial” problem that some people complain about. I don’t know that Omega and Rolex really battle it out that much in reality, but both brands often battle for the same market and have competing models. So I think it is fair to compare them with one another.
Inside the watch is Omega’s automatic Co-Axial escapement caliber 3603 movement with a column wheel chronograph, and of course the GMT complication. Good thing there is a date in there as well, and I like that Omega placed the date on a black colored disc under a tapered window. The movement is also a COSC certified chronometer. Overall, these movements are typically help in high regard. Going back to the dial, it should be obvious that the markers and hands are covered in SuperLumiNova as luminant. I am not sure that I am sold on the “Teak Concept” dial pattern with the vertical lines. I’d have to sit and stare at the watch for a long time to decide how I felt about it. I am always a fan of dial texturing, but it needs to be done right. If you can’t tell the dial is gray colored. Another trendy gray watch! Again, I really do like the chronograph subdials though – these are done quite well. The crown is large and the rectangular chronograph pushers look comfortable to use. The watch is robust, but not true diver. Good enough for underwater duty though with 150 meters of water resistance. The sapphire crystal is also double AR coated – while the rear of the watch has another sapphire crystal as a caseback exhibition window.
Overall the new Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial GMT Chronograph watch is done well. A few areas I am not sold on such as the dial and the length of the hands. One other area is the bezel. Not that the bezel does not look nice, but I am not sure whether it fits the character of the rest of the watch. It looks very much like an instrument and less part of the “luxury boat lifestyle” that the dial is speaking to. Maybe I am the only one that sees it like that. I know that Omega is a brand that likes to focus on functionality, and that is good. I might possibly see the the Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Chronograph a few times and change my mind, but those are my initial reactions. Not sure about price, I would guess $5,000 – $9,000 for the steel version with a 40-70% premium over that for the 18k red gold version.See Omega Seamaster and Aqua Terra watches on eBay here. See Omega watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]omega chronograph | omega aqua terra | omega aquaterra, num, “”, “”[/phpbay]