Traditionally speaking, Omega tends to wait a year or so to roll its latest innovations into the regular line, so I’m not totally surprised that we were forced to wait nearly three full years to get the Aqua Terra Worldtimer in stainless steel after its initial debut in platinum back in 2017, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t worth the wait. As much as I loved it then, that variant wasn’t exactly destined for the everyman – its limited run of only 87 pieces and price tag of nearly $50,000 probably have a bit to do with this. Thankfully, the new version in steel reverses that trend, coming in at a fraction of the cost and with a beautiful new blue dial – at the center of which, is a gorgeous laser-ablated titanium map relief that’s, quite frankly, a dramatic improvement in level of detail over the platinum version’s hand-painted enamel dial.
Just as it was introduced in the platinum variant in 2017, inside the new stainless steel Aqua Terra Worldtimer beats Omega’s caliber 8939, though it now bears the METAS certification as a Master Chronometer movement. The watch itself also follows the same updated Aqua Terra case footprint from 2017 with the conical crown for better grip and a directly downturned strap enabling the large-ish 43mm case to wear more comfortably on smaller wrists, along with the vertical “teak” stripes in the dial and more symmetric date aperture placement at 6 o’clock. As already mentioned though, the real star of the show is a ‘gnomonic’ style projection of the earth (said to be the oldest known projection of the earth in cartography, where circles are displayed as straight lines) whose sea and land mass colors have been rendered through the laser’s chemical reaction with the dial center’s titanium surface. We’ve seen these high-tech laser ablation techniques on Omega dials before — most recently with the Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon Watch from last year, but this is the first time we’ve seen the ablation process yield unique colors and textures on the same surface.
Model: Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer Master Chrononometer
Water Resistance: 150 meters
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Movement: Omega caliber 8939 (automatic with rotating 24-hour center disc)
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel, leather, or rubber
Price & Availability: Starts at $8,900 on rubber strap, available Fall / Winter 2019
Truly sporty worldtimer watches are actually pretty hard to come by – particularly those with more than 50 meters of water resistance and a ’true’ GMT movement where the hour hand can be adjusted independently of the worldtime complication. It’s particularly odd, given how handy this complication can be for frequent fliers – especially if travel involves the occasional hotel pool or checking in with home whilst exploring a beach in some far-flung corner of the world. Thankfully, the Aqua Terra delivers on both fronts, with a screwdown crown and caseback to yield an impressive 150 meters of water resistance, along with the 8939 movement which bears Omega’s ’Travel Time’ feature, enabling the wearer to jump the hour hand in single hour increments forward or backward as he or she jumps between local timezones around the world, without disturbing the ‘home time’ displayed in 24-hour format around the rotating two-tone (day/night) glass disc in the center of the dial.
Currently available in both stainless steel, and solid gold variants – each with either a rubber or leather strap, or solid metal bracelet option to choose from. The price for the Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer in Stainless Steel begins at $8,900 on the rubber strap. For more info, head over to omegawatches.com