When last we visited Omega’s sporty-elegant Seamaster Aqua Terra family, right on the eve of the thankfully waning pandemic era last March, the big news was the debut of two vibrant new dial colors. This year, Omega gives the Aqua Terra a further facelift, replacing the core models’ central seconds hand with a new small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock encircled by an applied ring, and offering this new iteration in two case sizes and a variety of dial colors.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra collection for 2021 includes no less than 10 models in 38-mm cases, two of which are positioned as “luxury” models; as well as nine pieces at 41 mm in size, including four “luxury” versions. In addition to the most prominent new feature, the aforementioned 6 o’clock subdials, the dials on the latest models offer subtle sun-brushed shades and two-tone teak patterns, accented on some models with either diamonds or applied sailboat hull-shaped hour markers with iridescent mother-of-pearl inlays. The small seconds subdials intersect with the 6 o’clock date display that has been retained from preceding models of the Aqua Terra.
Eight of the 38-mm watches are either in full stainless steel or a bi-metal combo of steel and Omega’s proprietary Sedna gold; the other two are in full Sedna gold with diamond-set bezels, indicating that Omega likely is targeting the smaller models chiefly at a female audience. The steel and two-tone models contain Omega’s automatic, co-axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8802 and offer dials in dark and light green, linen, and “extra white” mother-of-pearl. Inside the gold “luxury” duo, behind dials in either purple jade or “extra white” MOP, ticks the Caliber 8803, an upgrade of the 8802 with its rotor and balance bridge both constructed of Sedna gold. The purple jade-dialed model comes on a full 18k Sedna gold bracelet, while the white MOP-dialed piece is on a red leather strap.
The nine references in the gent-focused 41-mm range consist of four watches in steel, one in two-tone steel and Sedna gold, and four “luxury” executions in Sedna gold. These larger Aqua Terras are noteworthy for their two-tone dials — blue-gray, silvery-blue, and silvery-beige in the five sportier models, blue-gray and silvery beige in the gold-cased ones. All the watches are mounted on either a material-matching bracelet or an integrated, structured strap in a color that complements that of the dial. Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8916 powers the steel and bi-color timepieces, while its more luxuriously appointed version, Caliber 8917, is found inside the gold versions.
The watches will all come with a five-year warranty and a Master Chronometer certification card that attests to the their passing the stringent tests for accuracy, robustness, and anti-magnetism conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). Pricing ranges from $5,590 to $41,100, with the watches set to be available at Omega boutiques and directly through the Omega website as of August 2021.
Bad idea. Small seconds is the bane of Panerai. Why diminish the grandeur of the sweeping seconds hand?