Omega: Maritime Influence

by Pearlyn Quan

Small seconds, big character – the new defining feature for the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is dainty but impactful.

Between 1940 and 1945, Swiss watchmaker Omega was producing timepieces for the British Ministry of Defence which were designed to be robust enough to withstand the rigours of military warfare.

During that time, Omega delivered up to 110,000 timepieces, which were highly valued by British airmen and sailors for their water-resistance and reliability in combat. After the war, a demand for a peacetime application of this cutting-edge technology led to the creation of the Seamaster, the first family of Omega watches, in 1948.

Despite its modern-day status as a much celebrated diving watch with a storied legacy (read: James Bond!), the original Seamaster watches actually started as simple, no-frills, everyday timepieces with a clean, classic aesthetic.

A Versatile Classic

Launched in 2002, the Aqua Terra was introduced as a new range to the famous Seamaster family, honouring the spirit of the original Omega Seamaster models, which were known for their reliability both on water (“aqua”) and on land (“terra”). It quickly established itself as one of the most popular and versatile timepieces of the Seamaster range.

In many ways, the Aqua Terra is the perfect modern equivalent of the heritage timepieces – sleek and minimal, it segues effortlessly between high-performance at sea and unobtrusive elegance in the city. 

In its grand reveal this year, the Omega Aqua Terra is entering new design territory with a Small Seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, as well as a collection of cool hues for both the dials as well as the bracelets and straps.

Its new standout feature, the Small Seconds subdial, is a bold aesthetic commitment to the first introduction of it – to the Omega Seamaster Heritage Limited Editions, relatively recently in 2018. The classical configuration is particularly unusual and intriguing on a diver themed sports watch.

Along with other defining trademarks of the Aqua Terra range, including the “teak” pattern dial (reminiscent of wooden decks on luxury yachts) and the crisp lines of its distinctive twisted lugs and triangular hour markers, the new Small Seconds subdial is setting the direction for a definitive new look and feel.

Omega Seamaster 1948 Limited Editions

A New Wave

The omnipresent Small Seconds subdial is featured across all models, encircled by an applied subdial ring – in 18K Sedna (otherwise known as rose) gold or even set with diamonds for an added touch of luxe.

And the mind boggling variety of colour is a joyous new update – featuring new dials in sun-brushed shades and two-tone teak patterns with eye-catching hour markers, including diamonds and sailboat hull-shaped indexes with mother-of-pearl inlay.

Bracelets are also available in matching metals, rubber straps in beige and blue – and leather straps in red, burgundy, beige and green.

The Small Seconds Editions

Containing a grand total of 19 new models altogether, the new look Aqua Terra collection is comprised of ten 38mm case models and nine 41mm case models. As the ultimate everyday luxury timepiece, the new Aqua Terra collection has something for everyone, with a selection of classic and icy versions.

On the sportier end of the 38mm spectrum are eight watches in either stainless steel, or a blend of steel and 18K Sedna gold, with new dials in dark green, light green, linen and extra white mother-of-pearl. The luxury 18K Sedna gold models feature diamond-set bezels, with either a purple jade dial and gold bracelet or a mother-of-pearl dial and red leather strap.

The larger of the two versions, the 41mm, includes four stainless steel editions and one in stainless steel and 18K Sedna gold. The choice of dial colour is cool and almost icy, with two-tone dials in blue-grey, silvery-blue and silvery-beige, which contrast beautifully with the new subdials.

Of the four mighty movements driving the Small Seconds watches, there are two luxury calibres (8803/8917), each distinguished by an 18K Sedna gold rotor and balance-bridge. Each watch comes with a 5-year warranty and Master Chronometer certification card, ensuring that the watch has passed the tests certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).

Images courtesy of Omega, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

Omega: No Time to Die gets a To-Die-For Seamaster 300M

Omega: 007 Guns for Platinum Gold

Omega: The Seamaster Diver 300M in 2019

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