The Aqua Terra is the quiet achiever in the Omega watch family. Unlike other notable pieces in the brand’s portfolio, it’s not the first model to travel to the moon or sit upon the wrist of a certain James Bond. Instead, the Aqua Terra goes about its business with more discretion, a versatile daily wearer with a formidable movement that can be happily worn on land or sea – as the Latin name would suggest.
But that’s not to say the Aqua Terra can’t get fancy. In 2017, to commemorate the 15th birthday of the line, Omega delivered a worldtimer limited-edition in platinum. This was a sporty take on the classic complication with a stylised map of the world in the centre of the dial. Subsequent versions have followed, but now Omega has delivered three of the boldest iterations yet with two pieces in steel and one in titanium.
First things first, the Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer is a big watch measuring 43mm in diameter, 14.1mm in height and 50mm lug-to-lug. Then again, the world is a big place and given its represention here, a certain amount of real estate is to be expected. At the centre of the dial, Omega has crafted a depiction of the Earth as viewed from above the North Pole. This is achieved by laser-ablating – a process which basically translates to carving out the topographical outlines with laser beams. Circling the map is a 24-hour indication under hesalite glass, divided into night and day sections and ringed with the names of a host of global destinations.
The titanium Worldtimer is distinct in that the entire dial has been executed by laser ablation. This results in a monochromatic colourscape with the hands and markers blackened and the cities rendered in white. Encircled by a black ceramic bezel, the watch’s solitary pop of colour is introduced by the red word “London”.
The steel versions, on the other hand, take on more verdant hues with a green ceramic bezel and green dial. Adding further visual interest, the hands and markers are crafted from Omega’s trademark Moonshine gold, an 18-karat gold alloy.
Wherever in the world you’re heading, the watches deliver ample functionality. The worldtimers are water resistant to 150m while the dial hands and markings are bedecked with lume. Visible through the exhibition caseback, the pieces are powered by the METAS-certified Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8938 that comes with a 60-hour power reserve.
There’s no doubt these are striking and visually impressive watches that deliver plenty of wrist presence. The only potential drawback for the Australian market is the way in which Omega has chosen to tackle that map of the world. The decision to show the planet as viewed from the North Pole means that the South Hemisphere is conspicuously overlooked. It’s an omission capable of triggering a renewed bout of culture cringe in any Australian watch lover. Then again, at least Omega did make the steel versions in green and gold.