Michael Brown, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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omega aqua terra review

Trying to find a “go anywhere, do anything” (GADA) everyday watch suitable for either the seaside and swimsuit or boardroom and business suit is like being hungry for both seafood and steak. You scan the restaurant menu for a “surf and turf” option, but typically, there’s only one combo offered.

But imagine sitting down in a restaurant that specializes in combining both. The chefs cook a large variety of beef cuts and types of fish in a wide, mouth-watering range of styles and ingredients and then plate the delicious dishes with flair and color. You can also order a right-sized portion that fits your appetite.

You may be waiting a long time for a restaurant with that kind of versatility and quality, but you don’t have to for the perfect “surf and turf” watch. It’s available now: Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra, comfortable on both land and sea, perfect for a tux or tee.

I’ll be covering a lot of terrain—and water—in this review: general description, history, and in-depth looks at specifications, options, popular models, suitability, pricing, and availability. So, let’s hit the ground running and jump into the deep end of the pool.

About the Omega Aqua Terra

The Aqua Terra’s name reflects its essential duality and “reason for being”: “Water” + “Land”. Since its launch in 2002, Omega has positioned the Aqua Terra as a “middle way”, connecting the sporty Speedmaster chronographs and Seamaster diver collections with the dressier Constellation and De Ville models.

The Aqua Terra is understated and elegant for formal events, sturdy and reliable for the everyday grind, and “seaworthy” enough for the majority of people to have fun in or near the water. Add to those appealing qualities its large menu of options and styles, and the Aqua Terra shines as the perfect GADA watch and a top-shelf luxury model that competes fiercely with Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual and Datejust – but with a smaller price tag and ready availability.

History of Omega Aqua Terra Watches

The Aqua Terra’s strong Seamaster family connection with Omega’s first dress-style, water resistant watch of 1948 and the original Seamaster 300 (not to be confused with the contemporary Diver 300M) launched in 1957 has remained strong since 2002, even as design elements, movements, and the number of models offered have evolved and proliferated.

The first automatic movement used in the Aqua Terra was the ETA Caliber 2500, a Co-Axial escapement design by legendary watchmaker George Daniels and adopted by Omega in 1993. In 2007, the Aqua Terra received an updated in-house, Co-Axial, COSC-certified Caliber 8500, which significantly improved accuracy and reliability. 

2017 saw the introduction of the Co-Axial Calibers 8800 and 8900 used in the majority of Aqua Terras today, both carrying the METAS Master Chronometer certification and an accuracy of 0/+5 seconds a day.

In addition to the versatile Aqua Terra mainstay models comprising the heart of the collection, Omega introduced several other iterations over the years, including a chronograph, GMTs, annual calendar, golf releases, a highly antimagnetic >15,000 Gauss model, day-date models, world timers, and small seconds hand dial designs. 

There were several important new additions to the Aqua Terra line in 2017 and 2021-22, including redesigned cases with more size options and dials sporting new colors and designs. In 2023, the fresh, eye-popping Summer Blue Aqua Terras made their debut. These recent changes comprise the majority of the present-day offerings, and I’ll sort out the more important and popular ones in the in-depth review.

A special note to James Bond movie fans: if you’re concerned about losing your Agent 007 cred by choosing a smooth bezel Aqua Terra over the more famous onscreen Diver 300M and Planet Ocean models, then fear not. Daniel Craig’s Bond also wore an Aqua Terra 150M in Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), and No Time to Die (2021). 

And that’s not even counting the 2015 Spectre Limited Edition Aqua Terra (ref. with the colorful blue patterned dial, yellowish-gold seconds hand with the Bond family crest, and the >15’007 Gauss (clever, eh?) antimagnetic protection.

All that evolution and proliferation makes it difficult to pin down exactly how many Aqua Terra references have been manufactured, but I think it’s safe to say “hundreds.” Some might criticize such a large collection as “brand dilution”. 

Alternatively, one can make a strong case that by offering many Aqua Terra references, Omega is attempting to constantly improve and update their workhorse model and appeal to a broad range of buyers by making the superb craftsmanship of a METAS-certified Master Chronometer more readily available and affordable than their competitors. The Omega website, as of May 2024, lists 117 references (and incidentally, all those are available online through Exquisite Timepieces).

Omega Aqua Terra: In-Depth Review

Let’s take a closer look at what the Aqua Terra is all about.

Case Sizes & Materials

Aqua Terra models have case diameters to basically fit any size wrist and materials to satisfy even the most discriminating tastes. There are 28mm, 34mm, and 38mm case diameters included under the “Ladies’ Selection” and “Shades” line; the standard 150M and Small Seconds versions are both 38mm and 41mm; the titanium Ultra Light measures 41mm; the Worldtimer models are the largest at 43mm. 

Case thicknesses vary widely by diameter, movement, and case material from a slender 9.5mm for the a 28mm steel model with a non-METAS-certified movement, to a moderate 12.2mm and 13.2mm for steel 150M 38mm and 41mm METAS-certified models, respectively, and chunkier 14.1mm (steel) and 14.3mm (gold) for METAS-certified Worldtimers.

My local Omega AD kindly allowed me to try on all-steel 38mm and 41mm 150M models, plus a 43mm Worldtimer. My overall impression was that they all felt and looked slightly smaller than I expected on my 6.5” wrist. The lyred (“twisted”) lugs are slightly curved and conform nicely to the wrist, and the relatively short lug-to-lug distance and solid, female end links allow for a nice bracelet drape over the wrist which. 

These attributes combine for a more well-proportioned fit for smaller wrists than the actual case diameter size would indicate. A 43mm case diameter is pushing my limit, but with the Aqua Terra Worldtimer, I felt I could almost pull it off.

Most Aqua Terra cases are steel with smooth bezels, but you can also obtain steel-gold combos, 18K yellow gold, plus Sedna™ and Moonshine™ gold options. Diamond-set bezels are available for some pieces from the “Ladies’ Selection”. Also, the Ultra Light case is titanium.

Aqua Terra cases have domed, highly scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire crystals with a double AR coat and screw-down crowns, which help ensure their 150M/500 feet water resistance rating. All Aqua Terras 34mm and above also have sapphire display case backs.


The Aqua Terra’s wide variety of dial colors combined with design elements such as stylish indices and unique dial patterns and finishing is one of the collection’s strong suits that heighten its broad appeal. Standard 38mm and 41mm Aqua Terras are offered in traditional colors such as black, grey, various blues, green, and silvery-white.

Most have a dial pattern of horizontal, grooved lines resembling the “teakwood” of boat decks and triangular indices reminiscent of boat sails (34mm Shades pieces have more oval hour indices shaped like boat hulls). There are also some 34mm and 38mm pieces with the rolling “waves” reminiscent of 300M divers and a Tokyo 2022 special edition with a unique abstract-style grid pattern.

With the introduction of the under-40mm Shades models in 2022, Omega expanded to unique, vibrant colorways and sunburst pattern dials that continue to emphasize the sea-land connection, transitioning from watery shades of “Summer”, “Atlantic”, and “Marine” blue to “Bay” and “Lagoon” green, and on to earthy tones like Terra Cotta, Shell Pink, Sandstone, and Saffron.

Most 38mm and above Aqua Terras have a squarish date window at the 6 o’clock position, but some Shades and “Ladies’ Selection” models have a round date window. The distinctive “broad arrow” minutes hand, triangular (there’s that boat sail again) hours hand, and small arrow seconds hand, lumed with Super-LumiNova, are consistent across all Aqua Terra models.

Just like the bezels, some of the “Ladies Selection” dials can be dressed up with diamond indices and nonstandard but striking dial materials like mother-of-pearl. The Worldtimer dial deserves special treatment, and I will cover it under the “popular models” section.


Except for 28mm Aqua Terras, which use the time-only, non-certified Caliber 4061, all other Aqua Terras are powered by some version of a Co-Axial, METAS-certified movement and are Master Chronometers with an accuracy of 0/+5 seconds per day and a date complication.

Most 34mm-38mm Aqua Terras use the Caliber 8800 movement with a 55-hour power reserve, 35 jewels, antimagnetic silicone hairspring, a frequency of 25,200 vibrations per hour, and a quickset date function.

The Caliber 8900 powers the standard 41mm Aqua Terras and offers a 60-hour power reserve, 39 jewels, antimagnetic silicon hairspring, a frequency of 25,200 vibrations per hour, and a jumping hours hand that is useful for traveling and changing time zones, similar to a GMT. 

However, changing the date takes a little longer since that involves moving the hours forward or backward in one-hour increments. The movements powering some 34mm models, the Small Seconds line, and the Worldtimer use modified versions of the 8800 and 8900 calibers, but as mentioned above, all are METAS-certified.

With the exception of the 28mm mode, which has a solid case back, all other Aqua Terras have a sapphire display window, which is fitting since the intricate and ornate movements are works of art in themselves.

Bracelet and Strap Options

A watch with so many iterations, like the Aqua Terra, naturally has a wide range of available bracelets and straps. Here are a few features, weaknesses, and options worth noting. Like the case, there are all-stainless steel, steel-gold, and gold bracelet choices to consider.

The steel bracelet for standard Aqua Terras is 3-links, brushed satin, with a between-lugs distance of 20mm for the 41mm case and 19mm for the 38mm case. Each size bracelet tapers 2 mm to a butterfly clasp. 

The bracelet for the Shades collection has similar dimensions, but the links are more rounded and the center links polished. There are screw-in links for sizing, but neither bracelet has a fine adjustment, making it harder to fit for some.

However, there are 2 half links which will help nearly everyone in that regard. In addition to metal bracelets, other Aqua Terras are available with high-grade leather and rubber straps of various colors.

Most Popular Omega Aqua Terra Models

Boiling down 117 references to 5 “popular models” isn’t easy, but each of these will give the reader a good idea of the broad range and appeal of this amazing hybrid dress/sport watch.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Chronometer 41mm (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Chronometer 41mm (ref.

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic black dial watch, whether you’re in the boardroom closing a deal or at “the 19th hole” recovering from a round of golf. Conservative and boring? Maybe a little. Still, this stainless-steel case and bracelet combo is perhaps the most versatile representative of one of the best all-around watches on the market. 

The well-proportioned 41mm case diameter is right-sized for a wide range of wrists, even my 6.5” one. If you’re truly serious about a “one and done” collection (but really, come on, who are you kidding?), your search may be over.

Omega Aqua Terra Shades 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 38mm (ref.

Omega Aqua Terra Shades 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 38mm (ref.

Want to go with a more trendy and cooler color than black? A Rolex “Hulk”, “Starbucks”, or “Kermit” beyond your grasp? Then this may be “The One”.

You’ll take away just a bit from the basic Aqua Terra’s sailing roots, but you’ll gain a green sunburst dial look (which is going to pair with more of the colors of your wardrobe than you might think) and polished center links for extra flair. Plus, you’ll be in the center of the bullseye of that 38mm “sweet spot” case diameter that is all the rage these days.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Chronometer Summer Blue (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Chronometer Summer Blue (ref.

Green not edgy enough? Want something that’s going to really pop? Are you a UNC-Chapel Hill fan? Then it may be time for “Summer Blue”. In 2023, Omega introduced 8 “Summer Blue” Seamasters, 2 of which were Aqua Terras, the 41 mm one under discussion, plus the 38mm ref., which takes its design cues from the Shades models. 

Summer blue is like the Mediterranean ocean around Greece, or else, Carolina “sky blue”. I have a dilemma. I’m a Duke grad and “royal blue” guy. But when I saw this watch in-person with its matching rubber strap, I fantasized about it on my wrist. That’s scary.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Chronometer GMT Worldtimer (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Chronometer GMT Worldtimer (ref.

I tried on a steel version of this 43mm watch, and it felt heavy—imagine how much this one would weigh since it’s 18K Sedna™ gold, Omega’s proprietary alloy of rose gold named after the reddest dwarf planet in our Solar System. 

Most people in the market for a GMT do not have this one on their radar, but a few might. Gold case, bracelet, and handset, opaline vertical “teakwood” pattern dial, central titanium, laser-ablated planet earth and oceans combined with inner 24-hour ring and outer city ring. Lots to love but lots to pay: $47,700 retail.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Shades 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Shades 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer (ref.

This beauty is another Shades model housed in a 34mm diameter polished stainless-steel case with matching bracelet and accented with an 18K diamond-polished white gold handset, indices, date window frame, and OMEGA logo. 

The dial is brass with a lacquered, “shell pink” sunburst finish. It’s another of the “Ladies’ Selection” models per Omega, but with fashions trending toward smaller, vintage case diameters and bolder colored dials, don’t be too surprised if you spot one on a “Gent’s” wrist either.

Should You Buy An Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra?

Well, of course. But to expand a bit, if you’re a person who wants a GADA watch with tons of options to tailor to your tastes, someone who desires a luxury watch but wants to “fly under the radar” and practice “stealth wealth”, or simply one of those rare breeds (think “Bigfoot”) who truly wants to get in and out and be “one and done” with a solo watch collection that does it all extremely well, then the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra has got to be on your shortlist.

Omega Aqua Terra Pricing and Availability

The most popular Aqua Terra models are readily available and priced competitively as far as luxury watches go. For instance, a new 38mm or 41mm all-steel Aqua Terra 150M is $6,300 retail, and similar pre-owned models in good to excellent condition are available on the secondary market in the $4,500-5,575 USD range.


The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is understated and, perhaps because of that, often underseen and underappreciated. But maybe not much longer. One of the watch world’s “best kept secrets” is making bold moves and coming out into the open. 

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