OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra: How to Reconcile Sportiness and Elegance
Recently announced, the new models of the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection are now all certified Master Chronometers. With this collection, OMEGA reaches out to a younger clientele. We bring you the lowdown!
Striking just the right balance between sportiness and elegance, the Seamaster Aqua Terra, whose advertising is geared determinedly towards accessible ambassadors, may be reaching out to younger buyers, but it keeps values and identity firmly in sight.
A launch from sky to sea, Venice to Miami
Omega recently invited the press to the City of the Doges for the first of two launches of its new Aqua Terra collection. Suspended between sea and sky, an artificial land mass claimed from nature, Venice somehow seemed the perfect spot for celebrating the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. A few days later, the equally well-suited Miami played host to the second event. Your very own online watchmaking magazine was also there to cover the American launch with the very talented Rhonda Riche. Rhonda brought us a comprehensive overview of the ladies' models and a full round-up of what can only be described as an advertising campaign totally in keeping with our times, fronted by the brand's muse, top model Alessandra Ambrosio.
The Venice launch kicked off in the foyer of the spectacular Hôtel Daniel, where I was joined by members of a varied, cosmopolitan press: leading newspapers, lifestyle, fashion, but few watchmaking titles. So we were an exception. Also present were influencers, as they are commonly referred to. But let there be no mistake, Omega invited only the finest opinion leaders, all of them actively at work on their respective websites, blogs and social networks. This broad mix helped create a tremendous atmosphere among the attendees and gave rise to some top-quality, varied exchanges.
The memorable Gala dinner held at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta on the Grand Canal was attended by none other than actor, Eddie Redmayne, the brand's guest of honour. Simple and sincere, a man of few words and an ambassador known for his discretion and spontaneity, he shared our delight at being able to experience this unique moment. As was made plain in an interview with Raynald Aeshlimann, CEO of Omega, the brand hopes to reach out to a younger clientele with the choice of such an accessible ambassador. It seems a coherent response given that "millennials" clearly no longer rely on the brand alone to meet their expectations, but rather on their ability to identify with the brand's values and to appropriate a product, make it part of their own identity. It's a choice that makes a lot of sense given the ability of Eddie Redmayne, as the ideal ambassador, to communicate across the generations.
A diverse, multi-faceted collection
The success of its new image is all down to the consistency and appropriacy of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. Across both gents' and ladies' models (see Rhonda Riche's article), the different versions of the Aqua Terra cover an impressive array of styles and identities, without too many references.
The gent's watch is available in 38 and 41mm diameter versions, a democratic move at a time when some are expressing a preference for more conventional sizes. The watch comes with three possible variations: a metal bracelet, or a leather, or rubber strap. The latter variation is an interesting choice due to the inclusion of a metal insert, which visually extends the design of the watchcase and lends a sporty look to the whole. Available in gold or steel, or a gold-steel combination, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra lays itself open to all kinds of extravagances.
The variety of choice continues with the dial, available in a range of different colours and finishes. The 'teak deck' dial features a horizontal line motif, a dynamic common theme for the brand, accentuated by stand-out markers and hands inspired by the first professional Seamasters, like the famous Broad Arrow hand used here for the minutes display. This rigorous dial arrangement is rounded off by a date feature at 6 o'clock.
But the key to the versatility of this collection is no doubt the super-efficient watchcase. Short lugs typical of the Omega professional watches, a discreet, yet pronounced bezel, taut lines accentuated by a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. The sober, yet sophisticated, case provides the perfect match for all the different variations in materials, straps and bracelets available in the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection. In a further refinement, a delicately grooved conical crown stands slightly proud of the case.
With this new version of the Aqua Terra, Omega continues on its mission to obtain Master Chronometer certification for most of its product lines. And although this collection is already functionally and aesthetically pleasing, the chronometric performances of the Master Chronometer-certified OMEGA movements (cal. 8800, 8900 or 8901) make the offering complete. Accuracy, reliability and durability come together in this collection, as can be clearly seen through the sapphire crystal back, which leaves the movement wide open to view.
A watch for every reason and occasion
Having been presented with the opportunity to test-wear a model of my choice for a few days, I instantly opted for the 38 mm version in steel with black dial, which sells for CHF 5,400.-. For a more complete experience, I also went for a 41 mm steel version with blue dial, available for the same price.
To be honest, both sizes sit very well on the wrist. And although my extra-slim wrist lends itself more to the 38mm version, the 41 mm diameter is just as comfortable. This is mainly due to the design of the watch’s case – whose short lugs guarantee ergonomy and stability for the wearer. Somewhere between a dive watch bearing the Seamaster stamp and a sophisticated gentleman's accessory, this Aqua Terra is suited to every occasion. You'll be surprised at its ability to segue between sporty and elegant to fit your wardrobe or mood.
Despite being a confirmed watchmaking (and Omega) fan, I can safely say that the Aqua Terra collection will also satisfy the needs of a wider audience, one who rates style and quality above all else. Offering competitively well-positioned prices for such flawless craftsmanship and multiple mix and match possibilities, the Aqua Terra collection has great personal, as well as generic, appeal.