The Young Woman and the Sea
What OMEGA got right with the new Aqua Terra Collection.
As we’ve seen with the 2018 introductions at SIHH (and the pieces we’ve seen teased before Baselworld), watchmakers are keen to grow their markets by introducing high end timepieces at an accessible price point. Omega has already tested these waters last year when it relaunched its ladies’ Seamaster Aqua Terra collection (originally introduced in 2002) last fall. Now that these pieces have been out for a while, it’s time to take a look at their impact.
Omega launched the new Aqua Terras with high profile events around the world. In Venice, the company introduced actor Eddie Redmayne as the face of the gent’s Aqua Terra (Watchonista’s Marco Gabella covered that spectacle). Meanwhile, in Miami, model Alessandra Ambrosio arrived by boat, to an estate on Hibiscus Island to introduce the collection to North America.
We realize that not everybody in the watch world is sold on the idea of brand ambassadors — especially in an age when celebrities can quickly fall from grace or switch brand allegiance. But Omega has always chosen its family wisely. Here’s why Ambrosio matters.
At an intimate press conference with Omega’s CEO Raynald Aeschlimann, a group of fashion and lifestyle writers asked him about the importance of representation in the company’s marketing. Basically, their readers wanted to see spokespeople that were aspirational and relatable. And in the Americas at least, the Brazilian-born Ambrosio appeals to the Latina community. And at 36-years-old, she also projects a maturity that younger women admire and older women relate to.
Which is important because, for the big brands, one of the biggest trends is reaching out to younger consumers and the female collector who is just as interested in horological complications as her male counterparts.
Most of the ladies’ Aqua Terras have mechanical, co-axial movements. They also feature antimagnetic technology developed by engineers from ETA, Asulab, Nivarox FAR and OMEGA (the trickle-down effect of this technology also helps keep the price point down).
Omega takes great pleasure in touting the Aqua Terra’s anti magnetic movement. Why? Because of the growing prevalence of magnetic fields in our everyday life. From the magnets on cellphone or tablet cases to clasps on handbags, watches are exposed to these fields more than we know. And they can affect the timekeeping capabilities of our watches.
In setting out to create a watch that is an everyday wearer, Omega wanted a movement that didn’t rely on a protective container inside the case but rather uses non-ferrous materials in the movement itself.
And then there’s the styling of the watch itself: The updated women’s Aqua Terras still have a same sporty look, but the elements have been recast to be a little more elegant and more ergonomic. For example, the bracelet and case are more seamlessly integrated into the case. The bracelet links have been smoothed out and a new polished fold-over clasp added for ease of wear.
Having It All
While the price and look of the Aqua Terra are enough to make it a gateway luxury watch for the younger consumer, the fact that it is so versatile also makes it particularly alluring. As dress codes evolve, sportier watches like the Aqua Terra feel right at home in office settings as well as dinner parties. Which is great for the customer who wants a watch that goes from day to night, work week to weekend.
For the women’s collection, the dial comes in a range of materials and colors. Tahiti and white mother-of-pearl faces provide a lustrous play of light. You can also choose from 14 other faces — from glossy ice blue and lilac to praline silver and velvety grey.
For extra effortless elegance, you can also choose from materials such as stainless steel, 18K Sedna gold or a combination of both with diamond indexes on the dial or a glittering diamond-paved bezel (one model comes with a taupe-brown leather strap if you favor a more down-to-earth look). There is also a collection within the collection of gem encrusted models fitted with a Master Chronometer caliber 8807