5 Reasons Why the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer Is Going To Be My Next Watch
Editor’s note: This is a more personal take on why I would like to add the Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer to my personal collection, and less of a formal review with in-depth specifications. To read our in-depth reviews, please head here.
The Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer was first announced back in 2017 in a limited edition platinum version, and since then it has been on my radar. Then in 2019, Omega released a stainless steel version, that too in blue and at a more pocket friendly price compared to the LE version. And I was hooked.
Here are the five reasons why I would like the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT Worldtimer 43mm ref. 18.104.22.168.03.001 to be my next watch.
Reason 1: Love How It Looks
This has got to be the number one reason, right? If I don’t like something, why should I purchase or wear it?
The Omega Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer is a stunner of a watch, one that ticks all the right boxes for me at this point in my personal collection evolution.
For me, that grade 5 titanium laser-ablated earth plate in the middle is the dealmaker.
The brand informs me that the vision of Earth has been laser-ablated to create the blue ocean, leaving a relief of the continents. The contrasting colours of the Earth’s surface are obtained naturally by the laser’s chemical reaction.
The laser-ablated earth plate is raised compared to the ring around it, further giving it a more ‘realistic’ and three-dimensional appearance.
This is surrounded by a 24-hour glass ring, with light blue to indicate daytime and dark blue to indicate night.
And then the vertical teak deck Aqua Terra styling and a circle of global destinations — printed in red (GMT), silvery (+1h in summer) and blue (places without daylight savings) — envelopes all of the above, creating a beautiful blue dial that for a worldtimer is just surprisingly legible.
I prefer Omega Aqua Terras on rubber straps, because one, I can’t usually stand metal bracelets unless they are jubilee Rolex versions, and two, the case of the Worldtimer appears ‘integrated’ with the structured blue rubber strap via a solid polished link.
It’s just a beautiful watch, that with its applied indices and use of shades of blue and hints of red gets the job done with panache. And the relative lack of text here that usually crowds most world-timers is very welcome.
Reason 2: The Complication Is Missing From My Collection
My personal collection doesn’t have a worldtimer or a GMT complication. Pre-covid, travel was always frequent and on the horizon, and I always felt the need, or definitely want, for a GMT/Worldtimer timepiece. And to be optimistic, I am hoping travel will resume soon.
Besides, there is something romantic about a worldtimer complication, perhaps not so much as a well executed moonphase like say the Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow, but still it’s pretty cool to be able to look at different timings across the world merely by a glance.
So far I have watches with other complications but don’t have a worldtimer. Ideally a worldtimer with an alarm would be perfect, but I currently don’t have the funds for a JLC. Besides, that laser-ablated earth plate on the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer is simply stunning and quite unique.
The Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer is the perfect watch in theory – it can be dressed down or up, you can go diving with it given its 150m water-resistance and screw-down crown, and you can obviously tell different times; it comes with a display case-back for anyone wanting to marvel at the in-house METAS certified movement, it is worry-free with Omega’s 5-year warranty, and is anti-magnetic to >15’000 gauss.
For those who travel, it’s the prefect beater, one that is classy and relaxed at the same time.
Reason 3: Specs are Joseph Ready
The automatic Co‑Axial Master Chronometre certified movement features a free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring, automatic winding in both directions, and rhodium plated finish with Geneva waves in arabesque. The calibre 8938 also offers a decent 60-hour power-reserve and is workhorse ready for my needs.
Add to that the wearable albeit large 43.5mm diameter — though officially it’s 43mm — but with only 50mm lug-to-lug and 21mm lug intern-horn spacing, and I got no complaints.
In theory it’s a bit big for my 16 and a bit cm wrist, but owing to the design of the short, faceted, and twisted lugs, and lack of a rotating dive bezel, it fits surprisingly well.
The ~14.5mm thickness could be reduced no doubt, and technically so could be the diameter, but I have begun to appreciate the larger dial size for the legibility it offers — blue lume covers the indices as well as the hour, minute and seconds hands — and the overall ‘hockey-puck’ appearance.
Again, for my collection, it’s different and I further appreciate it for that. Also, the polished bezel is slightly recessed from the case sides, adding a sense of 3D to the case.
Reason 4: Price and Price Increases
The Steel variant has had three price increases since it was announced, at least here in Australia. Currently sitting at $13’550 AUD for the rubber bracelet version, it’s a price that I can somehow manage what with AD discounts on the brand, but another increase, and I can see it slithering away.
Besides, as far as I know, not many timepieces with this complication that I like look as good and cost anywhere near the under 15k AUD mark.
I am not going into the whole true worldtimer vs GMT Worldtimer debate here, but just based on what’s around that gets the worldtimer job done, the basic stats and pricing of a few other watches that I like are:
- Patek Philippe 5230G-014 World Time: It is the prefect dress worldtimer coming in at only 38.5mm. Add to it the only 10.25mm thickness, and it is THE worldtimer out there. The cons for me are the only 30m water-resistance as I want this purchase to be a beater travel watch and the cost of ~$50’000 AUD that I can’t afford. Ignore the cost (for me), and there is no doubt that it’s the best offering out there. There was also a New York 2017 Limited Edition that was too sexy for words, though the 300-piece launch was announced at the then retail price of $53’299 USD
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Worldtime: Second best offering out there, especially since it shows 37 time-zones, more than the usual 24-cities on the dial. It also includes cities at half-hour marks, such as New Delhi. Coincidentally, the ref. 7700V/110A-B172 measures the same 43.5mm in diameter and offers the same 150m water-resistance as the Aqua Terra. The downfalls for me are the retail price of $57’000 AUD and that the dial is a bit too busy for me. But the finishing of the movement is out of this world
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time ref. Q8108420/Q8102520: I love JLC’s worldtimer offerings from 2015. The comparatively smaller 41.6mm is a plus, though the 50m water-resistance leaves a bit to be desired for my daily-beater needs. Also it’s no longer part of the current catalogue, and when launched, it retailed for $15’000 USD
- Chopard Time Traveller One: I like this one as well coming in at 42mm diameter, but given its 50m water-resistance and design aesthetics, it’s not something I would wear everyday while travelling. This is where the Omega scores for me, is its daily wearability and the fact that I don’t need to take multiple watches to combine business and pleasure activities on my trips. The Chopard ref. 168574-3001 offering is more dressy, and also more expensive, coming in at CHF 13’700 AUD retail
- Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer: Measuring in at 41mm and only 47.1mm lug to lug, and offering 150m water-resistance, all for the price of $1’530 AUD, the CW option is pretty freakin’ amazing. If for some reason I can’t get or afford the Omega version, this perhaps would be my go to
Reason 5: It is Omega Forums (Unofficially) Recommended and Wife Approved
Back on 10th October 2020, I posted a question, rather a poll of sorts, asking the members of the Omega Forum if I should choose the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer or another blue watch I was considering, a JLC Master Ultra Thin Reserve De Marche ref. 1378480.
Apples and oranges I know, but nonetheless, the question was asked. The majority chose the Omega option. And it’s not that I would normally allow the Forum voice to be the tune of the Pied-Piper, but still, it’s comforting to always know what other enthusiasts — and not watch reviewers who praise each and every watch release — think. And the discussions there helped clear my own thoughts, so a big thank you to everyone who commented.
But more importantly, the Omega Aqua Terra is wife approved. She simply loves it. And you know what they say, ‘happy wife, happy life’.
For more information on the Omega Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It.