Despite the overwhelming preponderance of haute horlogerie, high complications and the like, in the minds of watch collectors everywhere, there still remains a necessary place in our hearts for the perfect everyday watch.
This is a category that most beginners gravitate to on choosing their first luxury watch, and is one that even the most seasoned watch connoisseurs will have an opinion about. The ultimate concern with watches like these of course is practicality, and of interest as well are the features and technology that watch brands employ to attain said practicality.
When the rain comes down, and when some rough activity looks set to dominate our immediate future, it is something simple, hardy and precise that we choose to adorn our wrist, that can slug off “the slings and arrows” of daily life, so to speak, and emerge unscathed, to carry on with its owner in the glory of their adventures.
There are many contenders for an everyday watch in the market out there, but one notable collection comes from Omega, in the form of the “AquaTerra”.
As the name implies, the watches of this collection are for Sea (water =aqua) and Land (Earth = Terra), or basically the majority of the environments that the average human person spends their time in. Aqua Terra’s have always occupied that category for Omega, as most useful everyday watch, but this year, things have gone on a major upgrade that will bring more value to what watch lovers can enjoy.
Launched at Baselworld 2017, the new Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra now comes with some styling upgrades as well as new Master Chronometer calibres. The launch then at Baselworld might have been a little low key, since most of the spotlight was on the iconic Speedmaster celebrations, yet as we round into the end of the year, it seems fitting to bring the attention back to what could possibly be one of the best everyday watches one can buy today.
Most notably we find the headline feature of the watch now emblazoned on the dial with the words “Co-Axial Master Chronometer” instead of the previous depth rating of the watch. This has been moved to the edge of the sapphire case-back in the new Aqua Terra.
The headline feature of course is key in this watch, as we now have the best of Omega’s horological achievements packed into it. “Co-Axial” of course refers to the innovative, lubricant free escapement, invented by George Daniels and licensed to Omega, now found in the Aqua Terra collection, while “Master Chronometer” refers to the rigorous testing that each watch has to pass in order to be labeled as such.
The Master Chronometer certification, an initiative started by Omega and the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) is one of those things that really gives tangible value to watches and is an example of Omega leading the way to protect watches practically. Aside from testing that involves water resistance, chronometric accuracy, and the usual wear and tear of the materials used to build the watch, the most notable aspect of the Master Chronometer Certification relates to the magnetic protection that the watch is able to withstand.
At the moment now, no other production watch boasts as high an anti-magnetic protection rating as a Master Chronometer movement, which tops out at 15,000 Gauss. Note here that this rating was given not because it is the limit of what a Master Chronometer can withstand, rather it is the edge of what Omega’s instruments can measure.
Interestingly enough, such a rating was achievement by using non-ferrous parts in the construction of the movement, including the silicon used for the hairspring. Given the increasing amount of magnetism that we find from electronic devices used everywhere in our modern world, it makes sense to have magnetic protection as a priority in the design of a watch movement.
Even better, the way that Omega has gone about it, by using non-ferrous materials for the movement parts instead of shielding a normal movement with a soft iron core, is that one is still is able to get a view of the inside of the watch through a sapphire instead of a closed case-back.
The new Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Chronometers, in keeping with the nautical aspect of the collection’s name comes with horizontal stripes on the dial, alluding to the wood boards used in building ships in the old days. Two sizes are available, 41mm (with calibre 8900) and 38mm (with calibre 8800), with enough variations in dial, strap, bracelet and materials to make just about everyone happy.