OMEGA’s Sandstone Aqua Terra Offers Quite A Bit Of Bang For Your Watchmaking Buck
(Image Credit: Werdnamik // Reddit)
— 16 May 2023

OMEGA’s Sandstone Aqua Terra Offers Quite A Bit Of Bang For Your Watchmaking Buck

— 16 May 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

Aptly described by Logan Baker of Phillips Watches as “a low-profile [design] meant to be worn, by its nature, all the time”, it can often be dicey to stay abreast of the many Seamaster Aqua Terra models that OMEGA is fielding at any given time.

In mid-March of 2022, the exalted Swiss luxury brand dropped a grip of new Aqua Terra ‘Shades’ models as part of the broader Seamaster collection (confusing, we know). Available in either 38mm or 34mm sizes, with an array of brass dials – all of which are lacquered and treated using a CVD or PVD process – it was easy to write these off at the initial stage as a means of capitalising on the watch industry’s color-filled, fashion-adjacent moment.

Yet, having had the chance to see these vividly coloured models on multiple occasions over the past 13 months, I’m convinced that for most of the watch-buying public, this refinement of the Aqua Terra DNA (particularly in ‘sandstone’) is all the wristwatch you could possibly ask for. Perfectly wearable day in, day out – thanks to OMEGA’s practiced blend of design and technology.

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Even at a quick glance, there are a few small but pointed differences between the 34mm and 38mm sizes of the sandstone Aqua Terra. The latter’s faceted white gold dial furniture – not to mention, a bigger date aperture at 6 o’clock – lend it a strong masculine appeal right out of the gate; and that’s where we’re going to concentrate most of our attention.

The absence of the ‘teak panel’ motif (associated with the more classical riffs of the Aqua Terra) lend this 38mm model a timeless allure. And in sandstone? The dial, which runs the gamut between warm ecru and a luminous cobalt grey, comes across rather discreetly – avoiding the loud, on-trend implications of its ‘terracotta’ and ‘saffron’ contemporaries, so that it’ll look the business decades after the fact.

(Image Credit: Monochrome Watches)

To complement this sandstone Aqua Terra’s handsome visual presence, OMEGA has of course sweetened the deal with the calibre 8800. Equipped with the company’s signature co-axial escapement, the resulting movement boasts a uniformly high, METAS-certified rate of accuracy across its 55-hour power reserve; backing those mechanical credentials up with very substantial water resistance (150m) and anti-magnetic resistance up to 15,000 gauss.

All of that, plus the endlessly wearable sandstone dial treatment, should give some indication as to this particular Aqua Terra’s appeal: it mightn’t be the most immediately striking release in the ‘Shades’ sub-range. But, with an aesthetic, build quality, and technology that all comes together so flawlessly; you’d be foolish not to look past first impressions.

Seamaster Aqua Terra Shades
Pictured: Of the 5 Seamaster Aqua Terra Shades models sized at 38mm, only the sandstone dial is made using OMEGA’s new PVD (‘physical vapor deposition’) manufacturing process.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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