Meet the new Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra World Timer models. Today, the brand from Biel releases three new watches, two in steel and one in titanium, with ceramic bezels and dials made through laser ablation. Yes, there was an Aqua Terra World Timer with such a dial before, but these three new models add a distinct new aesthetic to the collection.
Let’s have a closer look at the new Omega Aqua Terra World Timer watches and see what makes them special. The new Aqua Terra World Timer comes in your choice of titanium or stainless steel. Both feature a new brushed and polished ceramic bezel. This not only provides a unique look but great scratch resistance as well. Paired with the sapphire crystal, that makes for a rather durable top surface for these watches. Although Omega fitted these watches feature sapphire crystals, the designers included some Hesalite here too. The 24-hour ring sunken into the dial is made out of this transparent plastic.
All three versions measure 43mm across. The Grade 2 titanium model (ref. 184.108.40.206.99.001) features an anthracite ceramic bezel and a gray dial. This version comes on a rubber strap. The two new steel versions come with green bezels and green dials with gold details. The distinction between the two is in the bracelet or strap. One comes on the classical AT bracelet (ref. 220.127.116.11.10.001) and the other on a rubber strap (ref. 18.104.22.168.10.001). The dials are very clearly the stars of the show here. Omega makes these through a process known as laser ablation. A laser hits the metal surface, which sublimates through the transferred heat. The technology is used in industrial settings for the removal of material or high-precision drilling. You will also find it in the medical world, for instance, in the targeted removal of tumors.
Omega has put it to use to create a domed, highly detailed 3D image of the earth as viewed from over the North Pole. Omega ablates the image into a Grade 5 titanium surface. Even the colors on the image are created with these lasers. On the titanium model, only the word “London” is an applied color; the rest is done by ablation. The green models have PVD-coated green dials.
The resulting image, which Omega refers to as a “watch-scape,” is incredibly detailed. It looks distinctly different from more traditional engraved and enameled decorations. As mentioned, the cases of the new Omega Aqua Terra World Timer models measure 43mm across. Combined with a 50.3mm length and 14.1mm height, that makes for rather substantial watches. But then, obviously, you need some dial real estate to showcase a world-timer complication this way. Water resistance, as standard on the Aqua Terra, is rated at 150 meters. The Omega caliber 8938 powers all three watches. This is a METAS-certified movement with world-timer and date complications. As you would expect from Omega, it is antimagnetic and fitted with a Co-Axial escapement.
The watches feature screw-down crowns and a date window at 6 o’clock. The cities around the dial perimeter are gold on the green models and white on the titanium version. Omega has displayed London in red on all three as it is representative of Greenwich Mean Time. It is great to see Omega develop new technologies to push watch design further. As aficionados, we can get hung up on tradition, which gets in the way of innovation. These new ATs show, however, that you can make traditionally beautiful things with an innovative approach.
The level of detail on the laser-ablated globes is stunning. I can only imagine what these will look like under natural light. I can imagine you may find yourself just gazing at the watch-scape without actually registering the time. And, to be fair, that is often a good indicator of a beautifully made dial. My pick would be the titanium model by quite some margin. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is a fantastic do-it-all-style watch. If you add the world-timer complication, it becomes the perfect travel watch. It may lose some of its more formal appeal due to its large size. But still, if you can pull it off size-wise, it can be your one and only horological travel companion. Alternatively, if you work with international clients/partners or have family abroad, a world timer can be more useful than a GMT. So even if you are not a globe-trotter yourself, the Aqua Terra World Timer may be appealing. And even if none of the above applies to you, you may just find yourself crushing on these mesmeric dials.