Hands-On Review Of The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds
When is a watch considered to be a classic? Next year, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra will be celebrating its 20th birthday and it just made me wonder if that’s old enough to be one. Anyway, today Omega is introducing to you the Aqua Terra Small Seconds in 38mm and 41mm.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra is a watch that has been on my want list for many years, but I never came to actually pull the trigger. Once I was super close when I was shown a PGA edition (with green second’s hand) during a holiday in Italy with my family. But, I am bad at making decisions in a foreign country at a jeweler shop without having done my homework in advance. So I let it go and to this day I kinda regret it. Is the Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds something that could take its place?
Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds
We received two versions of this watch, the 38mm (reference 18.104.22.168.10.001) with a green dial and the 41mm (reference 22.214.171.124.02.004) version with a silver dial with blue elements. The main difference is the motif in the 41mm version, the famous teak deck engraving. You might remember that at the time of the introduction of the Aqua Terra, in 2002, the dial didn’t have any motif. This changed in 2008 when vertically engraved lines were added. In 2017, Omega changed it to a horizontal motif. The Seamaster Aqua Terra with dark green dial 38mm that we have here, has a sunburst finish instead. Without further ado, let’s have a closer look.
Aqua Terra Small Seconds 41mm version
I feel the 38mm version is more targeted towards ladies, but it might also perfectly work if you have somewhat smaller wrists. The round date aperture makes it a bit more feminine-looking for me. Hence, I picked the Aqua Terra Small Seconds in 41mm to wear for a bit. This size suits me perfectly, as my wrists measure approx. 19cm. The lug-to-lug size is 47mm and the watch measures 13,1mm in height, the lug width is 20mm.
The 38mm ladies version measures 13mm in height and has a lug-to-lug size of 44mm. The lug-width on the 38mm Aqua Terra Small Seconds is 19mm. As you can see in the picture above, the ladies’ version has a sunburst dial and more feminine-looking hour markers.
A new dial layout
The silvery dial with blue elements is very much to my liking, but you can also opt for the blue-grey and silvery-beige dials. New to this Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds is of course the movement, caliber 8916. It features a small seconds (at 6 o’clock) and a date. The subdial for the seconds has a blue scale, with a cut-out at “30” for the date aperture. The small blue ring corresponds with the outer (minute) track on the dial. As you can see, the hull-shaped hour markers and the hands are also in matching blue. The perfect color for a Seamaster, in my opinion.
Caliber 8916 Master Chronometer
The 41mm Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds is equipped with caliber 8916. Just like nearly any other Omega movement, it is certified as Master Chronometer by the Swiss METAS organization. In short, it means that the watch is anti-magnetic to >15,000 gauss and runs between +5/0 seconds per dag on average. An in-depth article on the Master Chronometer certification can be found here, with all the tests and requirements. The 38mm Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds has caliber 8802. This movement also has been Master Chronometer certified. The 18 carat Sedna (rose) gold version of these watches will have caliber 8917 and caliber 8803 inside, having a Sedna gold rotor and balance bridge.
On the wrist
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra has always been a bit of a no-nonsense everyday watch, at least to me. This Aqua Terra Small Seconds is no exception I think. It is a very easy-going watch and probably matches any of my “sartorial” choices. The fact that this watch has this two-tone dial makes it even more versatile, in my opinion. I like the small seconds more than I thought I would do, in all honesty. Generally speaking, I like the large second hand moving around the dial, but the small seconds on this Aqua Terra give the dial a nicely balanced look. The date aperture at 6 o’clock is a nice nod to those Seamaster Calendar models from the 1950s, but not necessarily new to the Aqua Terra collection.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds comes on a stainless steel bracelet, with a polished center link and double folding clasp. It can be resized using a 1/2 link at minimum. The 41mm Aqua Terra Small Seconds is also available with a rubber strap and the 38mm is available on a leather strap. For the 18ct gold versions, there will be a gold bracelet as well, of course. I find the bracelet to be very comfortable and relatively thin, also at the double folding clasp. I would definitely opt for a Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds on a bracelet, and if you want to wear it on a leather strap, or rubber strap, add it later on.
Prices and availability
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds reference 126.96.36.199.02.004 (41mm) and 188.8.131.52.10.001 (38mm) we have here are just two variations of a larger collection of Small Seconds models. For the 38mm, there will be 10 different variations in total, including two in 18ct Sedna gold. For the 41mm version, there will be four variations in stainless steel, and one in bi-color (steel and 18ct Sedna gold). Additionally, there will be four different 41mm variations in 18ct Sedna gold. These watches come with a five-year international warranty. Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra Small Seconds will be available in August 2021. The prices for the steel versions are CHF5,800 Swiss Francs excluding VAT, the full gold 41mm is CHF30,900 and the bi-color 38mm is CHF9,400. Prices exclude (Swiss) VAT.
Specifications for the 41mm version: dimensions: 41mmx13.1mm, lug-to-lug: 47mm, caliber 8916/8917, Master Chronometer certified, water-resistant to 150 meters, the price for the 184.108.40.206.02.004 is CHF5,800 excl. VAT.
Specifications for the 38mm version: dimensions: 38mmx13mm, lug-to-lug: 44mm, caliber 8802/8803, Master Chronometer certified, water-resistant to 150 meters, the price for the 220.127.116.11.10.001 is CHF5,800 excl VAT.