For those who loved the Omega Aqua Terra, the introduction of the chronograph version a few years after its original release only increased the fanfare. However, this watch wasn’t just popular; it was an important upgrade for the collection. Already adored for its elegance and wearability alongside its durability and functionality as a sports watch, the additional chronograph functionality made this watch even more sophisticated and desirable. It was everything buyers wanted: high-end, accurate, and perfectly suited for everyday wear.
However, the Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph didn’t stick around forever, but it did help set the stage for the collection today. So if you’re shopping for one of these watches, this is what you need to know.
Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph & Defining Features
The Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph was introduced in 2009, just six years after the first release of the Aqua Terra collection. We got four initial versions of the watch, all featuring 42mm stainless steel cases. Dial options included either black or white, and both versions were available with either a matching stainless steel bracelet or a leather strap. Like the original models that first introduced the collection, the Aqua Terra Chronograph featured the same wonderful case shape, screw-down crown, and 150 meters of water resistance.
On the dial of this watch, we still have all the beautiful Aqua Terra features we love, like the pointed hour markers and broad arrow minute hand. The black dial featured raised and applied hour markers in stainless steel, while the white dial Chronograph featured blue hour markers with matching hands. Both versions also featured bright, readable Super-LumiNova above the hour markers as well as on the hands. But of course, the biggest change to the dial is the sub-dials – a running seconds counter, 30 minute counter, and 12 hour counter.
Ticking inside the Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph is the self-winding Cal. 3301 movement that features a column-wheel mechanism, rhodium-plated finish, and a 52-hour power reserve. There’s also the date complication, which appears through a window inside the chronograph sub-dial above 6 o’clock. The Cal. 3301 was also COSC certified, which was a big deal at the time because Omega was just starting to really invest in in-house movements for its watches. The Aqua Terra Chronograph quickly grabbed collectors’ attention for its striking looks that were far more elegant and refined than other Omega watches with chronograph complications like the Speedmaster Moonwatch and Seamaster Diver 300m Chronographs.
Original Aqua Terra Chronograph References
- 2512.50.00 – Black dial, stainless steel, stainless steel bracelet
- 2812.50.37 – Black dial, stainless steel, leather strap
- 2512.30.00 – White dial, stainless steel, stainless steel bracelet
- 2812.30.37 – White dial, stainless steel, leather strap
Omega Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronograph
With the 2013 launch of the Omega Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronograph, we got a whole suite of upgrades, the most visible being on the dial. What you’ll notice right off the bat is that the Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronograph got the teak ‘deck’ pattern on the dial, bringing it in-line with the rest of the watches from the Aqua Terra collection. Unlike the previous white dial model, the white dial Co-Axial version features black hour markers and hands instead of ones finished bright blue. There is also a black dial version with the same teak pattern, except that the hour markers are polished steel finished with Super-LumiNova.
Another major upgrade is the Omega Cal. 3313 movement, a self-winding mechanical chronograph featuring a column-wheel mechanism, Co‑Axial escapement, free-sprung balance, and a 52-hour power reserve. Like its predecessor, this new movement also featured a date complication; however, on this generation, the date window appears on the dial between 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers. Additionally, the new movement sits on full display, visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback. Both the white dial ref. 126.96.36.199.04.001 and the black dial ref. 188.8.131.52.01.001 are housed in larger 44mm cases; however, they boast the same 150m water resistance rating that you’d expect from an Omega Aqua Terra.
The Aqua Terra Chronograph GMT
Today, we have an Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph in the form of a GMT, and while this watch oozes with the same core characteristics of the rest of the Aqua Terra collection, it feels decidedly different than the rest of the Aqua Terra Chronograph models. While the 43mm case does house a dial with the collection’s signature ‘teak’ pattern, it only features two sub-dials – a running seconds register with a GMT hand at 9 o’clock, and a combined 60-minute and 12-hour counter at 3 o’clock. You’ll also notice they’ve moved the date window back to 6 o’clock to help create a better balance with the new dial layout. The Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph GMT also has a new movement, the Cal. 9605, which also features the brand’s Co-Axial escapement.
The Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph GMT also comes in a wide variety of colors and metal variations – from rose gold with a white dial and leather band to stainless steel with a black dial and matching steel bracelet. There are even two-toned versions and models with blue dials too. With the aesthetic versatility of the Aqua Terra and the added functionality of chronograph and GMT complications, this watch quickly became a popular favorite among collectors. Although a chronograph complication is no longer an option on the present-day collection, these Aqua Terra Chronographs make excellent everyday watches and still remain incredibly popular on the pre-owned Omega market.