Purebred Athlete: Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”
Not unlike a broad-branched banyan, Omega’s Seamaster collection, while rooted in uniformly class-leading technical underpinnings, is aesthetically varied, to say the least. The collection spans dive watches in both modern and vintage styles, sporty nautical-inspired pieces, to even dressy models that will take a dunking without any visual clue to their sports-bred fundamentals, save for perhaps an arrow-head hand.
The latest addition to the line is a timely change of tune, conceived from a laser-point focus on creating the best mechanical sports watch there is, bar none. This is bold ambition, and the ultimate whatever is never a straightforward affair because of the need to compound competing threads to achieve a balance that best meets the design directive. In this respect, the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”, what Omega has created, in re-thinking every facet of a sports watch, is a stunner, inside out.
According to Omega, the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” was developed with one of its sports ambassadors, golfer Rory Mcllroy. An excellent choice of sport: golf is refined, played wearing proper clothes (more cotton, less spandex), yet this is combined with the violence of 150km/h impacts on the golf ball that is transmitted up the shaft to the movement and case of a watch on the wrist. Besides refined styling and extreme robustness, the end result of this collaboration will also have to be something so comfortable and light that it does not spook the muscle poetry of the golf swing. Says Mcllroy, “I know what an athlete needs in a watch… the new ‘Ultra Light’ is an absolute pleasure to wear, whatever sport you play.”
For lightweight ruggedness, Omega used Gamma Titanium – a first for the company – to fashion the case, caseback and crown of the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”. According to Omega, Gamma Titanium is lighter and harder than conventional titanium, and is used in the aeronautical industry. To cut weight further, Omega even reduced the amount of material used to create the dial, akin to Honda thinning the windshield of its DC2 Integra Type-R coupe. As a result, when paired with its fabric strap, the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” weighs a scant 55g.
Even the shape of the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” is coded in performance and comfort – its swoopy, svelte silhouette looks wind-shaped, and hugs the wrist as one unity. To preserve the almost organic sweep of the watch’s case line, and to minimise the intrusion to natural hand movement when worn, Omega has implemented for the first time a telescopic crown which sits recessed into the case when not in use. In this, Omega has created a sports watch with immense presence from unconventional, purpose driven styling, while wearing like it is not present on the wrist.
To achieve extreme lightness, Omega has also rethought the movement. Here, Master Chronometer certification denotes chronometer precision and industry-leading resistance to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. In addition, the Co-Axial escapement movement in the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” is also Omega’s first-ever movement constructed in titanium. All the bridges and plates of the manual-wind Caliber 8928 Titanium are made from ceramised titanium which reduces friction between movement components while imparting an attractive dark grey hue which just exudes raw performance. Race cars don’t just need to be fast, they need to look racy, too!
Three color choices are available for the Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light”, following the spectrum of a colour CRT: red, green or blue, with matching hands, markers and stitchings.