First released in 2003, the Omega Aqua Terra was is a direct competitor to both the Rolex Oyster Date and the Explorer. The Omega Aqua Terra has a co-axial movement with a date function and features a 150m water resistance.
This watch was featured in the James Bond movies Skyfall and Spectre, on the wrist of actor Daniel Craig.
This is an amazing GADA (Go Anywhere Do Anything) watch, however is comes at a rather hefty price! The retail price of the latest version is around $5000 but it can be found on the used market between $2000 and $4000.
You will find below some alternatives to the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra that will accommodate all budgets and that are available immediately for sale on eBay.
The Combat 6 from the Swiss Brand Glycine is an interesting field watch. Our favorite is the reference GL0105 which is 36mm wide and has a black dial. The design of this watch is classic and will not go out of fashion. As its name suggests it has a military look, but it is nevertheless quite versatile.
The discrete crown guards differentiate it from the other field watches which usually do not have any. The hands and the indexes are luminous and are therefore very easy to read. They are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The watch does not draw too much attention but has some wrist presence despite its relatively small diameter. The Glycine calibre GL 224 powers this timepiece, it has a 38-hour power reserve. A date function is present at 3 o'clock, which is always nice to have!
The Combat 6 can be considered as a great Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra alternative due to it's similar design and dial configuration. It's the perfect balance between a sports and a dress watch. The case is 10.45mm thick and the lug width of 20mm will accommodate many straps. The watch has a resistance of 50m with a screw-down crown. The Glycine Combat 6 can be bought new for around $400.
The Seiko SARX013 and SARX015 have a pattern of vertical stripes on their dial. Those models share the same handsomeness and differ on the color of their dials: the SARX013 has a black dial, whereas the SARX15 has a white dial. They both offer a date function, visible through a framed window at 3 o'clock. Those models house the renowned Seiko 6R15 automatic movement providing hacking and hand winding with a power reserve of 50 hours. You can observe this movement though the hardlex mineral glass of the case back. We love the masculine design of the case with a diameter of 40mm and a thickness 11.2mm, it has ideal proportions for most wrists.
The vertical teak-style dial combined with the silver hands looks very luxurious and makes either of those Japanese models a great affordable alternative to the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. This timepiece is designed to be worn at all occasions and will suit all types of outfits. The hour markers and hands are lumed, offering decent legibility in the dark. They are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The black and white siblings have a 50m water resistance, we would not recommend them for crazy activities in the water, although they will survive splashes. From our experience, the SARX013 is harder to find than the SARX015. However, both models have been discontinued for a while but are still highly sought after so they definitely are part of the affordable watches that will retain their value. The lug width is 20mm, also a very popular dimension, the watches come with an elegant stainless steel bracelet. Those Seiko models had a retail price of $600 which means you get a lot of watch for the price, a great choice for sure!
The Presage SRPB Cocktail Time Series from the Japanese manufacturer Seiko offers amazing timepieces for the money, we love the SRPB41 and SRPB77 models. The design looks dressier than the SARB033 but can definitely be worn on a daily basis. The watch comes with a stainless steel bracelet but can also be had on a leather strap depending on the reference. The cocktail time series have a distinctive sunburst dial, we find the blue dial of the SRPB41 is gorgeous and plays with the light nicely.
The dial and hands are protected by a hardlex crystal. The automatic movement is a reliable Seiko 4R35 offering a 41hour power reserve at 21600vph. The case is 40.5mm wide (without crown) and 11.8mm thick, meaning it has a healthy wrist presence. The lug width of the SRPB41 is 20mm and it offers a 50m water resistance.
The Blue Moon Cocktail model from Seiko Presage is characterized by its blue dial inspired by a cocktail, the blue moon. It is definitely a watch that will receive compliments!
As you have probably noticed, we like Orient here, this manufacturer offers affordable watches with their own in-house movement. Their sub-brand Orient Star is no exception, and on top of that, their Orient Star Classic model comes with a power reserve complication! The watch sports an Orient 40N52 caliber which you can admire through the transparent case back. The lens is made of mineral crystal and it’s available with a black, blue or white dial.
This timepiece has a very refined look, the model with white dial and blue hands (SAF02003W0) is a stunner. Dials with Roman numerals are present on the Orient Star Elegant Classic models like the SEL09004W0. The Orient Star Classic has no lume, and is designed to be worn at the office: with a diameter of 38.5mm and 13.4mm, it will easily slide under the sleeves of a suit. The water resistance is 50m, meaning it will handle water splashes with confidence, but not follow you in a dive. It retails at around $650 but you can easily find it for less on eBay.
Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic H32515555. This watch has a silver-tone stainless steel case that comes with a brown leather strap. The fixed stainless steel bezel gives a great look to it, making it similar to the Omega AT.
The dial has a very classic yet refined design with silver guilloche with and index hour markers. Arabic numerals mark the 6, 9 and 12 o'clock positions minute markers around the outer rim. The hands are luminous making this watch very polyvalent and easy to read in the dark! The Viewmatic sport an automatic Hamilton Caliber H-10 with an amazing 80-hour power reserve.
To top it all off the glass is made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and it has a see-through case back! The case size has comfortable dimensions with a 40mm diameter without crown and 13mm thickness. The lug width of 20mm makes this watch a strap monster.
The Seiko SARB033 ($350 On the used market), also called baby Grand Seiko due to its similarity with its big sister (SBGR001 retailing in the $2k range on the used market). Discontinued in 2018, this watch saw its value increase by up 25% in a few months. This model was only available on the Japanese domestic market (JDM) but is easy to find on eBay. It is still very desirable to this day.
The execution of the black dial is classy and the design is timeless. The watch features a date window at 3 o'clock. The automatic mechanical movement 6R15 - which can be seen through the see-through case back - is the same as the one used in the Seiko Brightz range, priced at the upper $1000 level. The 6R15 movement has a generous 50-hour power reserve. The diameter of this watch is ideal to me, 38mm makes it wearable in all conditions, whether it's while wearing a suit, or going for a walk on a sunny day. The thickness is 11.2mm.
The glass is sapphire crystal, with no anti-reflective coating (probably to keep the cost down). The stainless steel bracelet received some criticism, but for this price, you will get a lot of watch for the money. This watch is a strap monster, I own one and it will fit a big range of straps, you will find me currently wearing it on a honey leather strap from Two-stitch straps. Watch resistance is 100 meters.
If you do not like the black dial, the Seiko SARB035 offers the same package but with an off-white dial. Buying one of those SARB models will be one of your best decisions.
The Longines Conquest Classic is a great alternative to the Rolex Explorer or the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra as it has similar traits. Nevertheless, it also has its own identity. Longines is a very reputable Swiss brand with a rich history that provides very high quality watches.
The 40mm diameter case is in stainless steel case and has a classic looking fixed bezel. The movement is Longines Calibre L619/888 providing you with 42 hours of power reserve at 28800 vph. The glass is made of sapphire crystal which is scratch resistant. The watch is water resistant at 50 meters / 165 feet. It has numerals in the same arrangement as the Rolex Explorer and has a date window at 3 o'clock.
The black dial of the L2.7184.108.40.206 is very nice and will remind you of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Skyfall and Spectre dials. This watch is perfect for every occasion and its quality will not disappoint you!
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