The Omega Aqua Terra and the Rolex Explorer are often compared because of their almost similar designs. They’re both entry-level timepieces that people can consider when they want to purchase their first luxury watch.
Although they have some similarities, the two watches have different histories, features, and purposes. These pieces of information will help you choose which of the two is best suited to your preference.
The Rolex Explorer
The prototype Explorer watches were sent to Himalayan expeditions to test their toughness. Rolex’s aim was to develop a reliable mountaineer tool watch that will work at -50°C and greatly reduced oxygen levels.
In 1989, Rolex designed a versatile Explorer model that can be worn as a casual or formal watch. From then on, the Rolex Explorer became an icon of simplicity and elegance that can be worn on any occasion.
- Highly accurate in keeping time
- A versatile design that can be partnered with any outfit
- Excellent lume brightness
- Durable and shock-resistant
- Comfortable to wear
- Water-resistant up to 100m
- Power reserve of up to 48 hours
- No day or date window
- Quite expensive for its basic features
- Lack of anti-reflective treatment on the crystal
The Omega Aqua-Terra
It was in 1932 when Omega experimented on developing diver watches. Through constant improvements, they were able to craft the renowned Seamaster collection. The Aqua Terra came to life in 1993 and has become one of the entry-level watches of the luxury brand.
The Aqua Terra gained massive popularity when it was seen worn by the infamous James Bond in one of the film installments. Omega even made a James Bond Limited Edition timepiece which became a sought-after item for collectors.
- Excellent lume brightness
- It has more design options and strap styles
- Has an easy to read watch face
- Affordable entry-level luxury watch
- Water-resistant up to 150m
- Power reserve of up to 55 hours
- It’s less precise compared to the Rolex Explorer
- It has a lower resale value, except for the limited-edition models
- Small date window
- A bit heavy to wear
Head-to-Head: Aqua Terra vs Explorer
Here’s a comparison between the Aqua Terra from Omega and the Explorer model from Rolex.
The Aqua Terra measures 41.5mm and is made of stainless steel. It has a see-through case back made of sapphire crystal.
There are smaller Aqua Terra sizes, but they’re mostly for ladies. Their width measurements range from 30mm to 38.5mm.
On the other hand, the Rolex Explorer’s case measures 39mm in diameter and is made of 904L stainless steel that’s highly resistant to corrosion. It’s the same material used in manufacturing airplanes and in dealing with delicate chemical experiments.
Unlike the Aqua Terra, the Explorer has a solid case back made of the same 904L stainless steel material present in its body.
The fixed bezel of the Aqua Terra and the Explorer are both made of stainless steel.
The Aqua Terra’s black dial is notable for its Teak Concept pattern which is reminiscent of a luxury boat’s polished deck. On the outer dial, there are minute markers in 5-minute intervals. The luminescent material is applied to both hands and pointed index hour markers.
The co-axial Aqua Terra has a day display at the 12 o’clock position and a date window at the 6 o’clock position. The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating.
On the opposite corner, the Rolex Explorer sports a classic black dial. It doesn’t have a day-date complication like the Aqua Terra, but its simplicity makes it the best example of a watch that exhibits elegant sportiness.
The Rolex Explorer features to index and Arabic numeral hour markers made of white gold. Chromalight is applied on both hands and markers for easier visibility even under low-light conditions. All of these features are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The Aqua Terra uses a COSC-certified, caliber 8602 automatic movement. Its accuracy ranges from -4/+6 seconds a day.
The Explorer uses an in-house, COSC-certified, caliber 3132 automatic movement. Its accuracy ranges from -2/+2 seconds a day. The movement also comes with Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers to improve its durability and reliability.
Both the Aqua Terra and the Explorer have stainless steel bracelets. The difference is that the Explorer has the signature Oysterlock clasp, while the Aqua Terra has the regular push-button folding clasp.
While the Aqua Terra can be equipped with different strap styles according to your taste, the Explorer makes sure you won’t have to replace its vanilla strap. The Easylink system, along with the Oysterlock clasp, ensures the watch sits comfortably on your wrist.
The Aqua Terra has a water-resistance rating of 150m, while the Explorer has the standard 100-meter water resistance rating.
The most affordable Aqua Terra is priced around $2,750 to $3,700. The Rolex Explorer, on the other hand, is at least twice as expensive at $7,800.
In terms of quality, both the Aqua Terra and the Explorer are a cut above the rest. Their stylishness, design, and functionality also make them versatile accessories you can use for sports, casual, or formal occasions.
If you’re looking to buy an affordable luxury watch as a sort of investment, the Rolex Explorer is the better option because of its high resale value. But if you’re looking for an entry-level luxury watch, the Omega Aqua Terra is your best choice.