Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra vs Grand Seiko Spring Drive USA Edition SBGA384,

Omega vs Grand Seiko is an unconventional battle. The Omega watch brand ranks among the largest and most prolific in the world; Grand Seiko manufactures just over 10,000 watches per year. But take two rose gold watches of similar size, compare their price, fit, movements, and pricing, and the unlikely comparison becomes inevitable. That’s right: Grand Seiko watches are a legitimate challenge, and the SBGA384 is a natural match for Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra line launched in 2002 as a more refined member of the Seamaster sports watch family. Today’s Aqua Terra debuted at Baselworld 2009, and it represents the first Seamaster Aqua Terra to include a caliber 8500 co-axial chronometer movement. At the time, standard Aqua Terra case sizes included 43mm, 41.5mm, and today’s versatile 38.5mm.

Omega’s rose gold is better described as “red” gold. This 18-karat alloy is rich and intense, and Omega fashions the Aqua Terra case in the image of other Speedmaster and Seamaster models with lyre lugs and slim casebands. A recessed screw-down crown enjoys a measure of protection against impace and shearing; water resistance of the case is 150-meters. The dial includes Omega’s “Teak Deck Concept,” an embossed pattern of vertical strakes that evokes the deck of a yacht. All hour indices and hands are crafted from red gold; super luminova ensures visibility in the dark.

Beneath a sapphire display caseback, Omega fits a caliber 8500 co-axial chronometer movement. The dual mainspring barrels permit a 60-hour power reserve, and the George Daniels-conceived co-axial escapement meters that energy with great efficiency. Durability is provided by a full balance bridge with a free sprung balance, and Omega’s Si14 silicon hairspring ensures antimagnetic resistance. A time zone feature permits independent adjustment of the hour hand, and the caliber 8500 features stop seconds (hacking seconds) for precise setting.

Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive Automatic USA Edition SBGA384 is a 40mm limited edition of 50 pieces solely for the US market. Its 44GS-style case is nuanced, compelling, and polished to a mirror shine with Grand Seiko’s “zaratsu” tin plate polishing method. Despite the severity of the faceted 44GS case, the Spring Drive Automatic is thinner in profile than the Aqua Terra. As with the Omega, Grand Seiko fits an alligator leather strap with a red gold deployant clasp.

The SBGA384, like its SBGA387 and SBGA385 counterpart models, features a unique “Kira Zuri” dial pattern that parallels “shiny painting” technique used in traditional Japanese craft arts. The dial of the 387 can be described as champagne metallic with the Kira Zuri pattern evenly distributed throughout. A date window and power reserve indicator feature on the dial along with all-applique hour indices and date aperture.

Under its sapphire display caseback, the Grand Seiko SBGA387 includes a Spring Drive caliber 9R15 automatic movement. All energy, motion, and motive power is provided by the mainspring; an induced electrical current awakens a quartz crystal that regulates unidirectional governing wheel by electromagnetic force. The smooth sweep of the seconds hand is a signature of Seiko Spring Drive, and the 9R15 movement is a special edition that features a hand-selected quartz crystal for precision of -10/+10 per month. Stop seconds, a quickset date, and a 72-hour power reserve are provided. Water resistance of the SBGA384’s rose gold case is rated to 100 meters.

Omega vs Grand Seiko starts now!

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The Grand Seiko Spring Drive USA Edition is encased in 40mm of rose gold surrounding a silver kira-zuri dial on a brown leather strap. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, date, and power reserve indicator. The watch also measures 12.9mm in thickness and 46mm from lug-to-lug.

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m features a 38.5mm 18k rose gold case surrounding a grey Teak dial on a brown alligator strap with an 18k rose gold deployant buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds and date. The watch also measures 13.1mm in thickness and 45.4mm from lug-to-lug.

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HT Z says:

Although GS wins on its appearance, but in the end it’s not pure breed mechanical. It’s a splinter stopping me picking up GS rather than the Omega AT. Oh btw, I prefer the caseback of this AT than the GS’s.

David Datura says:

Both very handsome watches. But I’m a huge GS SD fan, so given the choice I’d go with that.

The Gorn says:

Love the GS

christoffer pedersen says:

its not a match….. GS wipes the floor with omega….

Richard Davis says:

My first watch, not a gift, was the Snowflake. Bought the Aquaterra next…..great review!

highnrising says:

Considering that that I’d have to pay $29,500 (or “pretty close to it”) to acquire that Grand Seiko vs. $8,500 “all day long” for the Aqua Terra, this is not really a contest at all. If I’m going to buy one or the other, it’s the Omega. If Santa Claus is buying, I might take the GS.

Artemio Victor III Sanchez says:

The dial does it for me GS !

Tim Mosso's Sunglasses says:

I see that GS dial and think to myself “haute”.

F Poynton says:

Such a remarkable well thought out and clearly presented review – wow. As a work of art ,formal dress piece , or for a addition to a high end collection , the GS is the winner on craftsmanship. – it is absolutely gorgeous – however the Omega has such tremendous value , versatility , beauty , ease of ownership , history of design and overall daily functionality that I think it would be my choice in a limited collection situation.

Kevin C says:

Please bring back the old vs videos with the specs and prices were listed.

twalls says:

Gs is winning a lot of these verses…

Alvin Aw says:

Only with this side by side comparison we can clearly see how well finished GS is. Wow GS is super impressive!

Craig Sekowski says:

Both beautiful…a wish list for my collection

Johnny Chung says:

GS for me, 44GS case plus the master craftsmanship, and the smooth seconds hand. but it would have been even nicer if they move the power reserve to the back of the watch.

Umar H says:

That GS is so much better in terms of finishing and craftsmanship

Justin Hill says:

I’m an Aqua Terra lover, but the GS wins this one for me!

Jon Andresen says:

You have a great job sir.

David says:

GS wins this one for me.

DLH says:

Omega can’t compete with the GS, GS is better in every aspect

Excellent Listener says:

I would be proud to wear both of them, if I had to pick one it would be the GS

David Williams says:

Hi Tim – great review as usual. Question – do the other AT variants have the jump-hour feature? GS is stunning.

Jake Payne says:

I would take the GS all day long. I have eve issues and, not only is it easier for me to read, it’s the more beautiful of the two, in my opinion. Lots of good information. Thanks, Tim.

Canon Yeo says:

Good that you compare the thickness. One of the main complains we see people says is that they would not buy a GS bec of its thickness. Somehow the definition of a Dress watch and Casual everyday watch eludes them. Seiko has their smaller and thinner watches in their Credor line. These are serious dress watches when you suit up, but, then, how often do you do that? GS are more robust and versatile. They are designed for everyday use. They are rugged especially when you swap them with a leather strap.

Most of GS casual wear automatic watches are within 12.3mm to 12.8mm which is thinner than the Aquaterra. Their manual wind SBGW and the latest SBGK at 11.6mm tk is a fraction thicker than the Omega Tressor at 11mm, but, then, it does win over a longer power reserve.
Did you see that latest SBGK? These are serious hand-made watches. Omega is not a match. You got to move up to Patek.

insidiousengineering says:

GS no contest.

Jon Chaton says:

GS in this one but a dark dial would have been killer!

Abdul Rahman Abdel Razek says:

Great VS Tim, I have been yearning getting a Grand Seiko for a while now, and especially with a spring drive movement, and a snowflake dial, and you make my decision more complex now. This GS ticks all the boxes, just an awesome watch.

Bubba B says:

GS is the best. You don’t have to look at the rest.

David Abraham says:

I think a globemaster may have been a better comparison to the gs

Sb Sb says:

Omega wins. Grand Seiko is over hyped and over priced.

Keitumetse Mabuza says:

The omega for me, a sucker for a blue dial

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