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 126.96.36.199.06.001.
The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra line launched in 2002 as a more refined member of the Seamaster sports watch family. Today’s Aqua Terra 188.8.131.52.06.001 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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