Is It Olympic Season AlreadyNovember 1, 2021
If it feels like we just got through with the 2020 Summer Olympics, it’s because we literally just did. The 2020 games taking place in 2021 meant the 2022 Winter Olympics are hot on the heels of the Tokyo games. Omega is celebrating early – about four months early to be exact – getting the party started with a new (and customary) special edition commemorative timepiece.
Today, it announced and unveiled the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Beijing 2022, which takes the standard 41mm Aqua Terra and sticks it in the freezer, giving it an icy aesthetic and some nice pops of color. This piece comes fitted to a stainless steel bracelet with its typical combination of brushed and polished finishing. The case is standard fare for the collection, but it’s under the crystal where we find the special stuff.
As an unofficial Olympic-watch judge, I have to say that the dial is taking home gold on this one – even without seeing it in the metal. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra continues its use of ceramic in dial-making, this time fashioning it out of white ceramic, but it doesn’t end there. Look closer and you’ll see the frost-finish pattern worked into the ceramic.
The design of the dial is bolstered by pops of blue and red, with blue for the hands and markers and red for the remaining dial accents. Turn the watch over and you’ll find a closed caseback (thank you) as well as a simple, clean engraving with the Beijing Olympic logo covering the METAS certified Omega caliber 8900.
Say what you want about the sheer volume of special edition Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watches released each year around all manner of events from the James Bond to the Olympiad, but I think it’s important for a major watchmaker – especially one that serves as the Official Timekeeper of the Games – to commemorate events like this. Plus, these special editions allow the brand to show a little fun and creativity.
Nowhere is that more evident than on that frosted-finish dial. I mean, it literally looks like packed snow on a mountain. I have to think this will look much cooler in person than it does in press photos – and it looks quite good in the press photos.
What I particularly like about this watch is that it works on its own, without the Olympic tie-in. There’s nothing about it that screams special edition. It’s not until you turn it over that you’re reminded of that fact. I’ve said it before, but the branded engraving is basically a secret between you and your wrist.
Overall, this is just a smart execution of an Aqua Terra. The red and blue accents provide a visually pleasing contrast against the stark, snowy, white of the ceramic dial. Plus, they make an already very legible watch even easier to read. Interestingly, it isn’t even the first Winter Olympics-themed watch released by Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra for the 2022 games. That was a far more colorful, though less snowy Seamaster Professional 300m. With 150m less water resistance, this Aqua Terra is certainly more fit for the slopes than the sea. But kudos to Omega for giving us such horological variety far in advance of the games.