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TAG Heuer Aquaracer VS Omega Seamaster

Let's compare these two in order to determine which of these diver's watches is the perfect match for you.

We are often taking calls from people who are making considerations between two diving watches. We get asked all sorts of questions about the differences between the brands. We are also often asked about the differences in features and specifications between the various watches from these brands. More often than not, all of these question are articulated as a single, not-so-clear-where-it's-coming-from question:

"What's better, an Aquaracer or a Seamaster?".

While these two watches are both excellent diving watches, each in their own right, we like to get to the root of the question to find context as to where it is coming from in order to give you the answer you are really looking for.

Let's compare these two watches on many levels including and not limited to:

  • Water resistance
  • Features made specifically for divers
  • Construction & craftsmanship
  • Brand prestige & brand recognition
  • Aesthetics
  • Chronometric accuracy
  • Warranty periods
  • Resale value

In addition, we'll try and cover any other thought which may come to mind during the purchase consideration process for an item this important.

Aquaracer VS Seamaster

Omega Seamaster Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Longer Power Reserve - The 48 hour power reserve allows you to take the watch off your wrist for longer periods of time before the mainspring becomes completely unwound.
  • Co-Axial Escapement - The Omega Co-Axial escapement allows you to wait longer intervals between regular servicing and mechanical maintenances.
  • Accuracy - The Omega Seamaster 300M is a COSC certified Chronometer. This means that it had gone through 3rd party chronometric testing to ensure an accuracy of -4/+6 seconds per day. Once this level of precision is achieved, it is awarded the designation of Chronometer.
  • Longer Warranty Period - Since shortly after introducing the Co-Axial escapement, Omega extended their warranty period to 4 years.
  • Brand Prestige - Omega's brand has more prestige than TAG Heuer and is a more internationally recognized brand compared to TAG Heuer. Omega is, in fact, the 2nd most recognized Swiss watch brand in the world with only one watchmaker, Rolex above them.
  • Resale Value - Omega typically sees a higher average resale value than a TAG Heuer. Of course many variable are considered when evaluating each watch and the model itself is often one of them.
  • James Bond / 007 Connection - A Seamaster has been on the wrist of every James Bond character ever since Pierce Brosnan graced the world with his role in 007 Golden Eye. Yeah, he may be a fictional MI-6 super spy (…or is he?) but oftentimes people identify with these seductive archetypes and emulate them with their fashion.

CONS:

  • Higher Price Tag - The list price on an Omega Seamaster Diver 300M is about $1,200 more than the TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5.
  • Water Resistance - The Seamaster Diver has 300 meters (1,000 feet) of water resistance compared to the Aquaracer 500 m Calibre 5's 500 meters (1,650 feet).
  • Weight on The Wrist - The Seamaster is a heavier watch than this particular Aquaracer and this has a lot to do with the case material. The TAG is made of lightweight titanium whereas the Omega is made of a heavier metal; steel.
  • Strap Options - Although the steel bracelet of the Seamaster feels heavier on the wrist than the rubber strap of the Aquaracer, there is a silver lining. There is a different model of the Seamaster Diver 300M which comes with a super lightweight NATO (fabric) strap in addition to a steel bracelet. This just so happens to be the new 007 James Bond Commander's watch.
  • Scratches - After wearing the Seamaster Diver 300M you'll find that the stainless steel case would get scratched more often than the titanium carbide (TiC) coated titanium case of the Aquaracer model# wak2180.ft6027.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M black dial 212.30.41.20.01.003

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Lower Price Tag - The list price on the Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5 is about $1,200 less than a Seamaster Diver 300M.
  • Water Resistance - This TAG has 500 meters (1,650 feet) of water resistance compared to the Seamaster's 300 meters (1,000 feet).
  • Weight on The Wrist - The Aquaracer is made of lightweight titanium material whereas the Seamaster, on the other hand, is a heavier stainless steel watch and this has a lot to do with the case material and stainless steel bracelet compared to a rubber strap.
  • Strap Options - The rubber strap of the Aquaracer feels lighter on the wrist as mentioned earlier. There are different models which come with a heavier steel bracelet.
  • Scratches - The titanium carbide (TiC) coated titanium case of the Aquaracer model# wak2180.ft6027 featured here is highly scratch resistant compared to the stainless steel material that is used in the construction of the Seamaster.

CONS:

  • Shorter Power Reserve - The 38 hour power reserve allows you to take the watch off your wrist for shorter periods of time before the mainspring becomes completely unwound compared to the 48 hour power reserve of the Seamaster.
  • No Co-Axial Escapement - The Omega Co-Axial escapement allows you to wait longer intervals between regular servicing and mechanical maintenances. Therefore the Aquaracer will need more frequent servicing.
  • Accuracy - The TAG Heuer Aquaracer is not a COSC certified Chronometer like the Omega Seamaster. This means that technically it can run either faster or slower than the Omega. TAG claimed that they don't pay the extra to have a 3rd party like COSC test their movements in order to keep the price more attractive and pass the savings on to the consumer. Then again there's no way to prove that they have the same accuracy without the chronometric testing that is done by COSC.
  • Shorter Warranty Period - Since shortly after introducing the Co-Axial escapement, Omega extended their warranty period to 4 years. TAG Heuer, on the other hand, only has a 2-Year warranty period.
  • Lower Resale Value - TAG Heuer watches typically see a lower average resell value than Omega and this has a lot to do with the brand value and prestige. Although you may find certain models of TAG Heuer watches or more vintage Heuer watches that fetch a higher resale value due to their rarity.
  • Brand Prestige - TAG Heuer has less brand prestige than Omega's brand.
  • Brand Recognition - TAG has a less internationally recognized brand compared to Omega. In fact they are the 15th most recognized Swiss watch brand compared to the 2nd most recognized Swiss watch brand in the world; Omega watches.
  • No 007 Connection - Although the Aquaracer never had any roles in 007 films. The Heuer/ TAG Heuer Diver model# 980.031 once did though. It's actually hard to tell which brand it was since TAG Purchased Heuer watches during the filming of James Bond "The Living Daylights" starring Timothy Dalton. So it could have been one with either a model with the TAG Heuer logo or one with the older Heuer logo.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5

 

Should I Buy an Aquaracer or Seamaster?

In terms of diving specs, it seems like the Aquaracer 500M Calibre 5 has more to offer for a lower price.

However in terms of accuracy, brand prestige, brand recognition, warranty period, servicing & maintenance and resale value …the Seamaster 300M wins. Of course, this also comes at a higher cost than the Aquaracer.

Both brands are historically significant. Both brands have some pretty iconic watches and pretty reliable watches.

To answer this question in a way that is custom-tailored for you, you will most likely have to leverage the things that you value most in a watch against the price. After doing this you will find out what aspects of each watch you find most valuable. This should help you determine if things like brand prestige and resell value are worth spending more money on or not.

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