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  • Watch Comp: OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean vs. TAG Heuer Aquaracer

    You asked for it, you got it: C&C’s first head-to-head watch comparison. Here is the criteria by which these two watches will be judged:

    • Price Point
    • Functionality
    • Movement
    • Materials/Composition (i.e. stainless steel, sapphire crystal)

    Criteria is subject to change based on your feedback, so please let us know what you think and what you’d like to see next!

    OMEGA Seamaster vs TAG Heuer Aquaracer

    Obviously, this Seamaster model is a higher-end time piece than the Aquaracer. Both are automatic dive watches with similar functions, though, so how do they compare?

    Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two watches’ specs:

    OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean ( TAG Heuer Aquaracer (WAJ2114.BA0871)
    Case Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
    Bracelet Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
    Crystal Sapphire Sapphire
    Water Resistance 600m 500m
    Clasp Fold Clasp Fold Clasp
    Movement Automatic Automatic
    Movement/Caliber OMEGA 8500 Caliber 5
    Bezel Function Unidirectional Unidirectional
    Clasp Fold Clasp Fold Clasp
    Dial Color Black Black
    Calendar Date Date
    Case Diameter 45.5mm 43mm
    Case Thickness 17mm 13.3mm
    Weight 1 lbs 1 lb
    MSRP $6,200 $2,850

    From an aesthetics perspective, the two watches are extremely similar. The Seamaster is a bit beefier than the Aquaracer and weighs more as a result. The two big discrepancies are price and movement/caliber.

    TAG Heuer Aquaracer and OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean

    There’s certainly a correlation between the different movements and price. The OMEGA calibre 8500 movement is heralded for its accuracy. It’s a new movement, designed from the ground-up by OMEGA just years ago. Its Hour Vision Co-Axial escapement minimizes friction between parts, creating a more efficient timekeeping piece. The escapement is capable of oscillating 220,752,000 times annually, and the 8500 also features a twin barrel for added power. The movement features a 60-hour power reserve and 39 jewels.

    OMEGA Calibre 8500

    OMEGA Calibre 8500

    TAG Heuer’s Caliber 5 movement is a Swiss ETA 2824 movement. The larger-scale production of the ETA movement makes it less expensive than OMEGA’s 8500 movement. Many watch enthusiasts harp on ETA movements for being less complex and mass-produced. The ETA movement, nonetheless, has proven itself to be a competent one, which is why so many watch manufacturers chose to use it.

    TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Movement

    TAG Heuer Aquaracer WAJ2114.BA0871 case back

    Conclusion: All snobbery and preferences aside, here’s an objective look at the two watches:

    • They’re both automatic watches, but their movements are apples to oranges. If you want to buy a watch because you appreciate automatic movements in general, both are fine choices. If you want to be part of a more exclusive club and wear a watch with an in-house movement, of the two, the OMEGA is up your alley.
    • Both watches use a stainless steel casing and bracelet and have a sapphire crystal.
    • If you want to buy a watch with a special automatic movement, the OMEGA is the obvious choice. It’s a “performance” movement, and is more expensive to service than a standard ETA movement.
    • The TAG Heuer Aquaracer  does the same thing as the OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean for less. Both have respectable automatic movements – ETA has proven itself to be more than competent, which is why so many watch brands elect to use it as their movement. OMEGA should be applauded for having a go at an in-house movement and doing an extraordinary job.

    The winner is your decision. It’s a matter of why you want an automatic dive watch. (Personally, if you choose TAG, I’d recommend a new Aquaracer – I think they look much better.)

    Let us know what you think, and what you’d like to see in a future watch comparison!

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    Ryan Roberts

    Ryan Roberts

    Ryan is the Director of Watch Valuation at Crown & Caliber. He is an Atlanta native and graduate of Furman University. Ryan is an avid tennis player and also enjoys hiking and volunteering.
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    1. OMEGA BY A MILE in this battle. Also I don’t really agree at all with this statement “From an aesthetics perspective, the two watches are extremely similar.” These watches are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in my humble opinion in just about every way.

    2. Without a doubt the Omega. It is bigger, more stylish and has an incredibly accurate in-house movement with 60 hrs power reserve, as apposed to the TAG off-the-shelf movement with 38 hrs power reserve. You get what you pay for.

    3. I’m not sure this is a fair comparison.

      The Tag Heuer is not COSC certified, so it basically an automatic watch versus a chronometer.

      The Tag has 38 hours of power reserve versus 60-65 of the Omega.

      The Omega 8500 has a longer warranty period, longer gaps between service, and hold their value better.

      I also think that it should be noted that the Omega has the ability to adjust just the hour hand without stopping the movement; a very useful trick when changing timezones.

      And the Tag is half the price.

      • You make some great points. We did address the fact that the difference in price between the Planet Ocean and the Aquaracer essentially boils down to the quality of the movements inside, which determines the great discrepancies between reserve power and the time between servicing. So yes, there are some notable differences that you’ve brought up and we also talked about, but as the watches are comparable in their functionality, it really boils down to personal preference and what matters most to you.

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