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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Unlike my last, needlessly personal thread, I hope that this one should actually prove of relevance to other people. When I named the Electric Blue as the "most beautiful Seamaster", I really only meant most beautiful SMP. Certainly, the Seamaster name carries a long history of extraordinary watches. I had my eye on a calendar-at-6 bumper for quite a while and almost bought a blue and white cal. 1040 chronograph, but the blue Aqua Terra was the first Omega watch I handled in person and I've been smitten by it ever since. I don't think anyone would object when I say that it's certainly one of the most beautiful watches Omega has ever made.

It's also the most difficult watch I've ever photographed. I've worked with a number of watches with complex dial textures in the past (Seiko Direct Drive Moonphase, Seiko "Cocktail"), but this one takes the cake. It's not that it's extremely ornate, but that it's so dynamic. The sunburst texturing is very subtle, but the effect is that the watch shifts from a uniform, nearly black Prussian blue into a slate, glaucous blue. It's hard to describe and harder to capture in a photograph. This shot is probably the closest:



A closeup of the dial:



Pretty nice, isn't it? I figured that I should show a comparison of it and the Electric Blue SMP. The dials are quite different. The EB is as flashy as its name, without being gaudy. The Aqua Terra is subdued and refined; the dial texturing takes coaxing to be seen. No one could miss the EB's SMP waves.




This is the 2503.80 model, 39mm diameter on bracelet. The strap in the shot is the Hirsch Modena, an affordable and apt stand-in for the Omega OEM alligator. The bracelet clasp has a sliding mechanism so it's both single-fold and small and comfortable to wear. I'm not sure of the clasp's long-term durability, but it is certainly clever and unobtrusive.



Click the pictures for high resolution copies.














 

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Wow! your photo's are nothing short of stunning! You have captured the AT in it's true essence.

Thanks for sharing
 

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It's funny, whenever I see decent pics of any of the dials of the MKI AT I always think that that is the best dial.

Brilliant pictures and a lovely watch - congratulations.
 

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A modern classic. Always liked how Omega did the clasp on that bracelet. And the watch looks fantastic on the brown alligator strap. Beautiful.
 

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I couldn't agree on the EB (the only modern SMP I truly dislike) but I cannot argue with this one. I was on/off about buying one of these for two years before the 8500 came out and those picture make me wish I'd gone for it when they were still available new. Absolutely beautiful.
 

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Wow! These photos really do the sunburst dial proper justice. Very impressive. Though they are all stunningly beautiful shots, it's actually the third photo, the watch box one, that seems the most true to life for me. My favorite strap setup for mine is the OEM deployant on black genuine alligator... You really have to try something similar sometime.

Now that I've had mine for a while, I can honestly say that I love this blue dial version as much, and in some respects even more, than my previous coveted white and blue dial AT. It does casual just as well, and yet, it is also a decidedly much better dress watch. I'm very much enamored of mine, and I plan to never let it go!

Congrats again. Nice choice for your "last" new Omega. Please feel free to post more photos as you inevitably try it out on more straps. I'm going to go swap out my new Speedy for the AT now....

|>
 

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Terrific photos as always Shane... BEAUTIFUL Seamaster for sure!
 

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What a gorgeous watch! The deep blue dial reminds me of my grandfather's vintage Seiko automatic.
 

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That AT is a worthy rival to the EB in looks. It is amazingly beautiful.
 

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I've never really taken to the old AT but your pictures have me changing my mind and I can definitely see why some people like it.
 

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Amazing Pics! That beautiful blue dial and brown leather straps combo looks awesome.
 

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Wonderful pictures. What I really like about these AT's are the pointed hour hands. I'm not sure for what aesthetic reason they decided to file down the hour hand on the new AT's.
 

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Wonderful pictures. What I really like about these AT's are the pointed hour hands. I'm not sure for what aesthetic reason they decided to file down the hour hand on the new AT's.
IMO, the ur-AT is more elegant than the new AT in just about all aspects of its design. The 8500 AT is a strikingly handsome design in its own right, but it's just that -- more handsome than elegant. Just very different aesthetics. The current AT is much heavier/bolder in its detailing.

We had discussed the hands in detail a while ago, and I think we came to the conclusion that the truncated hands were meant to reflect the chunkier faceted indices. I've really grown to love the new AT, but one has to admit they truly failed to carry on the elegant simplicity of the original. It's as if the design brief was completely reconceptualized. They were, however, successful in creating a high end feeling design that has no direct rivals in the marketplace.
 

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IMO, the ur-AT is more elegant than the new AT in just about all aspects of its design. The 8500 AT is a strikingly handsome design in its own right, but it's just that -- more handsome than elegant. Just very different aesthetics. The current AT is much heavier/bolder in its detailing.

We had discussed the hands in detail a while ago, and I think we came to the conclusion that the truncated hands were meant to reflect the chunkier faceted indices. I've really grown to love the new AT, but one has to admit they truly failed to carry on the elegant simplicity of the original. It's as if the design brief was completely reconceptualized. They were, however, successful in creating a high end feeling design that has no direct rivals in the marketplace.

I'd go along with every word of that. I'd guess their thinking was something along the lines of not wanting the AT to overlap the pure dress watch DeVilles and the Connies (which I guess (but not swear) are supposed to be dress watches with the exception of the Double Eagle). The new one fills a gap at the dressier end of the Seamaster range rather than bridging a gap between the the Seamaster and DeVille ranges.
That's how it seems to me, anyway.
 

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ASRSPR, your photos are simply stunning. Through the lighting and background / prop selection, they have (for want of a better description) an almost magazine or advertisment like quality that would not look out of place in an OEM website or brochure. Just great!

IMO, the ur-AT is more elegant than the new AT in just about all aspects of its design. The 8500 AT is a strikingly handsome design in its own right, but it's just that -- more handsome than elegant. Just very different aesthetics. The current AT is much heavier/bolder in its detailing.
Dixan, I definitely agree with you that Omega have moved away from the elegant simplicity with the AT 8500, although to be fair I can only judge this from photos, as I've never held an AT 2500 in my hand. I do like what they have achieved with the 8500 though, and I feel very comfortable wearing it with casual clothing (jeans/t-shirt). I'm not convinced that this would be the case with the 2500 (although others with photos might change my mind).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I got sent to Texas to recruit college kids, so I've been so busy that I haven't had time to respond to my own thread! So, thanks everyone for the kind words.

It's funny, whenever I see decent pics of any of the dials of the MKI AT I always think that that is the best dial.

Brilliant pictures and a lovely watch - congratulations.
Taking macro pictures brings out details I had never noticed earlier, like how the indices are terraced, with a trapezoidal base and a second triangular level. I've also noticed that the lume dots aren't very well-formed. Nothing that's really noticeable without a loupe, but definitely not uniform. I wonder how the AT's dial manufacturing process differs from the SMP's, where the lume is printed very straight - perhaps it's hand-applied?

I couldn't agree on the EB (the only modern SMP I truly dislike) but I cannot argue with this one. I was on/off about buying one of these for two years before the 8500 came out and those picture make me wish I'd gone for it when they were still available new. Absolutely beautiful.
Alas, my EB pictures aren't universally convincing then. At some point I felt similarly (I bought the EB originally to cannibalize in order to build a 2254), but it really grew on me after I got it. Now, like Fr. John, I wear the EB more than my 2254.

Wow! These photos really do the sunburst dial proper justice. Very impressive. Though they are all stunningly beautiful shots, it's actually the third photo, the watch box one, that seems the most true to life for me. My favorite strap setup for mine is the OEM deployant on black genuine alligator... You really have to try something similar sometime.

Now that I've had mine for a while, I can honestly say that I love this blue dial version as much, and in some respects even more, than my previous coveted white and blue dial AT. It does casual just as well, and yet, it is also a decidedly much better dress watch. I'm very much enamored of mine, and I plan to never let it go!

Congrats again. Nice choice for your "last" new Omega. Please feel free to post more photos as you inevitably try it out on more straps. I'm going to go swap out my new Speedy for the AT now....

|>
I've always liked the blue/brown combination more than blue/black - reminds me of sailing ships, I guess. The dial really shifts around alot; after wearing it exclusively during my travels, I think that you've got a point. The sunburst is a really subtle effect when there's a uniform light, like on an overcast day, but it's stronger when the light is less diffuse. I think this holds true for my photos - the shots where it's less obvious are those with more balanced light ratios. I hope I was more successful in capturing how much it can shift in tone from an inky, navy blue to almost a slate gray.

IMO, the ur-AT is more elegant than the new AT in just about all aspects of its design. The 8500 AT is a strikingly handsome design in its own right, but it's just that -- more handsome than elegant. Just very different aesthetics. The current AT is much heavier/bolder in its detailing.

We had discussed the hands in detail a while ago, and I think we came to the conclusion that the truncated hands were meant to reflect the chunkier faceted indices. I've really grown to love the new AT, but one has to admit they truly failed to carry on the elegant simplicity of the original. It's as if the design brief was completely reconceptualized. They were, however, successful in creating a high end feeling design that has no direct rivals in the marketplace.
The angled date window of the new ATs follows the same motif. I agree with you about them I think - it's certainly a very attractive if more, ah, aggressively masculine style. Some of the old bumper Seamaster calendars pulled off trapezoidal date windows with great elegance, but the AT8500 is clearly going for something else.
 
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