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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for my first high-quality new watch and I've narrowed it down (I think :confused1:) to the Omega Speedmaster Pro, Rolex Air King or the Omega Aqua Terra. I love the Speedmaster for it's history but I can't decide if i prefer a more simple dial as a classic go-to daily wearer. In terms of the Air King and Aqua Terra, I'm leaning toward blue dials for some reason but not 100% sold on that idea just yet. I'm also looking for something that's not too big on the wrist. Maybe it's my love for the old ones, but I've come to like watches with not a lot of heft. My current collection is 95% vintage with lots of silver, gold and white dials (and mostly Omegas). I wanted to throw it out there to see what your general thoughts are on these three watches. I know the Speedmaster is very different than the AK and AT, so there's no right or wrong answer -- just thought it would be interesting to see what you all thought:wink:

And if any of you own any of these watches, feel free to throw in what you like/dislike about them:

Watch Photograph Analog watch White Light
 

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As a "daily wearer" my choice would be either the "Air King" or "Aqua Terra"-simply due to their increased water rating over the "Speedmaster".
However, my daily wear watches may see more abuse than yours might.
 

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The Aqua Terra is a great looking watch - but I wouldn't choose it over the Air King. The Omega's bracelet has a stupid half link as the only fine adjustment, while the Rolex's has micro-adjustments on the clasp and removable links. Have you looked at the plain Oyster Perpetual 116000? It's also got an excellent blue dial in the same layout without Air King, same smooth bezel, is 36 mm instead of 34, and no wart (cyclops date window). And don't get me started on the caliber 2500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Aqua Terra is a great looking watch - but I wouldn't choose it over the Air King. The Omega's bracelet has a stupid half link as the only fine adjustment, while the Rolex's has micro-adjustments on the clasp and removable links. Have you looked at the plain Oyster Perpetual 116000? It's also got an excellent blue dial in the same layout (without Air King, same smooth bezel, is 36 mm instead of 34, and no wart (cyclops date window). And don't get me started on the caliber 2500.
Thanks for the info, Dennis. I haven't looked at the Oyster Perpetual 116000 until now, but I just looked it up -- very sharp. I noticed the 116000 has numerals at 3, 6, and 9 instead of hour markers. Is it possible to find a model with only the bars? Price-wise, how does the OP 116000 compare to the Air King? Thanks again.
 

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The OP is quite a bit more - about $1000 I think. There are dial variations, but I don't know what's current since I haven't considered a Rolex for a long time. Since buying the blue dialed IWC Portifino there hasn't been a reason. Have you considered tracking down one like it? Reference # IW356405 mid-size 34 mm with a modified ETA 2892-A2. List was $2700-ish, and they made a 39 mm version # 356304.




The only noticable difference is the position of the date window. The smaller version's location cuts into the hour marker - see my pic in Wed 7/4's WRUW thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the advice. You guys have some great suggestions. I'm pretty sold on the Air King, but it looks as though they don't make this dial configuration anymore:

Watch Analog watch Photograph Light Product


I really like how clean this configuration is -- for some reason the 3-6-9 markers in the new models aren't quite singing to me.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. You guys have some great suggestions. I'm pretty sold on the Air King, but it looks as though they don't make this dial configuration anymore:

View attachment 32383

I really like how clean this configuration is -- for some reason the 3-6-9 markers in the new models aren't quite singing to me.
Look for a vintage version then. That dial was prevalent in the 60's, 70's and 80's. They can be had for anywhere from $750 - $1500 depending on condition and if the watch comes with box & papers.
 

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Look for a vintage version then. That dial was prevalent in the 60's, 70's and 80's. They can be had for anywhere from $750 - $1500 depending on condition and if the watch comes with box & papers.
Taking that a step further, why not consider a vintage Omega or Longines as well? IMHO, the Air King looks like a holdover from the '60s anyway with its end links, stick baton hands and dial layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Look for a vintage version then. That dial was prevalent in the 60's, 70's and 80's. They can be had for anywhere from $750 - $1500 depending on condition and if the watch comes with box & papers.
I love the vintages watches but I was hoping to pick up something a little newer as a daily wearer -- and something i could keep long enough that it'll become a nice vintage watch someday. I have around 10-12 vintage watches, so I'm pretty comfortable with that part of my collection. Right now my watch box is looking like a love-in with all my '60s-era watches

Taking that a step further, why not consider a vintage Omega or Longines as well? IMHO, the Air King looks like a holdover from the '60s anyway with its end links, stick baton hands and dial layout.
You're spot on about the '60s holdover look. I have a '70s era Seamaster that has a bit of the Air King look as well:

Watch Analog watch Silver Watch accessory Clock


I absolutely love this watch and try to maintain it by not wearing it on rainy days or in the brutal heat (plenty of that lately!) or when I'm doing anything active. The uncanny similarity is really one of the main reasons the Air King caught my eye. I figured I could have a similar look but in a modern daily wearer.

The good news is it appears as though the AK dial configuration I like was made through 2006. I would feel pretty comfortable with a used AK that's 6 or 7 years old....now I just have to find one in tip top condition
 
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