Watch advice - Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra vs Cartier Ballon Bleu?

Jul 14, 2009
607
8
Australia
I'm tossing up between these two watches:

Cartier 33mm SS Ballon Bleu automatic
http://www.cartier.us/collections/t...r/w6920071-ballon-bleu-de-cartier-watch-33-mm

Seamaster 30mm Aqua Terra automatic (SS, teak grey dial)
http://www.omegawatches.com/ladies/seamaster/aqua-terra-automatic/23110302006001

I'm looking for a classic watch that I can wear for the next 20 years. I'm pretty careful with my things so I wouldn't be banging the watch into walls all the time, but I'd still like a watch that is sturdy and will hold up well with frequent use. I have a pretty thin wrist, but can see one link on either side of the BB.

I have tried on both, both have a lot going for them, but there are a couple of concerns I have with both (none of which are deal breakers). The Omega is very comfortable on, but I think the face might be slightly too small for me. The Ballon Bleu looks great on but the strap is a bit stiff, I'm not sure if that is because it is new watch? Also am concerned that the case/strap will scratch easily as it is polished steel.

Based on what people have said, Cartier is more of a jewellery watch whereas Omega has a better movement and is sturdier?

Would any of you recommend one over the other?

Any thoughts or advice are highly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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nvie

29 countries...
O.G.
Oct 30, 2006
4,722
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Asia
I have the Aqua Terra Quartz in stainless steel, with diamond markers. Love the watch. You are right in terms of watch maker and jewellery watch. Do you have other watches?

I would go for Rolex if you are looking at wearing something 20 years down the road.

Between the 2, BB is trendier, AT is subtle, not in your face.
 

Collie5

Member
Jul 25, 2012
420
2
Northern California
I am an Omega person all the way. I have a Constellation and love it. BTW- My personal jeweler believes Omega is a better brand than Rolex, and would be his choice between the two. I like the look of the Omega better than the Cartier, and I believe the Omega to be more durable. Someone posted in another thread that they believed Omega to be a more "everyday" watch than a dressy watch, but they obviously haven't seen some of the dressy Omega's with the diamonds etc. I wear my Constellation with the mother of pearl face as my dressy watch. (unless I going to a VERY dressy or black tie event, which is rare for me) JMO
 
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Jul 14, 2009
607
8
Australia
I have the Aqua Terra Quartz in stainless steel, with diamond markers. Love the watch. You are right in terms of watch maker and jewellery watch. Do you have other watches?

I would go for Rolex if you are looking at wearing something 20 years down the road.

Between the 2, BB is trendier, AT is subtle, not in your face.
I don't have any high end watches, this one will be my first. I'm not a massive Rolex fan and the one Rolex I like is twice the price of both of these models. I'm not looking to spend that much at this point in time.

I am an Omega person all the way. I have a Constellation and love it. BTW- My personal jeweler believes Omega is a better brand than Rolex, and would be his choice between the two. I like the look of the Omega better than the Cartier, and I believe the Omega to be more durable. Someone posted in another thread that they believed Omega to be a more "everyday" watch than a dressy watch, but they obviously haven't seen some of the dressy Omega's with the diamonds etc. I wear my Constellation with the mother of pearl face as my dressy watch. (unless I going to a VERY dressy or black tie event, which is rare for me) JMO
Thank you for confirming the "watch maker vs jewellery" opinion! That's what's turning me towards the Omega, I heard that for the price, it is better value than Rolex if you are looking at the movement alone.

Omega! I think the quality of the movement is the most important aspect.
That's what's selling the AT at the moment. I love how the back of the case is transparent and you can see the movement!

I have the Omega AT you are considering & I love it. It runs beautifully & is classic & timeless.
Lolakitten, yes its a gorgeous watch! Would you have any modelling pictures? My only concern is that the face is too small and blends into the strap.
 
Jul 14, 2009
607
8
Australia
Thanks everyone for their replies! I haven't stopped thinking about this all day! Here's a list of what I want in a watch and how the two stack up so far:

Aesthetics: I want something that is classy, sleek and can transition from corporate wear to weekends out. I like something with a bit of a subtle edge, that is eye catching but doesn't scream "LOOK AT MY DESIGNER WATCH"
- BB: Ticks all the boxes, I love the roman numerals and the clean, simple face. Timeless elegance. Love the blue cabochon. I know this is a "jewellery watch" but I love the look. I can use my phone to tell the time! :P
- AT: Also a classic, clean and streamlined. I'm concerned the face "blends" into the strap too much and doesn't stand out as much as the BB. Also may be a bit too sporty? Just found out that Naomie Harris wears it in Skyfall. It looks lovely on her! http://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/product/omega-seamaster-aqua-terra-automatic-23110302006001

Movement: I'm a bit of a nerd here and want as good a movement as possible.
- BB: Calibre 076 is a standard ETA movement. Decent quality from what I have read
- AT: Omega 8520 is a highly rated co-axial movement. My understanding is that it has or will soon become an wholly Omega in house movement. As faintlymacabre mentioned earlier, AT wins this race easily.

Strap: Obviously a strap that wraps comfortably is important. Would prefer something that doesn't show too much wear over time
- BB: Strap seemed stiff when I tried it on, maybe its because its a new watch? Does this become more fluid over time? Polished steel worries me a bit, does it scratch easily?
- AT: Fits like a glove, love the fact it is brushed steel

Staying power: I think both have the ability to become classic pieces.

In summary - BB is more eye catching and looks like a piece of jewellery; Omega has the better movement, looks sportier and is harder wearing.

OK, I am still torn between the two! :confused1:
 
Dec 6, 2009
1,010
10
Washington, DC
Cartier movements at this lev are never going to be great but I would still pick the bb. Reason is bc I am not a sporty watch girl and find most sports watches too mad inline for my taste.

Also tbh, naomi probably wears omega bc they have a contract w the bond franchise. Daniel Craig wear omega in the movies but in real life he wears Rolex. Just something to consider, I would not put much stock by what you see on the silver screen
 

Collie5

Member
Jul 25, 2012
420
2
Northern California
I don't have any high end watches, this one will be my first. I'm not a massive Rolex fan and the one Rolex I like is twice the price of both of these models. I'm not looking to spend that much at this point in time.



Thank you for confirming the "watch maker vs jewellery" opinion! That's what's turning me towards the Omega, I heard that for the price, it is better value than Rolex if you are looking at the movement alone.



That's what's selling the AT at the moment. I love how the back of the case is transparent and you can see the movement!



Lolakitten, yes its a gorgeous watch! Would you have any modelling pictures? My only concern is that the face is too small and blends into the strap.
Just wanted to clarify what I said about my personal jeweler...his main business is watch and jewelry repair, although he does own a jewelry store and makes and sells gemstone jewelry, his specialty is watches. This is why his opinion on watches means more to me. He personally reccommends Omega over Rolex, and most other high end brands on the basis of the mechanics, reliability, and overall quality.
 
May 6, 2007
6,649
62
I like the Omega: super classic and under the radar. I do like BB very much but they are everywhere. Omega is a better watch mechanically.