The world’s most prestigious sailing race, the America’s Cup, was supposed to kick off in Bermuda yesterday with its Challenger Playoffs, but a lack of wind meant that the starting gun is expected to be fired today.
The weather may be unreliable, but timekeeping and precision measurement for the five teams competing to take on defending America’s Cup holder is vital; and that gives global watch brands an opportunity to attach their names to the global event.
Omega is backing Emirates Team New Zealand at the 35th America’s Cup, and has released two new timepieces associated with the event.
“There is much to admire about Emirates Team New Zealand and their qualities reflect many of Omega’s own,” says Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega.
“Firstly, there is a commitment to precision and a determination to push boundaries. They have a wonderful history; and of course, the craftsmanship of their boats is the ultimate example of beauty and design. To see Omega’s name across their sails is a great source of pride for our brand,”he adds.
Omega has unveiled two new timepieces for the race, one of which, the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta ETNZ Limited Edition, will be worn on board by the crew.
The watch, which is both analogue and digital, includes a Regatta function to keep track of the five-minute countdown to the start of the race.
A series of alarms, each with their own recognisable ringing sequence, gives the crew audible cues so they can concentrate fully on preparation. Once the race begins, the X-33 can then be used to measure progress.
The piece has a brushed titanium case with a black dial featuring blue rings and white transferred markings, as well as cut outs for digital readings.
Analogue time is displayed by a skeletonised black-and-white hour hand, a red minute hand and a black-and-white seconds hand. Digital readings use liquid crystal displays with grey segments on a black background.
It is powered by a quartz multifunctional chronograph movement: Omega calibre 5620 – and limited to 2,017 pieces.
The second watch, the Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ “Deep Black” Master Chronometer, has been made with supporters in mind and embraces the blue and red of the New Zealand flag.
Cased in black ceramic, it features a ceramic bezel with an Omega Liquid-Metal diving scale that highlights the pre-race 15 minute countdown in blue and red rubber for the first 10 minutes, and Start in LiquidMetal for the final 5.
The dot at 12 o’clock is filled with Super-Luminova and emits a green glow. The vertically-brushed black ceramic dial sports 18K white gold indexes and a GMT ring with day/night display.
The watch has a black strap with black and blue rubber lining and red stitching.
It is powered by the OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 8906.