If you’re a sailing nut, or if you’ve just been following the news lately, you’ll know that this year’s America’s Cup is in a bit of trouble. The vaunted racing series (its trophy is the oldest active international sporting award in the world) has become a bit of a billionaire’s club, complete with bitterness, secrecy, subterfuge and litigation. This year’s event, which is slated to start later this week in San Francisco, has suffered from a lack of contenders, tragedy and resentment. But we hope once the racing starts, all that can be set aside and we’ll see some stellar sailing action. After all, there may be no better place to watch a regatta than San Francisco Bay, and the AC72 catamarans are technological marvels to behold with their carbon fiber wing sails. In any case, while the team owners and skippers quibble over rules and rudders, we get to enjoy the special edition timepieces put forward by watch brand sponsors.
First up is the OMEGA Seamaster Emirates Team New Zealand Limited Edition, which was launched last week in the oversized Maori waka that serves as Team New Zealand’s headquarters at the marina. The watch, a chronograph diver, sports a 44-millimeter steel case and rotating bezel with a ceramic insert, a matte black dial and a black rubber strap. It is similar to OMEGA’s standard Seamaster, but features red color accents, a regatta countdown scale on the minutes totalizer and limited edition graphics on the caseback and strap. The movement is OMEGA’s Calibre 3330, a modular motor built off of the ETA 2892 but fitted with OMEGA’s co-axial escapement and a column wheel chronograph works. The quick date correction function is operated using a pusher integrated into the helium release valve at 10 o’clock on the case. The watch is water resistant to 300 meters, though if any of the crew need to take advantage of this, something has gone horribly wrong. The watch will be a limited edition of 2,013 pieces.
We were invited to OMEGA’s launch of the new timepiece and also got to watch the Emirates Team New Zealand boat launched for a training run in the bay. For those who are wondering, no champagne bottles were smashed for either launch.