OMEGA AND SAILING
OMEGA has always been anchored by a strong ocean heritage that extends back to the early days of the brand. Long before its connection to sailing began, OMEGA created the world’s first commercially available divers’ watch in 1932 and therefore became the choice of many ocean explorers and professional divers at the time. Since then, OMEGA’s ocean-ready watches have been loved and trusted by men and women all over the world, including those in the British Royal Navy, fields of science, and legends of the sea such as Jacques Cousteau.
It’s therefore no surprise that OMEGA’s achievements above and below the waves naturally progressed to a passion for sailing. For more than 25 years, OMEGA has been very much involved with sailing thanks to its timekeeping prowess, its sponsorship of various races, and its long-term partnerships. From rookies to race-hardened veterans, sailors from all levels of the sport have taken to the water knowing that OMEGA is there in support. The brand proudly backs entire crews, such as Emirates Team New Zealand, Alinghi and Switzerland’s Team Tilt. It has served as Official Timekeeper at world class events such as the America’s Cup, the Ocean Race and the Olympic Games. From supporting the efforts of just one sailor, such as Dame Ellen MacArthur when she broke the solo round-the-world record in 2005, to promoting the sport on a global level, OMEGA is a trusted name on deck and its distinctive logo is a common sight on sails.
EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND
OMEGA began its partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand in 1995. The relationship was led by legendary round-the-world skipper and America’s Cup legend Sir Peter Blake, who captained Black Magic to victory that year. Today, OMEGA is still a proud supporter, sponsor and Official Timekeeper of Emirates Team New Zealand and was onboard in 2017 when the crew lifted the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Two of today’s Emirates Team New Zealand crewmates have also been chosen as official OMEGA ambassadors. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are two of the world’s most successful sailors. As well as being gold medal winning Olympians, the two kiwis were part of the team that lifted the America’s Cup in 2017, a moment that positioned Burling, then aged 26, as the youngest winning helmsman in the competition’s history.
OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER OF THE AMERICA’S CUP
When the 36th America’s Cup takes place in Auckland, it will be OMEGA measuring the moments. Familiar territory for a brand so closely associated with timing the event.
Dating back to 1851, the "Auld Mug" is the oldest trophy in international sport and has become the source of fierce international rivalries and spectacular duels. As well as its support of Emirates Team New Zealand, OMEGA has played a vital role during the competition’s long history, serving as Official Timekeeper of the event in 2000 and 2003.
After celebrating its role as Official Timekeeper of the America’s Cup in 2000 and 2003, OMEGA’s sailing watches then focused on the brand's support of Emirates Team New Zealand.
In 2019, OMEGA and ALINGHI joined forces in a brand new sailing partnership. Founded and directed by Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi has a renowned sailing heritage, having twice won the America’s Cup in 2003 and 2007. Sharing a pioneering vision of innovation, technology and history-making moments, OMEGA and ALINGHI, two proud Swiss brands, now sail together on various competitive circuits, including the GC32 Racing Tour and the D35 Trophy.
THE OLYMPIC GAMES
OMEGA has been the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games on 28 occasions since 1932. During that time, the brand has perfected the timing of each event and become closely involved with the sailors who compete. At Rio 2016, OMEGA partnered with Torben Grael, a renowned sailor who has won five Olympic Games medals for Brazil, as well as his daughter Martine Grael and her sailing partner Kahena Kunze who both won gold in the women’s 49er FX event. On top of that, the brand also cheered on several of the Emirates Team New Zealand crew who were competing for New Zealand in their respective events, including Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.
THE TIMEKEEPER’S TIMEPIECE
This Seamaster Planet Ocean commemorates the 36th America’s Cup, contested by Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland. As well as paying tribute to OMEGA’s role as Official Timekeeper, it draws inspiration from the colours of the event’s logo: an impression of the “Auld Mug” in red, white and blue. Appropriately limited to just 2,021 pieces, the certified Master Chronometer sports a white polished ceramic dial with 36th AMERICA’S CUP transferred at 6 o’clock, encircled by a blue ceramic (ZrO2) bezel ring with diving scale, 5-minute countdown and START indication highlighted in white and red liquid ceramic. The wave-edged caseback has an America’s Cup logo transferred on the sapphire crystal. A blue and red structured rubber strap with white stitching completes the look.
Essential sailing tech: the Planet Ocean 600M
Sailing is a precision sport, so it makes sense to head on deck with a timepiece tested at the highest level. The Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer, with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, features a blue ceramic dial with Arabic numerals and a date window at 6 o’clock. The dial includes a small seconds sub-dial, as well as 60-minute and 12-hour counters on one dial for intuitive reading of elapsed time. Cased in stainless steel, it sports a blue ceramic unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel, with Liquidmetal™ diving scale and matching blue leather strap with rubber lining. Visible through the transparent caseback is the mighty OMEGA Master Chronometer calibre 9900.
Source: BPG Max