In 1995, the association between Omega and the America’s Cup legend Sir Peter Blake started. Along the way, Omega also started to support and partner with the Emirates Team New Zealand. As their main partner, Omega started to equip the sailing team with the special Speedmaster X-33 Regatta.
Emirates Team New Zealand Timepieces
We’ve been covering Omega’s ETNZ watches before and also have shown the different America’s Cup models in the past. In this article, you will see an overview of the America’s Cup (and ETNZ) models up till 2015. For the 35th edition of the America’s Cup and especially for the Emirates Team New Zealand, Omega has unveiled two new timepieces. Below, you’ll see the very first America’s Cup Omega Seamaster, with white gold bezel. Limited to 9999 pieces and introduced in 2000.
Raynald Aeschlimann, the President and CEO of Omega, is particularly enthusiastic about the team’s chances this year and says, “There is much to admire about Emirates Team New Zealand and their qualities reflect many of OMEGA’s own. 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.”
Omega introduces the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta, based on the famous digital X-33 from 1998 and onwards, and the Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ edition, based on the ceramic Seamaster Planet Ocean ‘Deep Black’ that was introduced last year.
Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta
Let’s start with the most complicated watch of the two ETNZ novelties. Complicated sounds a bit awkward, as the Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ has the METAS certified mechanical movement while the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta is quartz-driven, but in terms of functionality, the X-33 is definitely more complicated. I am a big Speedmaster X-33 myself, have two models of them myself and find them to be very comfortable on the wrist and wear them relatively often. They are great conversation-makers among watch enthusiasts, and the light-weight titanium case and bracelet works perfect for me. I only use the alarm and chronograph functions to be honest. Sometimes I also used the count-down timer, as the alarm is LOUD and warns you that a certain timed event is ended (or should be ended). The 3rd Generation X-33 has more functions than the first two generations, as it was developed based on certain (new) specifications that ESA (European Space Agency) astronauts came up with. The Speedmaster X-33 Regatta is based on the 3rd Generation Speedmaster X-33.
It is not the first time that Omega creates a special edition of the X-33 ‘Skywalker’, as they also did one specifically for the Solar Impulse project.
Th Speedmaster X-33 Regatta is worn on board by the crew, as it has a nifty regatta function. The ingenious regatta function keeps track of the critical 5-minute countdown to the start of the race. A series of alarms, each with their own alarm sounds and sequences, give the ETNZ crew a heads-up so they can prepare themselves. Once the race starts, the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta is used to measure the progress of the race. All digital functions are handled by Omega Caliber 5620.
The design of the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta is a bit different from the regular X-33 ‘Skywalker’, with its red, white and blue accents on the dial. The ceramic bezel (combined with titanium) features stars at 15, 30, 45 and 60 second markers, together referencing to the Southern Cross on the New Zealand flag. The dial features ‘Speedmaster Professional’ because in the end, it is part of the Speedmaster Professional collection.
Like all Speedmaster X-33 models, the case is brushed grade-2 titanium. It has a double caseback to ensure the best sound of the alarms. The caseback of the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta also shows the ETZN logo in the center, engraved with “Challenger for the 35th America’s Cup” and “X-33 Regatta”. These watches are limited to 2017 pieces and comes on a black coated nylon fabric strap with blue rubber lining and blue stitching.
Price of the Omega Speedmaster X-33 reference 318.104.22.168.01.001 is 4900 Euro (including sales taxes).
Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ
Omega’s second watch for the 35th edition of the America’s Cup is their Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ. This watch is based on the Seamaster Planet Ocean ‘Deep Black’ Master Chronometer, with a depth-rate of 600 meters. These watches were introduced last year in June and have been quite a success. The use of ceramics for the case and dial makes this the Seamaster variation on the Dark Side of the Moon. There are a couple of versions, of which we reviewed the all black model here. Similar to that model, the Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ has been ‘tailored’ with the red and blue accents on the strap, bezel, dial and hands. Although not a regatta timer, the bezel can be used for countdown purposes as well and has a clear ‘START’ written on it (LiquidMetal of course).
On the caseback of this Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ, you’ll find a similar centered logo and engraving as on the Speedmaster X-33 Regatta. This time, the Emirates Team New Zealand has been engraved in red on the black ceramic caseback. The watch has similar specifications to all other Deep Black models, so it also has the GMT-hand and Helium Valve crown.
Powered by Omega’s in-house Co-Axial movement Caliber 8906. It is a METAS certified movement, so allowed to bear the Master Chronometer wording on the dial. This indicates (in a nutshell) that it is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss, runs well within chronometer specifications (0-5 seconds on average per day) etc. With this card you will receive your personal login credentials on the Omega website to see the exact METAS framework and the test results of your personal watch.
The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean ETNZ reference 215.92.22.01.004 retails for 10.500,- Euro (including sales taxes).