30 minutes on the wrist - Omega Seamaster Diver 300m ETNZ
With the 35th America's Cup only two years away, the sailing teams are starting to train already. The World Series will officially kick off next summer and the brands that have partnered with this event, like Omega, will also choose this date to unveil their new Regatta watches, a type of timepiece that had basically disappeared from the market after its boom in the 80s.
Omega, sponsor of the Kiwi Emirates Team, is among the most active brands in the world of sailing and the new Seamaster Diver 300m Chronograph has been the official timepiece of the national team since 2013. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300m ETNZ is the next chapter in the collection dedicated to to the team that was once led by skipper Dean Barker.
Despite being a simple chromatic variation of a standard Seamaster, the first Seamaster Diver 300M Chrono represented the beginning of this new collection. The Seamaster Diver 300m ETNZ, on the other hand, is an important step towards the concept of a new watch because, for the very first time, the new Seamaster Chrono Co-Axial features a Grade 5 Titanium case and at least two new technical and aestethical features, that Omega introduced on the Speedmaster.
The first novelty is the bezel that the brand created, adopting the very same laser blation technique used for the Omega Speedmaster 45th Anniversary's dial (see the article here.) On that particular model, the grey dial resembled the moon surface, whereas the matte black ring with a polished diving scale that features on the Seamaster is meant to give a completely different and mind-blowing experience: move the watch to different positions and the light hitting it will turn its colour from a matte black to a slightly polished one. The second new feature of this timepiece is the full customization of the grey dial - a complete contrast to the bezel and totally different from that of a standard Seamaster Diver.
The 44-mm-wide-case, the dial and the minute track ring are all made of titanium, the 12-hour-counter resembles a tiny compass, while the shape of the second counter takes inspiration from a sailing boat's wind speed instruments. The most original feature, however, is the minutes counter, that boasts a “regatta” hand specifically created to count down the 5 minutes preceding the official start of a regatta. This special dial reminds me of the Speedmaster Alaska's.
At 10 o'clock is both the helium escape valve (suited for saturation diving) and the mechanism used to update the date on the dial. The Omega Seamaster 300m ETNZ is definitely a more sporty watch than the standard Seamaster Diver 300m Chrono and it is also lighter: the idea to combine a titanium case with a rubber band (featuring a very nice deployant clasp) is extremely clever because the 3330 caliber (a refined version of an ETA caliber with column wheel, Co-Axial escapement and silicon balance spring) is usually quite heavy. A good step towards helping this watch fit a wider audience of enthusiasts and their wrists. Price is not yet available but, as soon as I will get it, so will you.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter