Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph America’s Cup. Please welcome the America's Cup official watch
The 36th America's Cup final race is ready to kick off; are the Italians going to secure their first-ever trophy? We'll soon find out who's the fastest and up to the task among Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand. The challenge between Italians and Newzealander is on and off the racing course, since the challenge extends to the strategic partners supporting the contenders. America's Cup is synonymous with the pinnacle of boat sailing; it represents, therefore, a perfect venue for partnering brands to showcase their technologies or luxury products either, and that's the case with Panerai and Omega sponsoring Prada Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, respectively. Alongside the challenger, Panerai was in the headlines for quite a while since Luna Rossa has won the Prada Cup. The final match race is quickly approaching, and it's now time for Omega watches, official timekeeper and strategic partner to Emirates Team New Zealand, to hit the spot.
With the first official race postponed due to lockdown, the new Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph America's Cup has enjoyed extended media coverage. Despite America's Cup boats sharing the same technical full-foiling hull design, the Swiss Made contenders couldn't be any different in either style and materials. With its new Regatta timing function, the 2018 Seamaster steps up; Omega has turned its long-established diving chronograph into a more luxurious piece of watchmaking suited for yacht timing, thus extending the saga of America's Cup badged timepieces. The new Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph America's Cup is the most refined Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph ever (and the most expensive too, in steel), showcasing exquisite build quality and craftsmanship on both case and bracelet, whose ceramic made and wave-pattern laser-engraved dial adds to the premium sports watch's feel, at first glance.
The 44mm case is large and tall, with the knurled lugs enhancing the overall size. It's a heavyweight, and you'll end up with managing a classic-styled diving chronograph geared towards those looking for a bold and flamboyant Sports Chrono. Ceramics extends from the dial to the bezel, where indexes and numerals are white-enameled, while the wave pattern contrasts the two registers whose design is as unusual as it is captivating. The new layout is an eye-catcher, and a tiny America's Cup trophy on the aluminum-made central Chrono hand is the kind of detail you'll love. I wouldn't avoid considering this specific model as a great option to a Planet Ocean Chrono, too.
Perfection is something you strive for; here are, therefore, a couple of things I'd change or tweak moving forward: first comes the bezel. Its execution is as excellent as the detenting is not as smooth and pleasing as some Swiss and Japanese-made counterparts in the benchmark. Also, the helium escape valve is a feat you won't need if you opt for different case construction. In addition to a standard Seamaster Chrono, Omega is introducing a tiny lever placed under the bezel, called Chrono Lock, to prevent any unwanted operation of the Chrono pushers.
By doing so, Omega has added new features and Yacht-timing specs to its original professional diver, making it a great-looking backup device if all the digital equipment should suddenly, and unexpectedly, fail. The register placed at three incorporates a red aluminum ring and a countdown indicator. Grown in size, equipped with boat-shaped indexes, the new counters have affected the standard design, now featuring a kind of half-moon-shaped indexes which I like indeed.
Omega has cleaned up the back by removing the Naiad Lock wording, not the feature, it seems. The "36th America's Cup" and "Auckland 2021" inscriptions (obtained via blue-lacquer deposition) look almost aligned (or mirrored, at least) on the see-through case back's ring, showcasing the Master Chronometer certified Omega caliber 9900, providing top-class specifications, including quick date change mechanism, column-wheel, and independently adjustable hour hand.
The breaking news is that Omega is introducing a quick-change system to swap from steel bracelet to blue rubber strap by merely pushing a button. Here we come to the final thoughts and pricing. Gone are the days when you could make a Seamaster Chrono yours by hardly exceeding the five-thousand-euros threshold.
The 2021 Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph America's Cup carries America's Cup moniker, too, pushing the retail price to over 10,000 Euros territory. That's a lot. Omega clearly aims at taking the most out of the event; if you're willing to add the official timepiece of the 2021 America's Cup to your collection, you won't look any further, and Omega has packed this Seamaster with plenty of details, features, and innovations any enthusiast and all things Yacht-Timer lover will appreciate, despite its lure is going to fade as soon as the competition is over. Nonetheless, it'll keep standing out as a professional luxury watch to please amateur skippers and admirers of this class of products.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®