Ahead of the 36th America’s Cup, anticipation has been building – and not just over who will claim victory. For the third time in its history, Omega replica is the official timekeeper of the world’s most prestigious sailing competition, so enthusiasts have been keen to see how the watch company will mark the start of the final race (having already announced its involvement in the event with a special America’s Cup Seamaster Planet Ocean released last year).
The resultant limited-edition aaa quality replica Omega Seamaster Diver 300M America’s Cup Chronograph is designed to work as smoothly as possible at sea. Soft-touch rubber pushers make it easier to use the watch in the thick of waves and spray and it also has a “Chrono Lock” system to batten down the chronograph function – that way knocking the watch while operating the boat doesn’t risk interfering with timekeeping.
Housed in a hard-wearing 44mm stainless-steel case, the Swiss movement Omega Seamaster copy watch continues its raison d’être into a number of nautical decorative touches, from the laser-engraved wave-patterned dial to the blue-on-white colour scheme of the bezel. There are also subtle nods to the race itself: the watch’s central seconds chronograph hand features a tiny silhouette of the America’s Cup on the counterweight and the case back is inscribed with “Auckland 2021”, the location for this year’s clash.
The cup is the oldest international sporting trophy in the world, dating back to 1851 when the Royal Yacht Squadron raced a yacht named “America” around the Isle Of White; “America” won and the cup was named after her and awarded to her owners at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). Since then, various yacht clubs around the world have sought to wrest the cup from the previous race’s holders, although it took until 1983 for an Australian team to finally claim victory, after the dominant Americans defeated 24 challengers in a row.
The race has long attracted watchmakers. Since the 1980s, an array of brands have aligned themselves with various teams of both challengers and defenders, including Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, Panerai, Audemars Piguet and, of course, Omega clone, which has sponsored Team New Zealand for the past quarter century.
This year, the Italian team, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, will challenge Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland in a best-of-13 series of races around a 3km course. Coincidentally, the last time the two teams met was in 2000, when Omega had its first outing as race timekeeper. The New Zealanders will be hoping for a repeat result; they won that series 5-0. But, for Omega collectors, an attractive new perfect fake Omega Seamaster will be victory enough.