Introduced in 2002 to celebrate OMEGA’s longstanding partnership with the America’s Cup, the America’s Cup Chronograph and the America’s Cup Racing Chronograph were worn by Team New Zealand as their watch of choice.
Launched in 1993, the OMEGA Seamaster Professional Chrono-Diver represented the top of the range in the new Seamaster Professional 300m line – a collection of divers’ watches guaranteed water resistant to a depth of 300m.
All the watches in this collection are equipped with OMEGA’s helium escape valve, which can be opened during resurfacing to allow helium molecules to escape from the watch and thus prevent the crystal from being pushed out during decompression.
Furthermore, the Chrono-Diver was the first chronograph in the world with push-buttons that could operate at a depth of 300m. Its qualities were tested in 1993, when French free-diver Roland Specker set a new world freshwater free-diving record in Lake Neuchâtel at a depth of 80 metres with a dive time of 2 minutes 33 seconds.
The quality and reliability of the Chrono-Diver was confirmed when it received the award “Uhr des Jahres 1994” [Watch of the Year 1994] from the renowned German trade publication Armbanduhren International. It accompanied Specker again in 1996 when he set another new world record at 60 metres in Lake Neuchâtel in the variable weight category, in which divers must resurface using their flippers alone.
Both America’s Cup Chronograph and the America’s Cup Racing Chronograph models are based on the same proven design of their forerunners, with certain aesthetic and technical modifications. The case has a screw-in back, helium escape valve and screw-in crown with double watertightness system (O-ring gasket and decompression gasket), which guarantees water resistance to a depth of 300 metres.
The characteristic wave imprint on the dial of all Seamaster Professional models makes way for a pure dial available exclusively in black – the colour that represents New Zealand. The flange has been removed from the dial, which opens up the face of the watch and highlights the most significant changes.
Firstly, the America’s Cup inscription on the dial confirms that this prestigious timepiece is an official OMEGA America’s Cup watch. Secondly, the totalisers have been displaced to 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock, with a new date window at 6 o’clock, signifying that a new heart beats inside this model.
This model is equipped with exclusive OMEGA calibre 3303 column-wheel chronograph movement that was first used in the new Speedmaster Broad Arrow. It is a certified chronometer movement with a power reserve of 55 hours and a column-wheel mechanism, which offers greater precision in the operation of the chronograph functions. The calibre 3303 is also fitted with the OMEGA free sprung-balance, which helps to maintain better stability of the watch’s going rate over longer periods of use.
The OMEGA Seamaster Professional Chrono-Diver is available in steel with a black aluminium ring on a stainless steel bezel or in titanium with a brushed steel ring on a titanium bezel or a red-gold ring with raised markers on a tantalum bezel. During the development of the watch, the members of Team New Zealand stressed the importance of titanium. They particularly appreciated its anti-allergenic and ultra-resistant properties, but above all its lightness.
Furthermore, all models have large luminous hour markers on the dial and easily legible skeleton hands coated with Super Luminova for excellent visibility at night and in poor light conditions. Each is available with a matching bracelet in stainless steel or titanium with a fold over safety clasp.
The bracelet sets new standards in comfort: unlike most conventional watch bracelets, which are tapered in width, the bracelet is tapered in thickness, which makes it considerably more comfortable to wear. A rubber strap with fold over clasp is also available.
- Case in steel or titanium
- Unidirectional rotating bezel with ring in black aluminium (on steel bezel)
- Brushed steel (on titanium bezel) or 18-carat red gold with raised markers (on tantalum bezel)
- Black dial with America’s Cup inscription
- Large luminous hour markers and luminous skeleton hands
- Chronograph totalisers for 30 minutes at 3 o’clock, 12 hours at 6 o’clock
- Small seconds at 9 o’clock and date window at 6 o’clock
- Screw-in crown with O-ring gasket and decompression ring
- Screw-in case back
- Helium escape valve at 10 o’clock for use by professional deepsea divers
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
- Exclusive OMEGA calibre 3303 self-winding column-wheel chronograph movement
- 55-hour power reserve
- Stop-seconds function
- OMEGA free sprung-balance; officially certified chronometer
- Water-resistant to 300m/1000ft
- Reference 2594.50.00 Steel on steel
- Reference 2293.50.00 Titanium on titanium
- Reference 2294.50.00 Titanium/tantalum/gold on titanium
Omega America’s Cup Racing Chronograph
The second model is the America’s Cup Racing Chronograph. Still firmly rooted in the traditional design of the Seamaster range, this model was developed in conjunction with Team New Zealand, which assisted with the specifications.
This is a highly robust watch with a regatta countdown timer, since timing is crucial to yachtsmen during the 15 minutes preceding the start of the race – the period during which the skipper aims to position his yacht to ensure that he crosses the starting line as near to the gun as possible.
To assist the skipper with his tactics, this OMEGA America’s Cup watch has a specially designed dial with a semicircle of 5 dots. A simple press of a button at the first gun triggers the countdown mechanism, which clearly indicates the time remaining, as the dots gradually fill with a different colour as each successive 5-minute period elapses.
A counter at 9 o’clock, divided into the same three colours, gives a constant overview of the elapsed time. All these functions are amply accommodated in a sturdy case with a large 43mm diameter, which allows for the clear legibility required to read off the remaining time in an instant.
This exclusive watch comes with all the familiar features of the Seamaster range, such as a high-precision mechanical movement, unidirectional rotating bezel with minute scale for dive time recording or a second timing function, stainless steel strap or rubber bracelet with safety clasp and push-buttons that function to a depth of 300 metres.