Omega’s the official timekeeper of the 36th America’s Cup race, and to commemorate the event they’ve released an all-new Seamaster Diver 300M. This special edition is a lot more than just a new color scheme, however, as it introduces some very interesting new features and design changes specifically tailored to the yacht race.
Before we get to the functional changes, however, let’s just take a look at the aesthetics of the new watch. The first, and most important, update for the America’s Cup Edition is the inclusion of bright red accents against a lovely dark blue dial and bezel. Of note, of course, is the bright red and dark blue pushers-more on that in a moment. The normal Seamaster Diver 300M was hardly a subtle watch to begin with, but this new model is comparatively loud even next to it. This is not going to be most people’s everyday watch, but a sports watch for the weekend.
Taking a closer look at the dial, we can spy another aesthetic difference, namely the America’s Cup trophy as a counterbalance on the seconds hand. We also see exceptionally wide subdial hands, apparently inspired by the shape of boat hulls. The most important change in the entire watch, of course, is the addition of a regatta timer. It’s hard to say precisely how this is going to work without seeing it in action, but as I understand it, the red hand shows minutes while the window at the bottom shows hours. Interestingly, you can see that Omega has created custom bifurcated hour markers for this area so as not to interrupt the writing around the subdial.
Returning to the pushers, these aren’t merely anodized coatings on ordinary metallic pushers, these are, in fact, rubberized. These are designed to make the watch easier to actuate when wet. Omega has, for the last 15 or so years, been a very material-oriented company, between moving to silicon hairsprings, full-ceramic cases, and yes, even rubber accents on this watch and the Planet Ocean before it. They, alongside a small number of brands like Rado, have been pioneering what materials are used in watch design, and these chronograph pushers are just a natural result of that. It likely won’t be the last time we see rubber used for this purpose in an Omega.
Yet another interesting addition to this special Seamaster is this Chrono Lock. Basically, by moving this trigger up or down along the case, you can lock the pushers of the chronograph, preventing accidental presses.
Finally, a small, but highly appreciated, addition is the use of a quick-change strap. Pressing this button will release the strap from the case, allowing for tool-free changes. This is especially handy because this watch comes with both the bracelet and strap, and both possess this useful feature. Personally, I doubt I’d have much real use for a regatta timer or chronograph lock, aside from the novelty of them anyway, but I would probably swap the strap with the bracelet on this watch quite often, depending on my mood or what I was going to do.
The movement is the Master Co-Axial 9900, Omega’s most advanced chronograph, and one of the most sophisticated on the market. It should be both very reliable and extremely precise, as well as have great chronograph/timer actuation. The case, as you might expect, is not particularly demure, at 44mm, but then, this is hardly a subtle watch.
The America’s Cup Edition of the Seamaster is a very interesting release because it goes so far beyond most tie-in projects. You can tell Omega put a ton of thought into this one, customizing it and tweaking it at every level. As such, I don’t think it can really be compared to the “base” Diver 300M as it’s basically a different model altogether at this point. The color scheme is going to be especially polarizing, as it’s one of the loudest divers Omega makes, quite a statement for a brand that produces the iconic, and colorful, Planet Ocean. Priced at $10,700, you can pre-order yours today here.