The colour turquoise has been linked with opulence ever since its namesake gemstone adorned the movers and shakers of the ancient world; ergo, it’s no surprise that it looks right at home on one of the world’s most popular luxury watches: the Omega Seamaster.
The Omega Planet Ocean Deep Black Chronograph Seamaster, to be specific, embraces the greeny-blue hue to pay homage to Emirates Team New Zealand (ENTZ). This is a sailing team the Swiss marque has supported since 1995. This is ahead of the 37th America’s Cup taking place in Barcelona in 2024.
About an hour’s drive outside of Barcelona, in the genial coastal town of Vilanova where the first Preliminary Regatta for the forthcoming sporting event took place (as a matter of course, Omega served as the official timekeeper), the black and turquoise watch was unveiled on Wednesday 13 September in the presence of the ETNZ leaders, Omega representatives and a select few members of the international press, including Esquire.
From the outset, the colour palette was the key talking point—a conspicuous combination unmistakably inspired by the New Zealand team’s new motif which is anchored by a turquoise fern.
Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO of Omega, admits that despite turquoise’s deep association with affluence, it took careful thought to find a suitable way to incorporate the colour into the time-honoured design.
“Bringing in that blue was a challenge—I wanted this watch to be recognisable but still in line with what we’ve recently been doing,” he tells Esquire. “We wanted to create something that wasn’t just a collab with another name on the dial.”
Here, the only telltale sign that the watch has been created with the Oceanic sailing team in mind is the logo discoverable on the case's NAIAD Lock rear.
But that’s not to say that the limited-edition release is otherwise identical to your classic Seamaster, because it isn’t.
Touches that make the ETNZ-edition unique include the gradient-effect seconds hands complete with an America’s Cup trophy counterweight, and the 10-minute countdown indicator positioned at 3 o'clock that may be used by the team as they prepare to participate in the competition.
Naturally, Omega hopes that the water-resistant timepiece can aid another win for the titleholders.
“The team has won the cup four times—twice with us, and two other times before our day in the nineties,” says Grant Dalton, CEO of the Emirates-sponsored sports crew. “We’re often asked what’s the motivation to win it again… It's never been won by the same team.”
Beyond its appropriateness for bona fide sailors, the new Seamaster is also an impressive lifestyle accessory for swanky land dwellers, with its brushed black zirconium oxide ceramic case, white lacquer Super-LumiNova detailing (that's watch talk for glow-in-the-dark) and turquoise accents.
Even the packaging is impressive. It arrives in a dual-branded black and turquoise zip case, making for an unboxing experience fit for the movers and shakers of the modern world, counting the defending champions of the world's oldest sporting contest.
Sign up to be notified about the stock of the Emirates Team New Zealand Edition of the Planet Ocean Seamaster over on the Omega webstore. The timepiece, complete with a black and turquoise textile and rubber strap; the turquoise strap, available with or without a satin-brushed ceramic clasp, can be purchased separately.
In 1948, Omega celebrated its centennial by releasing a set of watches that were fit for “town, sea and country”, which included the globally-adored Seamaster. To mark 75 years of making waves in the world of horology, 11 new editions of the Swiss marque's iconic models have been released.
Revealing the collection in a sun-drenched event in Mykonos, Greece, Omega presented styles ranging from the Aqua Terra to the Ultra Deep in a new colourway: Summer Blue. The shade takes inspiration from the sea, where these diver-approved watches really perform, and its hue gets deeper the higher the watch’s water resistance is.
The Aqua Terra collection now includes three new models with a sun-brushed dial of the shade. The 38mm comes with sailboat indexes and a polished and brushed bracelet, powered by Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer 8800, while the 41mm offers wearers a choice of a matching bracelet or blue rubber strap and has the by Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 8900 driving it.
The stainless steel 43mm Aqua Terra Worldtimer has global destinations printed around its dial, and the hesalite glass bridges the outer and inner dials, revealing a 24-hour reading with light blue to indicate daytime and dark blue to indicate night. Just like the others in the AT collection, it’s water resistant to depths of 150 metres.
The 41mm Seamaster 300—first released in 1957 as part of the “professional” trilogy—has a symmetrical case and crown in polished and brushed stainless steel, with matching bracelet, and in keeping with its commemorative cousins, the 42mm Diver 300M features a Summer Blue wave-pattern ceramic dial, varnished with a gradient finish to reflect its water resistance—300m, if you hadn’t guessed by its name—while a blue ceramic bezel with the new Summer Blue enamel (Grand feu) diving scale encircles the dial.
First released in 2005, the Planet Ocean 600m has a blue ceramic bezel instead of its original and distinctive orange one. It’s encircled by a PVD-treated and varnished dial in a gradient finish and comes complete with blue hands.
The 2023 Ploprof takes cues from its original 70s design, which was relied upon by French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau during deep-sea experiments. Its bezel ring is made with sapphire crystal, a nod to the chemically reinforced monolithic crystal used in those early versions. The famous screwed-in crown and two o’clock security pusher appear on the monobloc case of this newer style, and can also dive to 600ms.
The Ultradeep first made history in 2019, when it reached the deepest place on Earth: the Mariana Trench. This update nods to the fearless explorers before it, with an exact representation of the Challenger Deep mapped by the Five Deeps team appearing as a pattern on its dial. And when you shine UV light on this 45.5mm model, it reveals the words, 'OMEGA WAS HERE', pointing toward the world record dive of 10,935 m and showing the Western, Central and Eastern Pools.
At the end of last year we published a story about how Omega had blown up 2022. Not just with its headline-making MoonSwatch collaboration but with a series of technically dazzling and leftfield releases, including a Seamaster with an animated James Bond on its caseback and a Speedmaster made of 18k gold that chimed elapsed time.
This year, the watchmaker has continued to flex both its expertise and unpredictability, from setting a new bar for accuracy to colourful new Eddie Redmayne-approved entries into its Aqua Terra family of hybrid dress/sports watches.
Its third release of 2023 is an update to its Worldtimer range comprised of three versions, including one made of titanium with a dial created entirely by laser blasting – meaning the shapes and textures on the dial, itself a single piece of titanium, have been etched solely by laser.
The Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer 2023 – to give it its full name – can track every time zone on Earth, with 24 cities displayed around the circumference of the dial, including Omega’s home city of Bienne in Switzerland, as well as a miniature model of our planet as viewed from above the North Pole. Circling the globe is a 24-hour indicator, split into night and day.
The whole thing is encased in a domed design that mimics the curvature of the Earth – a detail Omega says is so subtle it is ‘impossible to see with the naked eye’.
The new watch comes in three versions.
The titanium, laser-etched model has a black and grey dial, a brushed black ceramic dial and blackened hands and indexes filled with white Super-LumiNova that glow bright blue in the dark. It comes on a black rubber strap with grey stitching, matching the dial.
The two other models are made from steel with sun-brushed green PVD dials. One comes with a matching steel bracelet and butterfly clasp, the other has a green rubber strap with grey stitching. Omega’s favoured 18k ‘Moonshine Gold’ – recently applied to the second hand of a controversial update to the MoonSwatch – is added to the hands and indexes.
As per the existing Worldtimer family, all three models measure a substantial 43mm – a size that has already split the vote on Instagram. But then each one does have to find room inside for tiny planet Earth.
The steel models are £9,900 and £10,100. The titanium version is £11,500. omegawatches.com