OMEGA AND THE WORLD OF SAILING

OMEGA and its watches have an undeniable association with the sea. We produced the first divers’ watch and the only wristwatch ever to have received marine chronometer certification. The brand has long been the preferred choice of some of sailing’s greatest names.

There has been a link between sailing and timekeeping since the days sailors relied on high-precision marine chronometers for navigation. And it’s worth noting that OMEGA is the only company ever to have produced a wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification.

Though new technologies such as satellite navigations systems have superseded even the OMEGA Marine Chronometer wristwatch, there is still a strong demand for OMEGA's robust and highly water resistant Seamaster watches and the brand retains its strong nautical links as a sponsor and official timekeeper of sailors and sailing events. OMEGA’s association with Team New Zealand dates back to 1995 when Peter Blake became a brand ambassador. After Sir Peter Blake retired from professional sailing, OMEGA continued to support him as the primary sponsor of his Blakexpeditions project – in fact, he called his ship The Seamaster - until his untimely death in 2001.

Dean Barker, the skipper of ETNZ, has carried on Sir Peter’s legacy not only with Team New Zealand, but as an advocate for oceanic health. He has been an OMEGA brand ambassador since 2001.

Russell Coutts, who became Team New Zealand’s helmsman during the America’s Cup races in San Diego in 1995, also served as an OMEGA brand ambassador in 2005, when he was participating in the RC-44 series.

Omega also enjoyed a long partnership with solo yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur and was the official timekeeper when, on the 7th of February 2005, she broke the solo round-the-world sailing record with a time of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. The on-board Omega clock counted down every nail-biting second. Her astonishing achievement earned her the title of Dame, which was bestowed upon her by Queen Elizabeth II.

More recently, OMEGA has worked actively with ecologist/filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand on a number of initiatives created to raise awareness of oceanic health. One of the highlights is the documentary film Planet Ocean, directed by Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot in partnership with OMEGA. The brand is also working closely with GoodPlanet, an organization founded by Arthus-Bertrand, to create materials designed as a reminder that the stewardship of our oceans is a responsibility shared by everyone on earth.

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