When most people think of Omega and its various partnerships, it’s the Olympics, moon landing, and James Bond that first come to mind, although the brand has also been a supporter of the Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) sailing team since 1995. Over the years, Omega has produced a number of different timepieces dedicated to the championship-winning regatta squad, and to mark the upcoming 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona next year, where Emirates Team New Zealand will be defending its title, Omega has released a new ETNZ edition regatta chronograph. Formally known as the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition, the new timepiece features a black ceramic case and a colorway inspired by the logo that appears on Emirates Team New Zealand’s sails.
At a quick glance, the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition (reference 18.104.22.168.01.003) is essentially a regatta-oriented version of the standard Planet Ocean Deep Black Chronograph, which means that it is crafted from brushed black zirconium oxide ceramic, and it measures 45.5mm in diameter by 19mm thick, with 22mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 52.4mm. Aside from the updated colorway, the external design and construction of the watch are largely the same as its standard-production sibling, with a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal fitted to the top of the case that is surrounded by a unidirectional rotating timing bezel fitted with a black ceramic insert.
Similar to other Planet Ocean chronographs, a manually operated helium escape valve sticks out from the side of the case at 10 o’clock, while a screw-down crown resides at its usual position of 3 o’clock, and though the turquoise-accented pushers don’t screw down to the case, they do offer dynamic water resistance, which allows users to operate them while submerged to take full advantage of the watch’s more-than-generous 600-meter depth rating. Meanwhile, the reverse side of the watch is closed up with a solid caseback that features the Emirates Team New Zealand logo, and the caseback structure incorporates the brand’s NAIAD Lock design to ensure that the logo always remains properly aligned.
In addition to embracing the same black and turquoise colorway that defines the rest of the watch, the matte black ceramic dial of new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition also swaps out the standard elapsed time counter at 3 o’clock for a regatta countdown indicator to facilitate the process of timing the start of races. The rest of the dial follows in the footsteps of other Planet Ocean Chronograph models, and it features large arrow-shaped hands, a running seconds register at 9 o’clock, and a date window at the 6 o’clock position that features a slightly trapezoid-shaped profile to complement the tapered silhouettes of the hour markers. Super-LumiNova accents on the hands and indices help aid low-light visibility, and the centrally mounted chronograph seconds hand features a counterweight that is shaped like the famous America’s Cup trophy.
Powering the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition is the same Co-Axial Caliber 9900 automatic movement that can be found inside the other chronograph models from the current Planet Ocean lineup. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 60 hours, the Omega Cal. 9900 is a column wheel-controlled chronograph, and while the movement itself is a relatively known quantity by this point in time, it is also regarded as a fairly solid and competent design. As one of Omega’s METAS-certified “Master Chronometer” movements, the Cal. 9900 is guaranteed to keep time within -0/+5 seconds per day (after casing), and it is also entirely resistant to magnetic forces in excess of 15,000 gauss, thanks to its silicon balance spring and a number of other antimagnetic components used throughout the construction of the movement.
Fitted to the 22mm lugs of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition is a two-piece strap that is constructed from turquoise-colored rubber and finished with a black textile material on its outer surface, along with matching turquoise contrast stitching. Aside from its new colorway, the actual construction of the strap is identical to what can be found on the standard Planet Ocean Deep Black Chronograph, and it is completed by a deployant-style folding clasp made from black ceramic. Additionally, while this black and turquoise rubber strap is the primary option for this model, the press release states that Omega will also be offering the new Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition with the option of a full-turquoise rubber strap, along with two different NATO-style straps in complementary colors. That said, while images of the all-turquoise strap are included among the brand’s press photos, none of them show either of the two NATO options, although it is safe to assume that they will likely be some combination of either black, white, gray, or turquoise.
Similar to the standard black ceramic version of the Planet Ocean Chronograph, the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition ref. 22.214.171.124.01.003 comes at a premium compared to its siblings in either stainless steel or titanium, and the new model is accompanied by an official retail price of $13,300 USD. With that in mind, this represents only a $500 increase in price compared to the regular Deep Black Chronograph, which is more or less right in line with the premiums that accompany other special-edition Omega watches. While I imagine that most examples will be purchased by fans of Emirates Team New Zealand, the fact that the team’s logo only appears on the caseback means that collectors can also enjoy this watch for its striking appearance and novel colorway, even if they don’t have a particular affinity for the championship-winning New Zealand regatta squadron. For more information on the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition, please visit the brand’s website.