Omega partners with the Swiss sailing team Alinghi, and in tribute to this new partnership, Omega announces the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon.
Press Release with commentary in italics
The Swiss sailing team of Alinghi is renowned for winning the America’s Cup in 2003, though Switzerland is a land locked country, with no access to the oceans, they managed to take the cup from New Zealand. It may be criticized by many that the team comprise mainly of former NZ sailors due to a rule change, but Alinghi did win the cup fair and square. They successfully defended the title in 2007, but they lost the cup in 2010. We are not sailing enthusiasts, but we understand that though Alinghi had announced that they will not be competing in the America’s Cup from 2013, they are still active and have won the D35 Trophy, the Bol d’O, the Extreme Sailing Series, the GC32 Racing Tour and is GC32 World Champion for 2019.
For the 2003 challenge, Team Alinghi partnered Audemars Piguet who supplied the team and sold Alinghi Royal Oak Offshores in various case and designs. AP continued to sponsor the 2007 defence of the cup, and in 2010, the team partnered with Hublot. And there was also a special HYT Alinghi model, although with HYT was not a regular sponsor, but the Alinghi Team principal, Ernesto Bertarelli is a fan of the HYT watches, that was a special project. In an announcement in May 2019, a new partnership with Omega was forged. This new watch is a result of the partnership.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi
The Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi is a watch that demonstrates the same values and qualities that both partners share.
“The new watch is about two great Swiss brands combining their passion for innovation and sailing. To match Alinghi’s state-of-the-art boat creation, we’ve harnessed some truly impressive technology, along with the best materials and a very original design concept.”Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega
The choice of Speedmaster perfectly reflects the fast boats that fly across the water.
The case, dial and hands
For the overall colour coding, Omega has matched the watch with the Alinghi logo, which includes red to represent passion, and black for technology.
This can be seen through features such as the perforated black and red rubber strap, as well as the 44.25 mm case in black zirconium oxide ceramic. Along with a tachymeter scale in Super-LumiNova, the outward design is also notable for the Alinghi logo on the stop/start pusher, which has been created in red varnish.
Two of the watch’s subdials are also worthy of attention. At 3 o’clock, a 4-minute or 5-minute tactical time display has been included in red, helping with precision on the water.
At 6 o’clock, the traditional subdial design has been replaced with a sandblasted and anodized aluminium disc, which features the Alinghi logo transferred in red. The team’s logo represents the letter “a” and is inspired by two boats churning the seas before the start of a match race. The logo rotates on the watch when the chronograph function is used.
“It’s been an immense pleasure to collaborate so closely with Omega on this wonderful new timepiece. Throughout our history, we’ve been very aware of the watchmaker’s incredible expertise in sports timekeeping and passion for sailing. So, it is a very special moment to have worked on a watch together and now see the exquisite results. It’s the perfect start to our relationship and a real sign of more to come in the future.”Ernesto Bertarelli, Founder and President of Alinghi
The movement: Omega caliber 1865
Perhaps most impressive is the watch’s expertly decorated Calibre 1865.
The manual-winding movement is ideal for sailing crews due to its lighter and thinner design. To enhance the movement, Omega has taken inspiration from Alinghi’s new TF35 catamaran.
Using laser ablation, the mainplate and barrel bridge have been given a honeycomb effect, similar to the interior of the Alinghi boat’s carbon hull. The same laser ablation technology has then been employed to decorate all other bridges with a black carbon pattern, also inspired by the carbon that is used for the boat’s hull.
Omega and Alinghi formed their partnership in 2019, and have already enjoyed racing success thanks to the team’s GC32 world title in June 2019, D35 Trophy win in September and GC32 championship in November.
The watch is a rather standard Dark Side of the Moon, with the signature ceramic bezel, 44.5mm case and tachymeter in miles per hour. Unlike the regular Dark Side of the Moon which features a coaxial caliber 9300, the Alinghi features a thinner manual winding caliber 1865, a variant of the original Moonwatch. The Omega 1865 movement does not feature a countdown timer, which is essential for regata, but offers a customized minute totalizer with a highlited 5 minute section.
Regatta timing requires a specialized chronograph which not only tracks racing time but also to count down the critical minutes before the racers cross the starting line. This is because, unlike an automobile, the yacht is not able to do a standing start. The yachts will have been already moving when they cross the starting line.
The “Fleet Race”, which takes place on a course marked by buoys, begins with a five, seven or ten-minute countdown at the end of which the yachts begin sailing the course. During this decisive interval of time, the competitors strategically array themselves on the startling line – based on winds and, most importantly, keeping clear of other competitors – in order to cross the line as close as possible to the starting signal. It is the skipper’s role to ensure that his yacht will cross the start line as soon as possible after the starting signal to ensure a head start, but also not to cross the line before the signal to avoid penalty points.
Official information on the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi site.