A 'Time' Of Celebration For Emirates Team New Zealand At The America's Cup

Rich with history, innovation and prestige, the America’s Cup is one of the world’s oldest and most dramatic sporting events. The legendary sailing duel has been fiercely contested since 1851, and in all the years since then, has only been won by teams from four different countries – including our own. This year it takes places in sunny Barcelona, Spain from August until October, and the mighty Emirates Team New Zealand, as cup holders, will be bringing their A game to ensure it stays that way.

One clear May night in the Presidential Suite at Auckland’s Park Hyatt hotel, several of the team’s key members held an intimate chat with select media about this year’s cup defence, hosted by OMEGA and Partridge Jewellers. Partridge has partnered with the OMEGA brand for forty years, and OMEGA’s association with the Cup goes as far back as 1995, when the brand supported Team New Zealand, led by legendary sailor Sir Peter Blake. The kiwis’ victory that year paved the way for OMEGA to take the coveted role of Official Timekeeper in 2000, 2003 and 2021. Now, history is set to repeat, with OMEGA returning to the role in 2024 at the 37th edition of the great event.

Skipper Pete Burling is his usual cool, calm and collected self on the night, emphasising that no matter how well prepared a team may be, “you just never know the small difference that could change everything right at the end of the event. You have to win the last race to win the cup, and even with two years of preparation it’s all about making the right moves on the day”.

As Team New Zealand head of design, Dan Bernasconi has also spent years preparing for Barcelona, saying: “as a design team we are always learning, the boat we have just launched really is the result of years and years of R&D. Taihoro is our pride and joy, and we’re excited to see how it performs.” The design team is ready for the boat to be packed up and shipped to Barcelona – a journey that takes about six weeks – during which time they get little bit of breathing room to take stock before a second relaunch in Barcelona. “Then it’s really into the final stages; looking at what we can still change if need be,” says the designer. “It’s about getting the most out of the boat we’ve got.” 

Burling’s sailing partner and fellow Team New Zealand MVP, Blair Tuke says he’s excited that for the first time ever, a women’s and youth series have been added to the event. “It is definitely time for the women under our umbrella to step up and show the world what they can do, they are incredible,” says Tuke, introducing team member Liv Mackay as a force to be reckoned with. As talk turns to the relationship between the America’s Cup and OMEGA, Tuke talks of the myriad of synergies between the two, “especially when it comes to the precision side of things and focus on design. There is so much history in the partnership between OMEGA and sailing that began almost 30 years ago, and we are proud to be wearing OMEGA on the water and off”.

OMEGA’s strong ocean heritage extends back to the early days of the brand, when in 1932, long before its connection to sailing began, they created the first commercially available divers’ watch. Since then, OMEGA’s depth-defying timepieces have earned the trust of countless ocean explorers and professional divers, including Kiwi sailing legend Sir. Peter Blake, who helped create the Seamaster Professional diver’s watch in 2000 to mark the 30th America’s Cup and OMEGA’s debut as Official Timekeeper.

To mark this year’s America’s Cup, OMEGA has produced a logo-inspired tribute to defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand. The 45.5 mm Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black ETNZ Edition blends the deepest black with the sporting turquoise of the Emirates Team New Zealand logo, with team members proudly sporting it on the night. Bring on Barcelona.


OMEGA is available at Partridge Jewellers.