Already involved with the America’s Cup since 1995, and also official timekeeper of the 36th edition of this legendary race, Omega is reinforcing its position in sailing. Last year, the Biel-based watchmaker announced its partnership with Alinghi, a sailing team created in 1994 by Ernesto Bertarelli. To seal this alliance, Omega is today releasing a new, special edition of its bold Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, with one of the most technical looks ever created in the brand’s history, in line with the impressive specs of Alinghi’s boats.
Omega and Alinghi formed their partnership in May 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. Alinghi is today one of the most awarded sailing team. In 2000, the team set itself the goal of winning the America’s Cup, which it did twice, in 2003 and 2007, meaning it was the first European team to win the historic prize. The team has many other successes to its name, both from before and after it’s America’s Cup campaigns, including seven Bol d’Or victories, eight D35 trophies, four Extreme Sailing Series championships, one GC32 Racing Tour championship and a GC32 World champion title. Today, and together with its partner Omega, the first dedicated Alinghi timepiece is unveiled.
The Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi
The idea for this new Omega was to match Alinghi’s state-of-the-art boat creation and its impressive technology, both in materials and design. To achieve that, Omega chose for its most racing-oriented timepiece, the Speedmaster, and what’s the most innovative edition, the Dark Side of the Moon… and adds to it some specificities to make this edition unique.
The base for this new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi should feel familiar to most Speedy enthusiasts. Indeed, the brand chose to remain close from the Apollo 8 edition, which was in 2018 the first hand-wound DSOTM. As such, the Speedmaster Alinghi is housed in a black zirconium oxide ceramic case measuring 44.25mm in diameter – two factors that differentiate it from the classic Moonwatch in steel and 42mm. Every element of the case is made from this ultra-resistant material too, including the crown, the caseback, the pushers and the bezel.
To make this edition unique and in line with Alinghi’s livery, which includes red and white, some elements have been updated. For instance, the engraved tachymeter scale on the ceramic bezel is filled with white Super-LumiNova and red varnish, just like the stop/start pusher at 2 o’clock which is executed in the same way. Complementing this design, the watch is worn on a water-resistant black and red perforated rubber strap, closed by a ceramic pin buckle.
The dial also appears greatly inspired by the colours and materials used by the sailing team. Well, there’s in fact almost no dial on the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi, since most of the face of the watch is actually the mainplate of the movement, decorated with a carbon texture obtained by laser ablation. The front of the watch is composed of a floating inner flange with applied indexes (with SLN), and a central applied module framing the 3 sub-counters. The hands are blackened or red.
Two important things to note on this dial; first is the 12-hour recorder where the hand has been replaced with a sandblasted and anodized aluminium disc, which features the Alinghi logo transferred in red. Second, to keep with the regatta team, the minute recorder features a 4-minute or 5-minute tactical time display in red, helping with precision timing on the water.
The most impressive alteration to the original Speedmaster might well be the movement, which takes direct 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 boat’s carbon hull. The same laser ablation technology has then been employed to decorate all other bridges with a black carbon pattern. Other than that, we find back the iconic 186x architecture, used in the Moonwatch, a hand-wound chronograph movement produced in-house with cam-operated mechanism, 3Hz frequency and 48h power reserve. This Omega Calibre 1865 retains the classic Swiss lever escapement.
PricE and availability
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi (ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.002) joins the permanent collection and isn’t limited in production. Availability in stores isn’t yet confirmed. It will be priced at CHF 10,000 (excl. taxes).
More details at www.omegawatches.com.