by roberta naas
Locally, Hamptons boaters are savoring the swells on Peconic Bay and in Block Island Sound. Nationally, a wealth of great regattas are competing in preliminary race eliminations for the 34th America’s Cup, which returns to US waters in 2013. All this means there’s never been a better time for sailors to invest in a yachting watch.
This year Louis Vuitton—the official timekeeper of the America’s Cup Races to be held in September 2013, the Louis Vuitton Cup Races (the final competitions leading up to the America’s Cup), and all of the World Series regattas—celebrates its involvement in sailing by unveiling two new Tambour Regatta America’s Cup yachting watches.
Other watch brands that have been involved in sailing for decades are also actively partaking in the America’s Cup. TAG Heuer sponsors the reigning champions, Oracle Team USA; Omega is backing Emirates Team New Zealand; and Corum is supporting Energy Team, the French challenger skippered by Loïck Peyron, who is also a Corum ambassador. Meanwhile Rolex is gearing up for next year’s 40th International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas, and Tissot is continuing its commitment to international yacht racing in India.
Skippers look for function and performance with their boats as well as their timepieces, so watch brands turn to high-tech materials to ensure they do not disappoint when offering great new regatta timers. “We utilized new design codes in terms of color—the black rubber case with red and blue on the dial in honor of the America’s Cup,” says Hamdi Chatti, senior vice president of watches and jewelry for Louis Vuitton. “We designed watches for the America’s Cup that should have taken two years to create, but we managed to make it in a year.”
Louis Vuitton Tambour Regatta America’s Cup Quartz watch ($5,750) is created in an edition of 1,851 numbered pieces (referencing 1851, the year America’s Cup was founded). The 44mm multifunction timepieces offer a regatta function with an audio indictor, whose countdown can be programmed between one and 10 minutes. It also features a chronograph and an alarm. Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd., 516-365-4766
From Rolex, this Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II ($43,700) is crafted in 18k white gold. The 44mm chronometer regatta countdown watch features a platinum Ring Command rotating bezel, an Oysterlock bracelet, and a superlative 42-jewel movement. London Jewelers, 2 Main St., East Hampton, 329-3939
This Tissot Sailing-Touch watch ($1,150) features a touch screen technology and patent-pending strap design. The watch features a regatta function, backlight, two alarms, a compass, chronograph, relative air pressure indicator, and two time zones. Rose Jewelers, 57 Main St., Southampton, 283-5757
photography by marshall Troy