By Rebecca Doulton
This weekend, the second leg of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series will be disputed in Gothenburg, Sweden, pitting the world’s best sailors from six teams. Louis Vuitton’s close ties to this event mean that fanatics are well taken care of in the sailing watches department.
Sailing faster than the wind on board their Formula 1 yachts, the AC45 catamarans with rigid wingsails and hydrofoils made from carbon fibre can reach speeds of up to 47 knots - about 55 mph - and literally take off from the surface of the water.
Britain’s very own Ben Ainslie, skipper of the Land Rover BAR team, took pole position at the LV America’s Cup World Series held in Portsmouth last month - the first leg of the 35th Amercia’s Cup cycle, which will come to a head in Bermuda in June 2017 when the winner of the qualifiers will challenge the defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA.
As primary sponsor of the event, Louis Vuitton watches has released the iconic Tambour model, which has been declined in many seaworthy guises and this particular 44mm Tambour Regatta model, with a smart navy blue dial and a large V inspired by the Louis Vuitton historic Steamer Bag logo, is a practical skipper’s companion. These robust watches for men are rigged with regatta countdown functions, chronograph, alarm, date window and, most importantly, a water-resistant case to depths of up to 100 metres.
Bremont watches, the British brand founded by brothers Nick and Giles English, has also joined the 35th America’s Cup crew as the official timing partner for both the race and the defending champion, ORACLE TEAM USA. You would be right to associate Bremont with aviation, but in addition to piloting aeroplanes, both brothers are old sea dogs and lived on a sailing boat built by their father when they were children. Giles even went on to study naval architecture, and one of Bremont’s first creations was its B1 Marine Chronometer, and other nautical-inspired men’s watches such as the Bremont Victory made from original copper and wood from the HMS Victory - Nelson’s flagship in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.
To celebrate its alliance with the race, Bremont will be unveiling its monster 284mm, 14.5 kilo B2 Marine Chronometer and, on a more wearable level, the new America’s Cup Series watch collection. The Bremont AC I and AC II are inspired by the legendary J-class yachts of the 1930s and are classical to the core, with subtle references to the shape of the solid silver “Auld Mug” trophy, which the winner will take home.
Bremont’s Oracle I and II men’s watches are sporty and designed for extreme water sports with a resilient 500-metre water-resistant case and an anti-magnetic Faraday case to protect the automatic movement. All four models share a 43mm diameter and, as is standard at Bremont, carry Swiss COSC-chronometry certification.
Other timepieces firmly anchored in the nautical world are Corum watches. Corum's iconic Admiral’s Cup model is now a brand staple thanks to its dodecagonal face and nautical pennants on the dial. Since time and tide wait for no man, the AC-One Tides watch comes to the rescue. A sophisticated instrument, the watch indicates the strength and height of the tides and currents as well as the lunar cycle providing essential navigation information to sailors. Presented in a large 45mm 12-sided titanium case with red PVD details, a bright red dial and caucho strap, the CO 277 mechanical automatic movement has a 42-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 300 metres.
For sailors who reminisce about the wood decking on board, Corum proposes its Admiral’s Cup AC-One 45 Bois model, complete with a teak dial and chronograph functions. Water-resistant to 300 metres, the advantage of this wooden dial is that it doesn’t need swabbing.