Just hours ahead of the probably last race of the 34th America’s Cup, before the well-deserved victory of the Kiwis, I get an email from TAG Heuer announcing a new onboard smartwatch for Oracle Team USA.
So the battle now is also Omega versus TAG Heuer. Whilst Omega and the Emirates Team New Zealand still trust their classical, mechanical watches, …
… TAG Heuer and the Oracle Team add equipment to their crew. Since the press release was published only today I assume the new TAG Heuer smartwatch was not always on board. Probably it has been now added as a kind of secret weapon.
The rhetorical question is: Will it help the Oracle Team USA?
I guess not!
The competition night be over in just a few hours from now (the next race starts 22:15 my time) and honestly I expect the Kiwis to win the 34th America’s Cup.
So lets wait and see…
But before let´s have a quick look at this “secret weapon”:
“This was a first for sailing and a first for Swiss watchmaking,” said Stéphane Linder, TAG Heuer President and CEO. “It represents the next-generation of competitive sport technology. We’re looking forward to participating in similar ventures with teams across the full spectrum of professional sports.”
For the 34th America’s Cup the R&D departments of TAG Heuer and Oracle Team USA co-invented an onboard connectivity equipment and an ultra-innovative and intelligent smartwatch that give every crew member instant access to crucial race condition data in real-time. The embedded system uses special editions of the commercial Aquaracer 500M Calibre 72 Countdown chronograph, customized for each sailor’s specific tasks and wirelessly linked directly to the boat’s onboard computers.
The extreme-tech and exceptionally resilient digital chronograph is the first watch designed specifically for and by a professional sailing team. At a glance easy-to-read with a wide-open 51mm face, it weighs only 108 g and is impact resistant to 5000 G. The leather-strap, like the case itself, is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably over a wet suit.
Classic TAG Heuer aquatic design codes are respected but the technology is completely new and innovative. The optimized high-contrast LED screen displays constantly updated information on how the boat and its sails are behaving, including boat speed, foil balance, sail pressure, true wind speed, true wind direction and true wind angle. Connected to captors and computers located throughout the boat, the real time data stream allows for unparalleled reactivity and synchronicity.
Let me quote Stéphane Linder, TAG Heuer President and CEO again: “For the project, TAG Heuer drew technical inspiration from its watch, eyewear and telephony activities. The Aquaracer 72 uses the brand’s patented ‘splashproof’ technology, first used in TAG Heuer eyewear. The data processing equipment onboard the 72-foot catamaran was waterproofed using technology developed for the iconic TAG Heuer Monaco chrono. For the watches worn by Oracle Team USA’s ‘grinders’ we developed a special ‘heads-up display’ with polarizing lens based on TAG Heuer Eyewear-developed photochromic technology. Jimmy Spithill, the team’s skipper, communicated with his crew on a waterproof phone, the Racer Sub Nano, strapped to his forearm, and outfitted with TAG Heuer Meridiist mobile telephony technology. Only 50 of the special Aquaracer 72 were produced and none are available commercially”
Guys this is my UPDATE after the today´s race: I have seen the watch only on the hand of one Oracle Team USA team member. So it seems this is not a secret weapon or a team watch…