If you’re going to get a dozen celebrities together to chat about cool watches and the beauty of the ocean you couldn’t go wrong with hosting it on the Greek island of Mykonos in the Aegean Sea. This stunning location was the backdrop chosen by OMEGA to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the iconic Seamaster line and the launch of the Seamaster in Summer Blue collection. Guests included George Clooney, Naomie Harris, Paul Wesley and Jesse Williams, record-breaking explorer Victor Vescovo, and our very own Olympic champions Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.
Our local representatives and Emirates Team New Zealand champions were there as ambassadors of their charity Live Ocean which supports and invests in promising marine science, innovation, technology, and conservation projects. The charity partners with leading kiwi scientists, innovators and communicators to stir up action to protect our ocean. New Zealand, while small in land mass, has the fourth largest ocean space on the planet, but only 4% of it is protected.
Projects attached to the foundation focus on understanding our marine health and ecosystem, and learning about the endangered creatures that inhabit it, such as the te whai rahi oceanic manta rays. These Rays weigh up to two tonnes and do what almost no ray can, from the longest migration routes (1,982 km) to deepest recorded dives ( 1,248 metres). Unfortunately a lot of this research into our marine health has been left up to us, with citizen scientists and keen boaties being asked to call in sightings of the Rays.
Institutions the foundation has associated with are the New Zealand Geographic and the University of Auckland on its fascinating Taringa buoy. It’s a listening device that captures underwater acoustics and sends it back to land for AI to analyse and categorise. Currently being tested out at Goat Island they are hopeful that eventually the experiments with the Buoy will be able to lead to pinpointing illegal fishing activity going on at night in the area.
If world-class yachties supporting deep sea research doesn’t hit OMEGA’s theme of “precision at every level” then I don’t know what does.