Most regatta watches employ a highly visible countdown function that helps yachtsmen negotiate the crucial 10-minute countdown before the start of a race. Stiff penalties are in store for boats that miscalculate their approach and cross the start line too early. A highly efficient chronograph will also do the countdown job. Ulysse Nardin, sponsor of the Meridian Ocean Race held on the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy, for example, has a long history of marine chronographs used by top sailing teams. Another twist on the regatta watch is the Tambour Twin Chrono, introduced this year by Louis Vuitton. It focuses on timing the finish, using a split-seconds chronograph with separate subdials (driven by separate balances) to display the time of each of two boats. A third balance drives a differential display to track the difference between the two boats. The new Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback also gets the job done with a flyback that will instantly return the chronograph hands to zero and simultaneously restart it with the push of one button. Useful for timing two boats.The top five are rounded out by the Corum Admiral’s Cup, a regatta watch icon, and the Rolex Yachtmaster II, an industry standard.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Special Edition, with a grand feu enamel dial and Roman numerals in 18k rose gold. The in-house caliber UN-150 is a marine chronograph, with a silicium escapement.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback, the first chronograph to be made by Panerai using the new automatic caliber P.9100, with column-wheel construction, a Glucydur balance and Parechoc anti-shock device.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Twin Chrono with automatic manufacture movement LV175, made by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, with two column wheels, four balance wheels and four barrels. In 18k white gold, with grand feu enamel dial.
Corum Admirals Cup 45 Regatta, driven by Corum caliber CO 040, with a chronograph that continues to run after the countdown is finished. The case is PVD coated steel and the watch is water resistant to 300 meters.
Rolex Yachtmaster II, with programmable regatta countdown with mechanical memory, driven by the Rolex Caliber 4160 column wheel chronograph, with Parachrom hairspring. It has a power reserve of 72 hours.