The Watch Shaun White Wore Around the World

His big-faced Omega is a reminder of what he earned along the way: lots of gold hardware.

omega shaun white watch

An iconic athlete deserves an iconic timepiece, so it’s no surprise that prior to his departure for his fifth and final Olympics, snowboarder and Omega ambassador Shaun White wanted to select something appropriate to adorn his wrist. But rather than pick out a timepiece from its most popular line, the 35-year-old Californian chose a model that debuted the year before he did — and with nearly as much gold. He set his intention with an accessory.

White chose the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph. The Seamaster line houses Omega's dive watches, and the Planet Ocean subcollection is the most serious among them with a 600m water resistance. White's choice further adds a chronograph to the mix — and a case made of the brand's own red gold alloy called Sedna Gold. All of these elements (not just the precious metal) contribute to its price of $30,200.

snowboard beijing 2022 winter olympics day 7
Shaun White attempts a trick during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Al BelloGetty Images

Mid-Games White said, “My ultimate Olympic dream is just the endless pursuit of perfection. I really believe that timing and precision is everything. Not only when I leave the snow and I’m flying through the air, but also the timing within my career.”

In snowboarding, timing is more than everything: It’s what separates competitors who posted scores mere decimal points apart.

“We’re flipping and spinning so fast, and the margin for error is very small. I’m going up a 22-foot half pipe wall, flying out of that at least 23-feet, doing, multiple flips and spins. You see the blue lines they paint on the walls; you have to time it right to be inside those lines,” White said in a post-Games appearance on Jimmy Kimmel. “That’s all you want to know. I was talking to other athletes and friends [in other sports], if I miss that pass, there will be another pass. But if I’m flying 20 feet through the air, and I’m off, that’s going to be bad… there’s no coming back from that.”


Beyond its gold, White’s watch stands apart in size — fitting for White’s larger than life persona. At 45.5 millimeters, the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph case is among the largest of the line, but Omega counters that this is often a matter of function, allowing for larger and more complex movements — perhaps even quick glances as you’re hurling down a halfpipe.

“As an athlete used to pushing the boundaries, [White] was almost certainly drawn to the [Seamaster] watch’s adventurous history,” Omega said. “His choice of model is also very striking . . . A very stylish piece for an athlete with his own energetic and individual style.”

"It’s been an amazing run, so I’m happy with it."

Since 1932, Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics, and in 2022 the company celebrated its 30th go around at the Games. For the prolific snowboarder, whose career spanned decades but was nearing its final moments, it made sense that White would select a memorable mechanical watch over a fitness wearable.

"Mechanical watches are not really in competition with digital tech, because a Swiss-made Omega watch is not just about telling the time," Omega added. "It’s about exceptional quality movements, beautiful materials, high levels of testing, legacy, authenticity, and storytelling."

And what a story White’s career has been. Placing fourth overall in the halfpipe, he finished just off the medal stand, but his lifetime of gold-medal moments are carried with him, with a visible reminder encircling his wrist and likely eliciting a few stories.

In that same Jimmy Kimmel conversation, he grappled with whether he was really done — and whether the timing would be right for a return to the sport in Milan in four years. "In all fairness, I’ve been doing this for so long," he said. "It’s been an amazing run, so I’m happy with it."

Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph
Omega Omega
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