New Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition honours the 50th anniversary of the legendary sustainability-focused race New Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition honours the 50th anniversary of the legendary sustainability-focused race

New Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition honours the 50th anniversary of the legendary sustainability-focused race

Zach Blass
  • New Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Ocean Race
  • UN states its Carbonium timing bezel is largely made from recycled fishing nets and aeroplane fuselage offcuts, offering a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites
  • Ulysse Nardin is the official timekeeping partner for The Ocean Race, a gruelling race across the world for six months

I think most people like the romantic idea of travelling the world. And for the sailors and sailing teams participating in this year’s Ocean Race they do get to do just that. But their travel isn’t all glitz and glamour. In reality, it a gruelling and highly competitive race to the finish – with seven legs across nine international cities over a span of six months. To accomplish such a challenging mission, especially doing so at a pace that earns you first place, requires an incredibly high level of skill and precision. Sure, the race is half of the year. For these sailors and teams, however, the prep, training, and eventual competition is a year-long effort.

Zach aboard the ’11th Hour 2′ racing boat earlier today

With precision and timing paramount, Ulysse Nardin proudly serves as The Ocean Race’s official timekeeper. And the marriage between the manufacture and the race extends far beyond simply keeping a record of time. A key emphasis of the six-month race, as well as the Ulysse Nardin brand, is ocean conservation and sustainability – competition with a conscious. This is why Ulysse Nardin also has partnered with the USA-repping 11th Hour Racing team who co-developed the “Racing with Purpose” initiative with The Ocean Race.

Ulysse Nardin Explains: “As part of this program, the Racing with Purpose initiative developed alongside 11th Hour Racing – the main partner of The Ocean Race and the founding partner of the race’s sustainability program – relies on three major projects to achieve this goal, including a scientific scheme that aims to collect and analyse essential data on the health of the water. As they chart a 60,000 km course across some of the planet’s most isolated regions, which are only rarely visited by research vessels, the teams have a unique opportunity to gather vital data and make up for a lack of information on two of the greatest threats to the health of the ocean: the impact of climate change and plastic pollution. It is thought to be the most data ever collected as part of a sporting event, and The Ocean Race is proud to be playing a key role in deepening our understanding of the marine world.”

Therefore, it is not only fitting that Ulysse Nardin has introduced a new Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition in honour of the 50th anniversary of the race, but also a watch that speaks to their sustainability and ocean conservation missions. Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, explains: “The new Diver celebrates this legendary sailing race, its commitment to protecting the ocean environment, and the research and marine conservation projects that Ulysse Nardin is proud to support.”

Clocking in at 44mm in diameter, the robust 300 metre water-resistant sandblasted black DLC-coated titanium case offers a watch lower in weight with a higher level of robustness. This balance of weight and robustness is something each of the sailing teams can strongly relate to as each kilogram of weight stored on the boat can drastically affect its performance within the race – every gram and second counts.

The watch’s concave uni-directional timing bezel is fashioned in Carboniun, a carbon composite that is largely made from recycled fishing nets and aeroplane fuselage offcuts. This results in a carbon composite material that, according to Ulysse Nardin, has 40% less of environmental impact than other carbon composites – which of course speaks to the sustainability emphasis from all parties involved. Framed within the bezel, beneath a sapphire crystal, you have a handsomely sandblasted black dial that not only offers a sleek and stealthy aesthetic, but also a highly legible one due to the contrasting accents of white and light blue that really pop against the backdrop.

Each of the recessed chronograph counters are clearly labelled and colour-coded as all hands tied to the chronograph functionality leverage a light blue coating with the 12-hour elapsed hours counter at 6′ labelled with “HOUR” in light blue and the 30-minute elapsed minutes counter at 3′ clearly labelled with ‘MIN’ in light blue. Even the start/stop pusher has a light blue ring, so it is a fool-proof chronograph arrangement. Continuing with the theme of legibility, all hands and hour indices, with the exception of the central chronograph seconds hand, have SuperLuminova® coatings for enhanced visibility in darkness. And, so you do not forget which day it is, whether racing on a boat or racing to the office, a circular date window is found within the 6′ register to better maintain the symmetry of the dial.

Beneath a commemoratively etched 50th anniversary exhibition caseback, with the ‘0’ in 50 formed from the The Ocean Race logo, ticks the UN manufacture self-winding chronograph calibre UN-150. The highly technical calibre is comprised of 318 components with a silicon escape wheel, anchor and balance-spring. Of course, Ulysse Nardin was the first to debut silicon as a material in watchmaking, its anti-magnetic properties highly useful in upholding more accurate timekeeping in a modern and magnetized world with more electronics – especially on a boat racing with a ton of electrical machines and equipment. The automatic column-wheel chronograph calibre, decorated with perlage, circular striping, chamfering, and hairline brushing, offers its wearer a standard 48 hours off power reserve.

Overall, the new Ocean Race Diver Chronograph is a fitting remix of its previous iterations with its stealthy-means-business, blacked-out aesthetic that subtly nods to 11th Hour Racing with its light blue accents that match the racing team’s windbreaker jacket. And, its Carbonium bezel, while just one element of the overall case, is definitely in line with the spirit of The Ocean Race’s sustainability message as well.

Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition pricing and availability:

The Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition is available now for purchase as a limited edition of 100 pcs. Price: CHF 14,900 (7.7% VAT) / €16,000 (21% VAT) / US$15,700

Brand Ulysse Nardin
Model Ocean Race Diver Chronograph Limited Edition
Case Dimensions 44mm (D)
Case Material Sandblasted and satin-finished black DLC titanium case, Carbonium® concave unidirectional rotating bezel with domed sapphire crystal
Water Resistance 300m (screw-down crown and pushers)
Dial Sandblasted black dial
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal and exhibiton caseback
Strap Black rubber strap with black ceramic element at 6 o’clock, engraved with The Ocean Race logo. Black ceramic pin buckle
Movement Calibre UN-150 self-winding Manufacture movement
Power Reserve 48 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Availability Now, limited to 100 pcs.
Price CHF 14,900 (7.7% VAT) / €16,000 (21% VAT) / US$15,700