Ulysse Nardin Diver Starry Night

Ulysse Nardin just dropped two rather stunning new timepieces, giving a nod to aventurine dials: the Diver Starry Night and the Marine Torpilleur Moonphase Aventurine. The art of aventurine traces back to the eighteenth century on the island of Murano in Venice, known for its skilled glass artisans. Legend has it that a craftsman inadvertently introduced copper filings into molten glass, giving birth to aventurine glass, aptly named “avventurina” in Italian, meaning “by accident.” Working with this delicate material requires immense skill from the artisans. They meticulously select uniform pieces free from imperfections and adorned with even speckles of copper glitter to create the dials.
Ulysse Nardin’s history in crafting precision deck chronometers for naval forces during the 19th and 20th centuries established its reputation as a master of the craft. These instruments were essential for determining a ship’s position at sea, relying on utmost accuracy. The Maison earned accolades for its excellence and supplied its inventions to over 50 navies, geodesy institutes, and astronomical observatories.

This maritime legacy gave rise to the iconic Marine Chronometer, an embodiment of technical mastery. In 2017, the Marine Torpilleur, a new generation of chronometers, emerged, incorporating the technical and aesthetic codes of the Marine Chronometer, including the fluted bezel, Roman numeral hour markers, double counter, and rhodium-plated hands.

The new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase Aventurine, an exclusive limited edition of 300 pieces, showcases a resplendent blue aventurine dial that resembles a starry night sky. It is housed in a 42 mm stainless steel case and powered by the UN-119 Manufacture caliber, meticulously designed and assembled by the integrated Ulysse Nardin Manufacture. The movement boasts a silicon balance spring and a DIAMonSIL escapement wheel and anchor, an innovative patented treatment that combines silicon with synthetic diamonds, rendering the movement abrasion and shock-resistant.

The double counter at 12 o’clock displays the power reserve and small seconds at 6 o’clock. Additionally, a moon phase disc adds a touch of elegance as it graces the starry night. Water-resistant to 50 meters, this timepiece is presented on a blue alligator strap with a folding clasp.
Inspired by the mesmerizing colors of the Milky Way, the Diver Starry Night unveils a dial as captivating as it is dazzling. Ulysse Nardin’s artisans meticulously superimposed two plates: one crafted from iridescent mother-of-pearl and the other from blue aventurine glass.

The enchantment continues with the diamonds adorning the bezel (0.8 carats) and 11-hour markers (0.12 carats). At its core, the caliber UN-816 features an anchor and escapement wheel made of silicon. This polished and satin-finished steel diver’s watch is water resistant to 300 meters, boasting a 39 mm diameter suitable for all wrist sizes. It is offered with a strap in dark blue textured rubber or white alligator, ensuring excellent readability even in low-light conditions, thanks to hands and the 12 o’clock hour marker coated with white SuperLuminova
Over the 19th and 20th centuries, Ulysse Nardin earned an exceptional reputation as a master of deck chronometers for naval forces around the world. The accuracy of these instruments was crucial for calculating longitude to determine a ship’s position at sea. The Maison won awards for its excellence at the time and supplied its inventions to over 50 navies, geodesy institutes and astronomical observatories. This nautical background led Ulysse Nardin to create the emblematic Marine Chronometer, an expression of its technical prowess. In 2017, a new generation of chronometers was born with the Marine Torpilleur, a timepiece that adopts the technical and aesthetic codes of the Marine Chronometer, including the fluted bezel, Roman numeral hour markers, double counter, and rhodium-plated hands.

The new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase Aventurine, an exclusive limited edition of 300 pieces, reveals a sparkling blue aventurine dial reminiscent of a night sky, set in a 42 mm stainless steel case. Powered by the UN-119 Manufacture calibre, fully designed and assembled by the integrated Ulysse Nardin Manufacture, this movement is equipped with a silicon balance spring as well as a DIAMonSIL escapement wheel and anchor. This patented treatment, which combines silicon with synthetic diamonds to make the movement abrasion and shock-resistant, was introduced for the first time on the Freak in 2007. Finally, the double counter displays the power reserve at 12 o’clock and small seconds at 6 o’clock, as well as a moon phase disc, which adds elegance when it appears in the starry night. Water-resistant to 50 metres, this timepiece is presented on a blue alligator strap with folding clasp.

Ulysse Nardin Freak X OPS

Plenty of brands boast about pushing the limits of horology, changing your perception of time, and disrupting the industry. The endless catchphrases and adjectives to describe something that’s generally not all that different from the competition is tiring. Then, the Ulysse Nardin Freak comes into question, and the excitement about something unique and genuinely rare is revived. While the “Freak” name and branding have exploded across the Ulysse Nardin collection, there’s truly only a handful of “real” Freaks, with the collection growing by one more. The new Ulysse Nardin Freak X Ops has been unveiled at Watches and Wonders Shanghai bringing a splash of color and tacti-cool style to the collection. The Freak X line itself isn’t new, relatively speaking. It is aptly marketed as “the daily Freak” thanks to the presence of a crown and substantially lower price point than its crown-less Freak cousins. However, every ounce of remaining Freak DNA is on full display following the “no-hands, no-dial” defining factors. The one-hour orbital carousel tourbillon is affixed to an elongated bridge that becomes the minute hands, while the hour indicator is found on a disc protruding through the center of the movement. While at-a-glance legibility has never been a strength of this non-traditional design, the matte and brushed metal bridges over a black multi-dimensional background should help. Khaki green lume has been added to the bridges and the black radially brushed baton framework of the movement, which serves as hour markers. I have not had enough extended time with a Freak on my wrist to report if it becomes easier to read as you become accustomed to it.

The 206-component movement is the same caliber UN-230 manufacture movement found in the rest of the Freak X lineup. It beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour. The escapement is composed of lightweight silicon and features nickel flyweights to aid in rotation and regulation. The full movement is on display through a titanium caseback with a sapphire exhibition window. No caseback photos were available at press time. The Freak X OPS blends the brand’s “Magma” carbon fiber composite originally used in the Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Magma, with a black DLC titanium case found on existing Freak X models. The patterned black and green flanks are paired with a lightweight titanium frame that leans into its “Operations” title. Ulysse Nardin Freak X Ops is no stranger to carbon fiber; the brand uses it in multiple colors and shapes, even blending it with precious metals. The “Magma” material is composed of black carbon fiber and green epoxy resin. On the 2019 Freak X Magma, I found the material to look busy and cheap in images. The swirling black pattern has been reduced on the Freak X Ops yielding a more natural topographic-like design. Paired with the muted OD green resin, this design fits effortlessly into the “Ops” name, but make no mistake, the Freak X Ops is not your tactical tool watch. While it looks the part, the most tactical action most wearers will put it through is a few matches of Call of Duty.

The 43mm wide case of the Ulysse Nardin Freak X Ops boasts 50 meters of water resistance. While I would like to see the “everyday Freak” rated to 100m at minimum, this is far better than the 30m we so often see. The case measures 13.38mm thick to the top of the domed sapphire crystal and the brand reports the perceived thickness to be 10.7mm due to the downturned lugs, or what I like to call “lug hug.” Depending on the shape and size of your wrist, this may or may not be the case. The watch comes on a black recycled fishing net strap or a matching khaki green fabric strap with a hook and loop (velcro) closure. There’s no denying the unique position of the Freak in the watch industry. It represents some of the highest levels of innovative and non-traditional horology without any of the derivative repetitive designs plaguing nearly every level of watchmaking. While the Freak design has been around for over 20 years, it still feels fresh with each new take, and it’s one you almost certainly won’t see another at your local watch meet-up.

Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure

Today, Ulysse Nardin introduces a new azure colorway for its Diver Net and Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton models. If, like me, you’re unfortunate enough to have experienced a short-lived streak in the cloud computing industry, the word Azure will remind you of the Microsoft platform. However, if you remained untainted by this association (until now), you’ll likely think of a particular coastal area in the south of France, or even a lovely bright blue shade of clear skies. For Ulysse Nardin the it’s latter. It’s this attractive shade that the brand has applied to two of its dive watches. Their release today is no coincidence, as June 8th is World Ocean Day.

The brand’s relationship with the world’s oceans can be traced back over a century and a half. Ulysse Nardin gained its reputation thanks to its production of marine chronometers. These were essential course-setting tools for early ocean explorers. An accurate timekeeper could spell the difference between life and death in the open ocean.

In recent years conservation has been an essential aspect of Ulysse Nardin’s mission. This has driven innovation which we’ve seen materialize in some of its recent releases. You might remember that last year, the brand released the limited edition Ulysse Nardin The Ocean Race Diver Net. This watch was based on the brand’s concept for a sustainably-produced upcycled luxury dive watch. It broke new ground in its use of materials. Namely, Carbonium (a carbon composite material with 40% less environmental impact than other comparable materials), and Nylo (a material made of recycled polyamide fishing nets). Last year’s Diver Net also used 80% recycled steel in its construction. The two timepieces introduced today follow up the concept in a non-limited addition to the brand’s catalog.
Let’s take a look at the pair of bold divers released today and see how they follow up on those pioneering first steps taken last year, starting with the Diver Net Azure. The watch’s 44 mm × 14.81 mm case is now made of 95% recycled stainless steel. The side case and case back ring are made of 60% Nylo and 40% Carbonium. The bezel is also made entirely of the latter. Below the domed sapphire crystal sits a black sand-blasted dial. At 12 o’clock, you have a power reserve indicator, and at 6 o’clock, the running seconds. An Azure “X” extends across the dial and highlights the bright white Super-LumiNova hour markers. Powering the watch, you’ll find the UN-118 Manufacture caliber. An automatic movement with 50 jewels, a Silicon balance spring, and a DiamonSil escapement wheel and anchor. This model has a water resistance rating of 300m.
Now, if we take a look at the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure, we see a slightly different beast. The DLC-coated titanium case is just as big (44mm) but slightly taller (15.7mm). The same Carbonium dive bezel insert is also featured here. The x-shaped skeletonized dial features polished and satin finishes, with azure accents mirroring those on the Diver Net. Looking below the brand’s logo at 12 o’clock you’ll see the Carbonium barrel cover of the UN-372 Manufacture caliber. Another distinctive feature of the movement is its oversized silicon balance wheel, visible at 6 o’clock. The Diver X Skeleton has a water resistance rating of 200m. This model does away with the date and power reserve, which suits the inherently busier look of its skeletonized dial. Both watches are delivered on complementary azure-blue rubber straps. On this World Ocean Day, Ulysse Nardin rejuvenates these two previously-existing models with its innovative materials. The brand is also teaming up with OCEARCH and photographer-turned-shark-activist Mike Coots to bring awareness to the issues plaguing the world’s oceans. To learn more about World Ocean Day and all its associated initiatives, check out the website here.
Ulysse Nardin has dropped a new take on its Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure after its debut quickly sold out.

The new Diver X Skeleton Black is being released as a 175-piece limited edition in black DLC-treated titanium, with two straps; one in bright yellow rubber and the other in black, made from recycled fishing nets. Sandblasted on its flanks with satin-finished lugs, the 44mm case is water resistant to 200m and features a uni-direction bezel in Carbonium, a lightweight material sourced from the aerospace industry.

The first Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure , with a blue Carbonium bezel, was released in 2021 with a completely reworked, skeletonised UN-371 movement.

Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph

The provenance of Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph might be a small, landlocked country, but thanks to its marine chronometers, the brand from Le Locle has always been closely associated with the sea since 1846. By the 1870s, Ulysse Nardin supplied more than 50 navies and merchant marine companies with precision marine deck chronometers. Today, the brand underscores its maritime credentials as the official timing partner of the exciting Ocean Race. Regarded as the longest (60,000 km) and toughest round-the-world team sailing challenge since 1973, the 14th edition of The  Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph   kicked off in Alicante, Spain, in January 2023. Docking in nine cities around the globe over six months and finishing in Genoa in June, the teams have embarked on their fifth leg from Newport, Rhode Island, to Aarhus, Denmark. Taking advantage of the pit stop in Rhode Island and celebrating The Ocean Race’s 50th anniversary, Ulysse Nardin unveiled a 100-piece edition of its  Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph  .
Originally known as the Whitbread Round the World Race and then the Volvo Ocean Race, the newly christened Ocean Race is a legendary sailing competition pitting racing crews on the high seas. As the race’s official timekeeper, Ulysse Nardin tracks the timings of the different legs and is also a partner of the 24-Hour Speed Challenge, in which the crew that covers the greatest distance in 24 hours wins. Consider that in the right conditions, these yachts can cover 600+ nautical miles in 24 hours. Making hay while the sun shines, UN also unfurls its flag in support of the Time to Act programme that aims to reduce the impact of pollution, climate change and industrial overfishing in our oceans.
The chronograph celebrating The  Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Chronograph   is a member of UN’s contemporary Diver family with a black, white and light blue colour scheme. Designed to evoke the lightweight carbon hulls of the racing yachts competing in The Ocean Race, the case is crafted in titanium and the unidirectional bezel in Carbonium

, producing the signature marbled mottled effect associated with carbon. As the brand explains, the material used in the bezel is made from upcycled fibres from aeroplane fuselage offcuts that have a 40% lower impact on the environment than other carbon composites.

The sandblasted and satin-finished black DLC titanium case of this 300m water-resistant Chronograph Diver has a diameter of 44mm. The white numerals and markers on the concave bezel are raised, and the 0 is treated with Super-LumiNova. Two pushers, one with a light blue ring to start the chronograph, flank the large screw-down crown.
The sandblasted black dial hosts three slightly recessed sub-dials to relay the 30-minute elapsed times of the chronograph at 3 o’clock, the 12-hour chronograph totaliser and date aperture at 6 o’clock and running seconds at 9 o’clock. Matching the light blue ring on the top chronograph pusher and the 5-minute markings on the bezel, the chronograph hands and the seconds track are light blue. All the hands and indices are treated with a blue-glowing Super-LumiNova. The black rubber strap with pin buckle features a black ceramic element at 6 o’clock engraved with The Ocean Race logo.
The Ocean Race 50th anniversary logo is stamped on the sapphire caseback, revealing the brand’s in-house, automatic, integrated, column-wheel chronograph movement with a 48-hour power reserve. As the precursor of the use of silicon (silicium at UN), the escapement is made from silicon and beats at a modern 4Hz frequency.

Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold

Ulysse Nardin adds a rose gold and blue PVD titanium model to its skeletonized Blast collection. The new Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold marks the first blue two-tone model in the contemporary series, identified with its x-shaped tourbillon cage, x-shaped movement bridge, rectangular frame and three-lug strap connection. The tourbillon exposed in the lower section of the large x-shaped bridge regulates Ulysse Nardin’s UN-172 Manufacture caliber, an automatic movement with a three-day power reserve and a silicon balance spring, escapement wheel and pallet fork. At the top of the skeletal dial you’ll find a platinum rotor. Part of the allure of the entire Blast collection is its distinctive multi-level 45mm case. This model delivers that profile with a central case in sand-blasted blue PVD titanium and an upper case in satin-finished and polished rose gold. That wide bezel is made of blue PVD titanium.
Ulysse Nardin’s Blast collection takes on this challenge with conviction and determination. With its double X —for exploration— the new Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold, with its sharp lines and resolute character, takes a decisive step towards watchmaking of the future. The Blast Tourbillon is driven by a flying tourbillon skeletonized movement with silicium escapement in a modern case.

Inspired by the lines of stealth aircraft, this avant-garde watch expresses its full power through the juxtaposition of colors and materials and the perfect integration of all its components. The engine in this new craft was designed and developed by the Manufacture’s master watchmakers in an iterative process, in parallel with the two-tone case that houses it, to ensure both perfect integration and exceptional comfort for the wearer.

Structured with alternating components in 18K rose gold and blue PVD titanium, and featuring both polished and satin-finished surfaces, the powerful 45 mm case is water-resistant to 50 meters. This new model comes with a blue velvet rubber strap along with an 18K rose gold and blue PVD titanium folding clasp.

Playing with transparency and authenticity, the UN-172 Manufacture calibre houses a 25-jewel automatic silicium flying tourbillon oscillating at a frequency of 18,000 vph. It also offers a power reserve of three days while it’s nestled in a unique cage that is X-shaped. This allows light to penetrate the open-worked watch, illuminating the extraordinary technical feat that this uncompromising time mechanism represents. The iconic codes that express the unique personality of the Blast collection are all present in this new timepiece: the rectangular frame, the signature «three lugs» that fit perfectly into the strap, the colored bezel, the verticality of the movement with the barrel, as well as the micro-rotor in platinum at 12 o’clock and the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

The new Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon is a clear affirmation of Ulysse Nardin’s innovative prowess. As an independent brand that dares to take its elite watchmaking craftsmanship to unexplored paths, Ulysse Nardin inspires and forges the watchmaking of tomorrow.

Ulysse Nardin Diver Norrøna Arctic Night

Ulysse Nardin and Norwegian outdoor sportswear brand, Norrøna, have collaborated on a sustainable limited edition dive watch.

The all-black 29-piece Ulysse Nardin DIVER NORRØNA Arctic Night is presented with a Norrøna arktis Gore-Tex Pro Jacket Ulysse Nardin Edition and brings together the shared sustainability values of the two brands. The 44mm watch becomes the most sustainable watch in Ulysse Nardin’s collection with caseband and caseback that are 40% Carbonic and 60% recycled fishing net Nylo, case made of 80% recycled automotive industry stainless steel and strap made from 100% recycled fishing nets.

A 4Hz UN-118 automatic movement with Silicium & DiamonSil escapement and 60-hour power reserve keeps time.

It also sees Ulysse Nardin enter into partnership with Norrøna partner and Norwegian polar explorer, Børge Ousland, the first person to complete solo crossings of both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
If anybody outside the watch world were to ask what some of the biggest trends in watchmaking are today, the answer would undoubtedly include ‘collaborations’ and ‘sustainability‘. Ulysse Nardin is no stranger to collaborations, and for its latest Diver, it teams up with Norwegian outdoor sportswear brand Norrøna to produce the Ulysse Nardin Diver Norrøna Arctic Night. Sheathed in dark sustainable materials – or at least materials with a lower carbon footprint – the Diver Norrøna Arctic Night is a limited edition of 29 pieces and comes with a GoreTex Pro Norrøna jacket to accompany you on your next Arctic adventure. Many watch brands have jumped on the sustainability sledge these days and want the world to know they are doing their bit to fight global warming. Long associated with marine chronometers, Ulysse Nardin’s portfolio has always steered on a nautical path with classical renditions like the Marine Torpilleur or more contemporary 300m diver watches in the Diver family. The Ocean Race Diver, which provides the base of this watch, was introduced six months ago and made of innovative, recycled materials, representing the brand’s commitment to the preservation of ocean life. With a 60/40% composition of recycled fishing nets and Carbonium for the case and caseback combined with recycled stainless steel for some of the components, the brand claims the watch reduces its environmental impact by 40% compared to traditional cases. Norrøna, founded in 1929 by Jørgen Jørgensen and still a family-run business, specialises in durable outdoor equipment for Norway’s harsh environment (including wetsuits for cold water Arctic surfing!) and has a goal “to be the most responsible outdoor company” by 2029. To give a real-life action-worn face to the watch, Ulysse Nardin and Norrøna also count on Børge Ousland, a Norweigan explorer, a former deep-sea diver and Navy Seal, as a partner. You’ll be pleased to know that Ousland also served as a consultant in the development of the arktis Norrøna jacket included with the Ulysse Nardin Diver Norrøna Arctic Night watch. The dark palette of the watch, with its mottled grey and white bezel, is inspired by Norway’s deep fjords and volcanic rocks. The robust 44mm case with a water resistance of 300 metres uses an assortment of Carbonium – the same material used for the fuselage and wings of aircraft, with a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites since it makes use of offcuts (leftovers) – Nylo, recycled fishing nets and recycled stainless steel. The structure of the case is built as follows: the caseband and caseback are made of 40% Carbonium and 60% Nylo; the stainless steel container is made from 80 recycled automotive parts; the mottled decoration on the bezel is made of 100% Carbonium; the strap is made from 100% recycled fishing nets; and the components of the manufacture movement are sourced in Switzerland within a 30km radius (to cut down on carbon emissions). The black sandblasted dial features the classic double X-shape embossed in the centre with a power reserve indicator at noon and a running seconds counter at 6 o’clock with a circular date window and Norrøna’s Viking logo in the centre. The short, thick indices are treated with Super-LumiNova and indicated by lumed hour and minute hands, while the markings on the dial, sub-dials and unidirectional rotating bezel are picked out in a contrasting shade of grey. The smoked sapphire caseback with Norrøna’s Viking logo reveals the UN-118 automatic manufacture movement. The UN-118 was the brand’s first in-house base calibre and made its debut inside the Marine Chronometer Manufacture of 2012 and was fitted with cutting-edge nanotechnology in the form of a DiamonSil escapement (alliance of silicium and artificial diamond) and a silicium hairspring. The movement uses 50 jewels, runs at a rate of 28,800vph and provides 60 hours of power reserve.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu

Ulysse Nardin turned 175 this year, and I’m not sure whether that fact surprised me or not when I opened a recent press release and read about it. The company is old, no doubt, and I’ve seen a number of their older marine chronometers and mid-century dress watches. But so many of its meaningful advancements are bound up in the mechanical watch renaissance that Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu was itself, at least partially spearheaded by the company’s longtime champion, the late Rolf Schnyder. In honor of the anniversary, UN is releasing the new Chronometry collection, which connects the company back to its historically significant role as a maker of marine chronometers. And of these new watches, a beautiful, grand feu enamel dial is the showstopper. The layout of that dial, which comes via UN-owned Donzé Cadrans, is a familiar one to anyone who’s seen the company’s watches. The hours and minutes come from the central axis, and a power reserve indicator occupies a slightly unusual position up at 12. The caliber UN-128 tourbillon is down at 6 for a symmetrical look. And the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu has the Ulysse Nardin Anchor escapement, which uses bucking silicon blades to reduce friction and the need for additional lubricant.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu has long been at the forefront of using silicon in its watches, and this tourbillon is a part of that legacy. I like the look the of the Torpilleur range and how it’s been executed in this new watch within the Chronometry Collection. The watch combines a vintage-feeling design inspired by Marine Chronometers and a grand feu enamel dial with with one of the more sophisticated escapement technologies we have seen in recent times. That dichotomy feels wonderfully representative of Ulysse Nardin as a watchmaker.

Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph “Great White”

Shark week kicks off today, a week devoted to the mighty apex predator of the seas whose very existence is being threatened by overfishing. The often misunderstood and feared Great White, depicted as a ferocious man-eating creature in Steven Spielberg’s film Jaws, is essential to the natural order of marine ecosystems. As a brand closely linked to the sea, Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph takes its support of safeguarding sharks to the next level and will donate 1% of all sales of its shark watches to support the non-profit organisation For the Planet. It is also partnering with Sharktrust, a leading European shark conservation charity and has invited a new ambassador who knows about sharks intimately. And, as you have probably already guessed, Ulysse Nardin is releasing a limited edition of its Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph .
Sharks and Ulysse Nardin are a natural fit, harking back to the brand’s strong maritime ties in the shape of marine chronometers. Moving forward, the brand has now divided its marine watches into two families: the classical Marine collection with an emphasis on chronometry and the contemporary Dive collection, where the first shark-named watches surfaced with models like the Diver Hammerhead of 2010, followed by the Diver Great White, Diver Blue Shark and the Diver Lemon Shark. Such is Ulysse Nardin’s passion for sharks that the predator has become the brand’s mascot. Featured on advertising campaigns, the shark is even depicted navigating urban environments like Fifth Avenue to promote the Freak Vision.
Since 2020 the brand has become more involved with conservation programmes and launched a shark tagging campaign with non-invasive techniques, and partnered with US-based Ocearch to track the mighty predator. Ulysse Nardin has even adopted two Great Whites (Carcharodon carcharias) as brand ambassadors, Andromache, an adult female and Ulysse, a 12-foot-long Great White, both of whom can be tracked in real-time through Ocearch.

The brand’s latest partnerships are with Sharktrust, a UK-based shark conservation charity addressing unsustainable and unmanaged fisheries and supply chains that encourage the consumption of shark products. Recent reports indicate that oceanic sharks have declined by 71% in the last 50 years, mainly due to overfishing. Ulysse Nardin is also committed to supporting 1% for the Planet, a global organisation that channels support from businesses and individuals to non-profit environmental projects. And last, but by no means least, Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph has invited Mike Coutts to become a new friend of the brand. After having his leg torn off by a bull shark while bodyboarding in Hawaii, Mike Coutts turned his tragedy into a career of conservation as a marine photographer.
With all this goodwill and commitment in place, there had to be a watch, and the brand is releasing a grey and white version shark-themed of its 44m Diver Chrono. Playing with the colours of the Great White shark, the grey sandblasted dial evokes the rough skin of a shark and the white rubber details echo the white underside of this species.
Ulysse Nardin’s bold Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph underwent a facelift in 2019, gaining a more streamlined profile and a more contemporary face. Equipped with a 12-notched concave dive bezel with raised numerals and Super-LumiNova on the 0, the bezel has a white rubber insert. The 44mm is made of grey titanium with sandblasted and brushed finishings, in line with the instrumental character of this 300m water-resistant diver. Two pushers with white rings flank the screw-down crown.
The three slightly recessed counters – 30-minute at 3, small seconds at 9, and 12-hour and small seconds & date at 6 o’clock – feature crisp white and blue markings. The brand name with the applied anchor appears at noon with the inscription Great White below. As a resilient diver, the wide applied indices for the hours and all the hands are treated with Super-LumiNova that glows blue in the dark. Another fun detail is the shark motif on the white rubber strap that has been cut out to reveal the blue lume below. The rubber strap features the hallmark titanium element at 6 o’clock and can be ordered with a titanium tang buckle or a deploying buckle.
The profile of a Great White shark is stamped on the caseback protecting the brand’s in-house, automatic, integrated, column-wheel chronograph movement with a 48-hour power reserve. As the precursor of the use of silicon (silicium at UN), the escapement is made from silicon and beats at a modern 4Hz frequency.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph 44mm Great White is a limited edition of 300 watches and retails for CHF 12,600 with the tang buckle and CHF 12,850 with the deploying buckle. As we mentioned, 1% of the revenues generated from the sale of this watch will be donated to support non-profit organisations committed to the conservation of sharks.

Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer Tourbillon

Why do so many watch brands have freedivers as ambassadors? After all, the dive watch came about, and was used for decades, to track elapsed bottom time while the person wearing it breathes compressed air, specifically to avoid overstaying no-decompression limits or to time deco stops. Yet for years we’ve seen many brands tout their relationships with such apnea luminaries as Carlos Coste (Oris), Herbert Nitsch (Breitling), Guillaume Néry (Ball and now Panerai), Tanya Streeter (TAG Heuer), Tudor (Morgan Bourc’his) and of course, Jacques Mayol (Omega). At first blush, it seems illogical. After all, freediving involves going deep on a single breath, in which the risk of decompression illness is negligible and elapsed time is typically less than a couple of minutes. Freedivers are also proud of their sports’ minimalism. Whereas scuba diving is all about the equipment – heavy tanks, buoyancy vests and regulators – freediving requires nothing more than a mask at its most basic, maybe a wetsuit and set of fins if you’re not quite as ascetic. I doubt most freedivers even bother to glance at the time while underwater, much less wear a watch.

The answer to my own question is likely that, since very few really use a watch anymore for scuba diving, watch companies might as well seek their underwater wrist models from the more aesthetically beautiful sport. Scuba diving is complicated, cluttered with unwieldy hoses and straps. Freediving is sleek and athletic, the human form in graceful silhouette against the blue. There is a purity of form that suits a well designed watch and the notion of stripping down to the basics – fins, a mask, a watch – has appeal to everyone from avid watersports enthusiasts to tropical holiday-makers, not to mention the confusing and arcane “rules” and training of scuba.
The latest luxury brand to sign an elite freediver as an ambassador, is Ulysse Nardin, with the Belgian, Fred Buyle, wearing their latest Diver Chronometer on his wrist. I was recently invited to the French Riviera to experience UN’s new trio of dive watches, meet Fred Buyle, and do some freediving in the Mediterranean.
Just last year, in Bermuda, I had a chance to dive with the previous iteration of Ulysse’s dive watch, the Marine Diver (in Artemis Racing Edition livery) and the new Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor. Still present is the trademark bezel with oversized bezel rider tabs, the power reserve and small seconds, and the rubber strap with its uniquely integrated metal link. However, it has been streamlined, simplified, and cleaned up. Gone is the wave textured dial and the skeleton hands. The concave bezel hashes are bolder, more sporty, the crystal is domed, and the rubber strap does away with a folding deployant clasp in favor of a simpler and more “dive friendly” pin buckle. It is more evolution than revolution and Ulysse was smart not to reinvent what was an already recognizable design.
There are three versions: a blue or black dial “standard” version, a “Monaco Yacht Show” limited edition (with black surface treatment, and gold bezel and crown), and the all-white “Diver Great White” limited edition. The watches are all housed in 44-millimeter titanium cases and powered by the in-house UN-118 calibre, which is visible through a sapphire caseback on all but the Great White edition, which has a solid back engraved with the watch’s namesake Carcharodon carcharias. The chronometer-certified self-winding movement boasts 60 hours of power reserve and strong anti-magnetic properties, thanks to the silicon balance.
Of the new Ulysse divers, I found the blue and black versions most appealing. Though they all share the same basic form and movement, the simpler ones work best, in my opinion. Titanium is a smart choice for dive watches, especially at 44 millimeters, which pushes the limits of size. The concave bezel and domed crystal are cues seen on vintage divers, though overall this is a refreshingly modern take on the dive watch, in a sea of “heritage,” retro competitors. I used to wonder about the purpose of the integrated metal link on the rubber band, but after wearing it for a while, I realized that it articulates the strap past the bony side of the wrist. Many thick rubber straps on luxury divers can chafe at this spot, but the Ulysse divers are supremely comfortable. That said, I can do without the additional branding engraved on it, and especially the cheesy shark and “Monaco” that are found on the limited editions. Equally off-putting to my eye was the “Great White” on the dial of the white limited edition, and its caseback engraving reminded me of the smiling shark in “Finding Nemo.”
I’ve done a bit of freediving in the past, but I’m more comfortable exploring the subaquatic world with a tank on my back. My past experiences learning the finer points of the sport from those far better than me (Carlos Coste, Morgan Bourc’his) have involved lessons on yogic relaxation, breathing technique, and body position, all with the aim of going deeper down a weighted rope, pushing personal limits. But Fred Buyle, who once was a world record holding competitive diver, takes a more Zen approach. He left the competitive side of the sport behind and focuses more on using freediving as an unintrusive way to explore underwater, interact with marine animals, most notably sharks, and as a means to silently shoot underwater photography, all without the noisy gush of scuba exhalations. It’s refreshing, since that’s the way most of us mortals will freedive as well, dipping 10 or 20 feet down to explore a coral head while snorkeling, for example, not chasing a depth tag for a world record.
In the Mediterranean Sea off of Cap d’Antibes, not far from where Jacques Cousteau first dipped his toes into the “silent world,” I traded duck dives with Buyle, descending to a bed of sea grass 25 feet down to eye schools of tiny fish through the dappled sunlight that filtered down. I wore a wetsuit to ward off the chill of the autumn sea, and to counteract the buoyancy, a weight belt with enough lead to let me sink, but not enough to make floating on the surface difficult. I wore the blue Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer , and glanced at it underwater a few times to assess its legibility. But let’s not kid ourselves, the merits of most luxury diving watches these days is as a beautiful companion that survives where you wear it.
During a press conference on the trip, Ulysse Nardin CEO, Patrick Priniaux (a keen diver himself) asked Buyle what purpose a watch has for a freediver. Buyle said that it is the minimalism of a mechanical watch that appeals to him. He doesn’t wear a digital dive computer, and said the sweep of a seconds hand more closely mimics the passage of time while underwater. Practiced sound bite? Perhaps. But I could relate to Buyle’s sentiments, with a slightly less tangible take. We watch enthusiasts wear divers because it lets us take our passion, our hobby, anywhere, even into harsh environments like deep under the salty sea. That little capsule of human ingenuity, dry and safe despite the pressure around it, evokes a sense of calm when the sweep hand is viewed through a dive mask 30 feet underwater when the lungs start to burn from the buildup of carbon dioxide. And then there’s the small thrill of stepping off the inflatable skiff, stripping off the wetsuit, and walking right into the bar afterwards with bragging rights on your wrist.

Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer chose to introduce the new dive watches in the Mediterranean to coincide with the Monaco Yacht Show, an annual showcase of mega-yachts in the world’s most famous marina and the day after diving, I was walking the docks ogling multimillion dollar watercraft, whose tenders likely cost more than my house. This was an appropriate place to debut the new watches. Though the Diver Chronometer is a sportier take on UN’s underwater watch, it still feels more like a “dress diver,” better suited on a tanned arm holding a cocktail in a chair on the teak deck of a sleek yacht than strapped over a wetsuit sleeve tagging sharks.
As I strolled the show, passing 300-foot yachts with nine-figure price tags, I came upon a lowly tugboat, its aft deck strewn with rusty oil drums, a derrick and coiled lines. It felt out of place, a working boat among the idle rich, a Seiko dive watch among a marina of Ulysse Nardins. Truth be told, my tastes tend to run towards more “blue collar” divers, the Citizen Aqualands and Doxas of the world, with their no-deco bezels, depth gauges, and rippled rubber straps, but there in Monaco, I could see the appeal of something a little more refined. As the definition of the dive watch changes, there’s room for all kinds, and while the Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer likely won’t be strapped over my drysuit sleeve for my next Great Lakes shipwreck dive, I can respect it for expanding the reach of by far my favorite watch genre.

Ulysse Nardin freak x

Over the years Ulysse Nardin freak X continues to prove that it is the true pioneer in watchmaking, breaking down the traditional barriers of construction and design. At the 2022 Watches & Wonders presentation, the Swiss luxury watchmaker, often known for disrupting the timepiece industry with its nautical-inspired pieces, has taken to new heights. It appears that this time around, the newly released watches have taken inspiration from the abysses to the cosmos.

Ulysse Nardin has unveiled the Ulysse Nardin freak X Aventurine is one that comes out of a celestial vault, taking the infinite galaxy as an elegant inspiration for the glittering effect seen on the face of the watch. The brand first introduced the Freak X line in 2019 and has since expanded the lineup to continue its Vertical Odyssey. The Freak X Aventurine is equipped with an extra-large 3 Hz silicium balance wheel. Embracing the sleek design, this 43 mm watch also features a blue PVD titanium and 5N rose gold case. Available on the watch is a blue alligator strap with light grey “points de bride” stitches. This particular wrist piece is limited to only 99 watches for $38,000 USD.

Building on its Ulysse Nardin freak X collection, the Swiss watchmaker has released the Freak S, the very first automatic double oscillator with a differential. As an obvious technical extension of the Freak Vision, the new mechanical marvel features noteworthy innovation that includes an inclined double oscillator that uses DiamonSIL technology, a vertical differential and a grinder automatic winding system. Thanks to the mechanism, the two oscillators of the Freak S never oscillate at the same speed. The new case is inspired by the first Freak from 2001 and includes a combination of ceramic, titanium and gold. The case back is constructed with titanium with black DLC, six screws and a visible grinder through the open sapphire case-back. Similar to the Aventurine, the Freak S also debuts its own sparkly rendition of a starry night. The Freak S is limited to 75 pieces of which only 40 will go into production in 2022 for $260 USD.