As Official Timer of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021, Ulysse Nardin introduces two new watches in honour of the sailors who compete in what is considered to be the most challenging yacht race in the world. Held every four years, this open-ocean single-handed non-stop round-the-globe adventure begins and ends at Sables d’Olonne in the Vendée region, in western France. Circling the globe in the fastest time possible, the pressure is enormous for both the yachtsmen and their equipment. Two spots are particularly treacherous – Cape Horn south of Chile, where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet amid icebergs, howling winds and dangerous currents, and Nemo Point in the massive rotating current of the South Pacific Gyre, the most remote position on Earth with the nearest inhabited landmass 2,700 kilometres away.
Issued in a limited edition of 300 pieces each, the Diver X Cape Horn and Diver X Nemo Point are recognizable by the “X” stamped in relief across their dials. Presented in 44mm cases with a domed sapphire crystal, they have inverted concave unidirectional rotating bezels, fabric straps with Velcro closing, and are water-resistant to 300 metres. Equipped with in-house designed Caliber UN-118, 13 ¾“, using Silicium and DIAMonSIL technology for the escapement, they boast functions of small direct seconds and date at 6 o’clock, a forward and backward date corrector, and a power reserve of 60 hours indicated at 12 o’clock.
Distinguished by colour, the Diver X Cape Horn comes in Titanium black DLC with titanium and carbon bezel, a black “X” on a dial highlighted with yellow details, and saffron stitching on a black strap, while the Diver X Nemo Point is presented in a titanium case with a blue rubberized bezel and blue “X” on its face, complemented with red details on the dial and a blue strap with red lining. Each is stamped on the caseback with the route of the Vendée Globe, highlighted with the coordinates of their respective spots.
Taking care of the world
The third version of the Diver X, the Diver X Antarctica distinguishes itself with colours of blue icebergs, frozen oceans and white snow in an ode to the Earth’s most southern continent as captured by explorer, photographer and new Ulysse Nardin ambassador, Sebastian Copeland. The multi-award-winning Copeland, whose work has been featured in top media around the world, won the Professional Photographer of the Year Award in 2007 for his bestseller Antarctica: A Global Warning (Palace Press).
As the title indicates, Copeland is not only a polar explorer and photographer; he is also an environmental activist. In 2011-2012, he led the first East/West crossing of Antarctica by skis and kites, setting three world records over 4,100 kilometres during a period of 82 days. His aim is “to help people fall in love with the world to take better care of it” – an ambition he shares with Ulysse Nardin. The Diver X Antarctica is in titanium with a grey face and white rubberized bezel with strap to match. The caseback is again stamped with the route of the Vendée Globe, this time with the coordinates of Antarctica, where we are reminded that it has no latitude, only a location of 90° longitude.
The first female family member
Twelve years after the launch of its first women’s dive watch, Ulysse Nardin launches four new Lady Diver models, all in a slimmed-down 39mm case with domed sapphire glass and concave unidirectional bezel, each with a 40-diamond bezel option. Water-resistant to 300 metres, they are all equipped with the automatic silicium Caliber UN-816 movement for hours, minutes, seconds and date at 6 o’clock. They are created in stainless steel with deep blue dial and sailcloth, alligator or rubber strap, or with mother-of-pearl dial with white alligator strap. A third model with intense black matte dial and textured rubber strap is in stainless steel with black DLC and 5N rose gold. These models are stamped with a wind rose on the back.
The fourth model – the Lady Diver / Great White in a limited edition of 300 pieces – features a grey face with 11 diamond hour-markers and a fully integrated textured rubber bracelet reminiscent of a mermaid’s scales. This caseback is engraved with the outline of a female apnea diver, paying respect to the first woman to join the “Team of Ulysse” family of seven adventurers and “Xplorers” of the sea. This new ambassador, Alessia Zecchini, is a free-diving champion and world-record holder known as “the deepest woman in the world”, having reached 113 metres in constant weight apnea and 250 metres in dynamic apnea. She has won 16 gold medals in world championships, and now plunges with the Ulysse Nardin Lady Diver strapped firmly to her wrist.