Ulysse Nardin, the official partner of The Ocean Race has created a new sophisticated and environment friendly diving watch using recycled fishing nets. This new timepiece follows the foot steps of the brand’s two innovative concepts: R-STRAP and DIVER NET.
In September 2020, Ulysse Nardin introduced the R-STRAP wrist strap which is made entirely from recycled fishing nets and can be used with MARINE, DIVER and FREAK X watches. Then in November 2020, the brand announced DIVER NET, an experimental concept watch, each element of which was designed for durability, to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Launched in June 2022, the Ocean Race Diver watch made from recycled fishing nets is the first sustainable luxury watch to be put on the market. It is offered in a limited edition of 200 pieces.
It confirms the global trend of the luxury sector towards upcycling, already adopted by the high fashion industry. The goal is to raise awareness by creating “new from old” and regenerating materials, especially plastic. Ulysse Nardin is conclusively making the change towards the circular economy with this movement of regeneration of nets.
Thanks to the work of the French start-up FIL&FAB, the brand thus puts the spotlight on a “less noble” material enhanced by a “100% Manufacture” watchmaker’s approach, making the object as desirable as if it were designed in a more conventional material than polyamide.
Ulysse Nardin’s designers meticulously decorated the watch, water-resistant up to 300m, with touches of bright green, a reflection of nature. These are everywhere: from the stitching on the strap to the markers and bezel, including the “double X” signature of the dial, the power reserve indicator at mid day, the small seconds hand at 6 o’ clock, the Ulysse Nardin logo etched on to the crown, the crown protector, and the individual plate.
A combination of white, gray and black completes the color palette of the watch, which beats to the rhythm of the Manufacture’s iconic movement, the UN-118, with its silicium technology.
The components of this movement are 95% sourced with in a 30km radius of the Manufacture, half of them coming from recycling channels (recycled steel and brass in particular: 100% of Ulysse Nardin movements make use of recycled brass).
The dial is more toned down than the concept version of the DIVER NET. The white U and N initials in extra-large capital letters have disappeared to make way for a neutral textured anthracite (ruthenium) surface treatment. The iconic double X is still in its place, stamped on the dial with its half-matt half-satin finish.
On the case back, the sapphire crystal is embellished with a white transfer of the logo of the brand’s partner, The Ocean Race.
The unidirectional bezel is entirely decorated with Carbonium® (Lavoisier Composites). Carbonium® is made of the same fibers that are used for the fuselage and wings of the latest-generation aircrafts.
The manufacture of Carbonium® has a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites, since it makes use of the off cuts of aircraft parts. Created using a complex process under high pressure at high temperature, Carbonium® is a high-performance material that reveals the inner beauty of the organic pattern formed by carbon fibers that have a diameter of only 7µm.
In 2019 Ulysse Nardin was the first watchmaking brand to use this new material in a watch. Its strength-to-lightness ratio is incomparable and its superb marbling effect makes each case an absolutely unique piece.
The side-case and case-back of the 44mm Ocean Race Diver are the result of an interesting combination of materials: 40% Carbonium® (Lavoisier Composites) and 60% polyamide recycled from fishing nets, Nylo® (FIL&FAB).
Ulysse Nardin has placed its trust in young Breton designers who have created the very first fishing net recycling business in France. FIL&FAB, a start-up in the field of industrial design and transition, recovers disused nets in French fishing ports and recycles them in the form of polyamide granules called Nylo®.
Ulysse Nardin has selected a type of recycled steel for certain watch case components, at least 80% recycled where the case back is concerned. The renowned Austrian steel works of Voestalpine Boehler, a supplier of the brand, has embarked on a process of comprehensive sustainable transformation and is actively focusing its efforts on supplying its watchmaking customers with very high-quality steel, guaranteed recycled and soon to be guaranteed upcycled.
Thus, the steel that adorns part of the Ocean Race Diver, 80 to 85% recycled, comes from an automotive industry steel recycling channel.
The strap with scratch closing is also fully recycled from fishing nets, transformed into reels of yarn by the French company JTTI.
The Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver comes in an original pack: a water-resistant R-PET pouch slipped into a dry bag recycled from the sea by Helly Hansen, a brand that is also a partner of the round-the-world race as the official clothing supplier.
The suggested retail price of The Ocean Race Diver watch is CHF 10,900.
Model: Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver
UN-118 Manufacture movement
Silicium & DiamonSil escapement technology
Power reserve: 60 hours
Components of the UN-118 movement sourced in Switzerland, within a 30km radius
Hours, minutes, date
Small second hand
Power reserve indicator
Diameter: 44 mm
Bezel: Unidirectional concave rotating
Case back: Sapphire crystal, The Ocean Racelogo (white transfer)
Side-case and case-back with 40% Carbonium® and 60% recycled fishing nets, Nylo® (suppliers: Lavoisier Composite and FIL&FAB, France)
Stainless steel case at least 80% recycled from automotive industry (supplier: Voestalpine Boehler, Austria)
Bezel decoration 100% Carbonium®
Green Super-LumiNova® markers
Anthracite (ruthenium) surface treatment
Wrist strap with scratch closing 100% recycled from fishing nets (supplier: JTTI, France)
Gray with green and white stitches
CHF 10,900 / EUR10,400 / USD11,500 / GBP9,540