That Swiss haute horlogist Ulysse Nardin has a deep connection with all things maritime is a known fact. The watchmaker, whose logo is an anchor, has created a niche for itself by developing precision marine chronometers for over 170 years now; apart from its line Freak (in itself a watchmaking marvel, but that’s another story), its Diver’s line, as the name suggests, is the cornerstone of the brand ethos. And 12 years after launching the Lady Diver’s collection, their first feminine diving watches, the brand has now unveiled a new line of timepieces under it, inspired by a new ambassador.
Refreshing the watchmaker’s endeavour to provide precision diving equipment with a touch of luxury, the four pieces mark the inclusion of 27-year-old Italian champion free diver and world-record apnea holder Alessia Zecchini into the Ulysse Nardin family, also the first time a woman has been made their brand ambassador. The sporty watches in deep blue, intense black, mother of pearl, and the highlight, the gray Great White edition, mimic Zecchini’s bold and fearless spirit.
The new line showcases a resculpted traditional silhouette, this time in a 39mm case. The three standard variants are handcrafted in steel, rose gold, and mother-of-pearl, and the dials feature 11 diamond hour indices and there is an option of 40 more on the bezel, alluding to the sparkling waters. The beating heart behind this is a UN-816 silicium automatic technology with a 42 hour power reserve. The casebacks feature a large engraved wind rose, and the watches are strapped on either in alligator leather, sailcloth, or Karung (sea snake) leather on rubber. With a date window at 6 o’clock, the pieces are all water resistant up to 300 meters.
For the Great White special edition, the dial features the same diamond treatment as other standard editions, though the interesting detail is on the caseback – featuring the stamp of a female apnea diver – and the fully integrated rubber bracelet textured to represent ocean waves or mermaid’s scales. This version is limited to 300 units.
Zecchini and the new Lady Diver watches are perfectly tied to each other. Zecchini, who began diving at the age of 16 and currently holds the prestigious Apnea title for 113 meters as well as the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) title in Dynamic Apnea for 250 meters, represents grit and determination in the face of harsh circumstances, much like the watches that are built to withstand the challenges of maintaining their precision at great depths.
“We are honored to have Alessia Zecchini as the first female explorer to join our family of Ulysses,” says Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “We have chosen to launch the new line of Lady Diver watches simultaneously with Alessia’s arrival. Her spirit of adventure and willingness to take the risks necessary to test her own limits is emblematic of our vision at Ulysse Nardin.”
Ulysse Nardin Lady Diver line is priced at CHF 10,800 for the mother-of-pearl and the blue edition, while the black is priced at CHF 14,900. The limited edition Great White is priced at CHF 7,900.
All images: Courtesy brand