Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review

Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review

Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Now is probably a good time to review this mostly solid 18k rose gold version of the Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver watch. Why? Well, at the time of writing this article, I've just returned from Russia where Ulysse Nardin is the top luxury watch brand. So, with those impressions in mind, I have a new way of appreciating the designs and ethos of the watchmaker. I've long been a fan of Ulysse Nardin, even though not all of their designs are my cup of tea. What helps make the brand special is that it is independent. What does that mean? well no one owns Ulysse Nardin so they can do whatever they like. Most luxury watch brands are part of a larger group, so their actions are thus limited.

That independence has translated into a brand that makes watches starting at around $6,000 all the way up to over $1,000,000. There are very few brands that have such a wide price range in their collection - and Ulysse Nardin makes it work. I find their entry-level models often as interesting as the ones at the top. Many people agree that Ulysse Nardin designs verge on the avant garde. They did release the Freak after all. This sense of design experimentation is rather unlike a solidly Swiss company, but understanding more about where the brand is most popular has helped me appreciate how the watches are designed.

Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Which brings me back to Russia, a market whose tastes are unique compared to the rest of the world. Russians like people to notice their watches, and they prefer highly communicative designs. Bright colors and obvious use of precious materials are common for the high-end watch buyers there. Of course Russian watch collectors vary in taste as much as those from anywhere else in the world, there is a very real sense of "don't be afraid to show off success" in the country when it comes to what you wear.

Ulysse Nardin told me a few years ago that they were the top luxury watch maker in Russia. It was a bold declaration that of course sounded perhaps too optimistic. Not that I had reason to distrust them, but a lot of luxury brands make bold claims that often boil down to a matter of selective interpretation. So spending time in Moscow I decided to investigate a little bit. I began this by visiting the Ulysse Nardin boutique located near the Kremlin. I spoke with its sales staff as well as store manager (a cool guy name Maxim) who seemed to confirm how popular they were in Russia. That is all nice and good, but it is still from the company itself. So I took myself to other watch stores and also spoke to some local collectors. Given what I was doing in Moscow I even stopped random people on the street. What surprised me is that while none of these people had actual sales figures to prove the specificity of how popular Ulysse Nardin was, they all seem to confirm that Ulysse Nardin was a top brand. more »

Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Gold Ceramic Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

10 comments
JonnyD
JonnyD

Too much gold for my taste, but I admire the dial and the wave pattern gives a nice effect of texture. Ariel mentions that UN might suspect some of their customers in Russia (and I'm sure elsewhere) may be part of the criminal fraternity. My question is do watch companies have any ethical responsibilities in terms of profiting albeit inadvertently from ill-gotten gains?

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

Judging by the comments....I know I am in the minority so far.   But I love this watch...!!!  I guess it's because I like people to notice my watch....as I am not shy by any means.  I know some guys don't want their watch to be notice, but not me.  I like bold designs and I love Gold and Rose Gold watches.  Being noticed goes with the territory when you are 6'6" like I am....so I really don't mind people asking me about my watch. 

Now...if I can just find enough quarters and dimes in my couch to afford the $47,200 price tag....I'll be sportin' one on my wrist!!  LOL

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

It's ugly.  UN do make some very droolworthy watches, but this isn't one of those.  The bezel looks like it came from a Tissot Seastar.  Glossy gold and black ceramic looks so much like cheap plastic it's off-putting.  Movement decoration is practically non-existent.  As for the dial, well... I was staring it at for a few minutes trying to recall where i'd seen a similarly crappy embossed pattern and then I realised that it was the same pattern you often see in the packaging of boxes of chocolates, be it the plastic purple-black tray or the papery black corrugated sheets between each layer.  The markings on the sub-dials look like they were applied with nail varnish by someone called Shanice. 

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I dearly love UN watches - this model is not at the top of my UN want list (by quite a bit, actually) in gold or any other material, but of the UN watches I have ever seen in the wild, this is the one I see the most. I would imagine the design has not really changed because UN is not trying to fix something that aint broke, which is respectable. 

I don't see people demanding that the Rolex Sub be jazzed up or updated (god forbid). When you've got a formula that works, leaving well enough alone just makes good business sense. 

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

Googles: "Black and Gold Invicta"...yep.

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

Not bad overall! Don't really like the middle link on the bracelet--that look generally cheapens a watch IMO.

I think I have more appreciation than love for UN, but given the right circumstances I am more than willing to reevaluate my stance...

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@JonnyD Probably no more responsibility than gun manufacturers and makers of luxury cars and makers of food and toilet paper (as I assume criminals are customers for those products as well). On the other hand, getting into business with them (like money laundering) is another matter. Just ask "Jacob the Jeweler" of Jacob & Company (who I'm pretty sure served time for his "business dealings" with underworld clients).

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@bichondaddy I'm with you. Not that I'm in the market for this sort of watch but I'd rather have this over a gold Rolex Sub. But then I like most of the UN Marine Maxi line a lot. But sure would be nicer with one of their new in-house movements.

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

@DangerussArt Naw...if Invicta made a homage piece of this one...it would be at least 50mm's....not 43mm's!!  LOL

JonnyD
JonnyD

@MarkCarson @JonnyD  

Hi Mark, you're right of course and thanks for reminding me about Jacob & Co., I vaguely remember reading something about his "business dealings". Business ethics interest me and increasingly consumers want their ethics reflected in the items they buy. WeWood watch anyone? :-)