December 17, 2014
by Matt Diehl
Guillaume Néry stunned the world with the release of his 2010 short film Free Fall. In it, the world-champion French free diver and Ball Watches brand ambassador explores the depths of the sea within “Dean’s Blue Hole” – the deepest such ocean cavity in the world. The resulting cinematic experience became a spectacular viral video: if you haven’t seen it yet, it will blow your mind. (We’ve included it at the bottom of the post, just in case you’re not one of the near 21,000,000 people who’ve seen it on YouTube.) And now Néry is back with a new film, Ocean Gravity (above), following in the wake of some stunning watch collaborations.
Néry launched his pro career with his 2002 record descent of 87 meters, with Ball sponsorship following in 2006. A charter member of Ball’s Explorers Club, Néry has collaborated on a number of his own very cool dive watches with the fascinating brand famed for its impossibly tough tool watches – including a very cool signature dive chronograph (named “FreeFall” after Néry’s cinematic triumph) and the awesome Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime.
Personally, I find Néry’s signature timepiece one of the most beautiful and distinctive divers out there, with its stunning ocean-blue dial and intriguing bezel integration; some serious anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal, rugged, yet well finished steel casing, 300 meters of water resistance, and a chronograph function to measure the free diver’s precious remaining moments of breath register this as a serious tool for divers. It also has Ball’s trademark 5,000 Gs of shock resistance – actually a more necessary feature than one might think for diving (protecting above and beyond more than most dive watches do, taking into account the considerable impact a timepiece endures when a diver hits the water). And yes, it has a helluva lot of wrist presence, as does the award-winning Diver Worldtime, which boasts a dazzlingly postmodern yet timeless design from current star watch designer (and possible next Gerald Genta) Magali Métrailler.
While watch aficionados love his Ball watches, Néry is better known to the general public for his mindblowing YouTube videos. (Although, of course, he did indeed rock his limited-edition Engineer II Master Diver in Free Fall.) Now Néry and his filmmaking partner Julie Gautier are back with another incredible diving video, Ocean Gravity, and it’s sure to go viral again – and yes, he is repping Team Ball in it! Per the press release, Ocean Gravity depicts “a man, in a weightless condition, orbiting around a planet. Motionless, he glides at a high speed into a cosmos that appears to be endless. After a few seconds, we realize the reality… The cosmos is the ocean, the planet is the submerged surface of the earth, and the astronaut is a freediver. Welcome to the surrealist world of Ocean Gravity.” And if you missed Néry’s Free Fall must-see masterpiece, well, here it is below. Enjoy. ballwatch.com