Sponsored post presented on aBlogtoWatch for advertiser. This post has been updated from the original at the request of the brand to reflect changes to the brand’s production model. 

When Lionel Bruneau told people he wanted to make watches that were entirely manufactured in Switzerland at reasonable prices, most of them laughed at him. He was told it wouldn’t be possible, that he shouldn’t waste his time. Bruneau, though, wasn’t deterred. Quite the opposite — he was invigorated. With the naysayers in mind, he pushed ahead and, in 2018, founded Ultramarine Watches. But he didn’t just want to make Swiss watches, he wanted to make a difference: Channeling his love for the world’s oceans, Bruneau committed 10% of net profits to NGOs working to benefit and preserve marine ecosystems. Given his love of the water and the life that abounds within, it’s surprising that we’re only just now getting an Ultramarine dive watch. To be sure, Bruneau started off with the sporty GMT, the Morse, with its second time zone displayed by a subdial, and followed that up with the equally sporty three-hander Albatros. Now, the brand has delivered a watch more closely tied to its goals: the Ultramarine Beluga, a strikingly modern diver that continues the brand’s commitments to preserving the world’s marine habitats and their abundant life.

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The dial of the Ultramarine Beluga offers the perfect balance of legibility and design. Oversized applied indices, including Arabic numerals at the cardinal hours, are painted with Super-LumiNova BGW9 for exceptional low-light reading. The bold handset features a brushed finish with matching lume and a bisected design, with the hands perfectly proportioned to the dial. At 12 o’clock is the Ultramarine albatross logo, while the model and other text are pad-printed above the 6. At 6 o’clock Instead of “Swiss Made,” the watch is printed with “I.O.E.S.” which stands for “Intégralement Ouvré en Suisse,” or “Fully Manufactured in Switzerland.” As mentioned, one of the priorities for earlier models has been the I.O.E.S. standard. However, a number of recent economic and supply chain circumstances have made it so that producing the Beluga to meet I.O.E.S. requirements would result in an untenable price point, over €4,000. The difficult decision was made to produce the Beluga to the same exacting standards of quality, without exclusively relying on Swiss manufacturers. The upshot of all of this for customers is an equally stunning dive watch priced $800 lower that says “SUISSE” instead of “I.O.E.S.” while still deriving 80% of its production value from Swiss-manufactured components (20% over the “Swiss Made” criteria).

The Ultramarine Beluga presents a sleek 40mm case rendered in a blend of polished and satin finishes. The polished case sides give way to prominent satin crown guards that emerge organically to protect the branded screw-down crown, which features deep grooves for superb grip and functionality. The watch bezel features similarly deep grooving that makes operation easy through each of the 60 clicks with the tension dialed in for a satisfying and secure experience. Adding a bit of flair to the watch is the domed sapphire bezel, which features Super-LumiNova BGW9 to match the lume on the dial. Aside from the midcase, the rest of the case is entirely brushed. The lugs feature a gentle curve with bold termina that add to the modernity of the design. At a reasonable 13.5mm thick and a modest 47.9mm lug-to-lug, this watch is sure to wear well on the wrist—and you’ll be able to wear it wherever you want, as the watch boasts an impressive 300m water resistance. The wearing experience is enhanced by a comfortable custom-made rubber strap with a branded pin-buckle closure, though the watch can be dressed up a bit with an optional hand-sewn leather strap. To make changes easy, the straps will all feature quick-release spring bars. A stainlesss teel bracelet with fitted endlinks will also be available separately.

While Ultramarine opted for Eterna’s Calibre 39 in its first two watches, it’s turned to Kenissi for the Beluga. Kenissi is a joint venture among Tudor, Chanel, and Breitling, and, in addition to those brands, also produces movements for a number of the world’s finest watch brands—and now you can count Ultramarine among them. Under the screw-down caseback (decorated with two playful beluga whales) is the Kenissi 5402-01. While the text on the caseback will be updated to reflect the new production model, the movement keeps with the brand’s goals of Swiss production, entirely Swiss-made and featuring a 70-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph. The automatic movement is chronometer-certified by COSC and features 27 jewels. The Kenissi 5402-01 is a robust and reliable movement that will ensure the Beluga’s precise timekeeping in any situation.

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In addition to the three standard production models, a fourth highly limited model will be produced in partnership with ocean defense NGO Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife and conserve and protect the world’s oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction. With their shared passion for ocean conservation, the partnership was a natural fit and serves to further Ultramarine’s commitment to Earth’s marine ecosystems. The Ultramarine Beluga LE Sea Shepherd shares the overall design of the black-dial Beluga, but the text at 6 o’clock is replaced with Sea Shepherd’s logo of a skull with a shepherd’s crook crossing a trident. The logo is also embossed on the caseback in more detail, revealing a circling dolphin and whale on the skull and a fish on the trident. The model will come on a special NATO strap made of recycled material that’s exclusive to the limited edition. Limited to just 100 pieces, Ultramarine is directing a substantial €800 from each sale to support Sea Shepherd’s mission.

Ultramarine took its time developing its first dive watch. When a watch aligns so clearly with a brand’s identity—even with its name—things can’t be rushed. The time and care put into the Ultramarine Beluga is clear in its ideal proportions, balanced design, and chronometer movement. But the Beluga is more than the sum of its parts, and the entire package offers a desirable dive watch that is ready for any adventure, with the added bonus of supporting our planet’s beautiful oceans. The Ultramarine Beluga is priced at €2,400 for all models, with the LE Sea Shepherd limited to 100 pieces. Production models are available at a 20% discount for €1,950 until February 15, and then at a 10% discount for €2,175 until the end of March. For all models, buyers can choose their serial number depending on availability, and delivery is set for the second half of 2023 for those who purchase by the end of March. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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