Initially proposed by two Canadian ocean institutes at the 1992 Earth Summit, World Ocean Day now takes place annually on June 8th to encourage the conservation of our shared ocean. To celebrate this international day, Ulysse Nardin, a watch brand that has had a long history of seafaring with its historic marine chronometers, unveiled a pair of water-colored high-tech diving watches. Meet the Ulysse Nardin Diver Net Azure and the Diver X Skeleton Azure, both partially made with recycled materials and refreshed with a dose of bright blue.
UNESCO reports that plastic waste accounts for 80% of all marine pollution, and eight to 10 million metric tons of plastic makes its way into the ocean every year. With this in mind, Ulysse Nardin has leaned into more sustainable materials such as Carbonium® (which has 40% less environmental impact than other carbon composites), a recycled polyimide from fishing nets called Nylo®, and recycled steel — some of which is used on the Azure watches.
First up, we have the Ulysse Nardin Diver Net Azure watch, which features a 44mm case that’s 14.81mm-thick and water resistant to 300 meters. The central case, bezel, and caseback are crafted from 95% recycled steel, while the sides of the case and caseback ring are made from a combination of Nylo and Carbonium. The concave unidirectional timing dive bezel insert is made from 100% upcycled Carbonium, which is prized for both its lightness and resistance. Both the dial-side and back of the case are finished with sapphire crystals.
If we get closer in on the sandblasted black dial of the Diver Net Azure, we see an embossed and brushed “X” detail at the center, rendered in that striking blue shade that’s reminiscent of carefree beach getaways. The same azure hue is found throughout the dial, from the power reserve display at 12 o’clock to the date and small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock to the minute track around the periphery. The thick baton hour markers and stocky hands all benefit from Super-LumiNova coating for low-light legibility. The matching azure-colored rubber strap includes a black ceramic piece emblazoned with “Ulysse Nardin” and a black ceramic pin buckle.
Inside the Ulysse Nardin Diver Net Azure is the Caliber UN-118 automatic movement, fitted with a silicon balance spring in addition to an escapement wheel and an anchor in DiamonSil. This in-house caliber supplies the watch with 60 hours of power reserve and beats at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour.
Accompanying the World Ocean Day launch of the Diver Net Azure is the Diver X Skeleton Azure, in a similar black and aquatic-blue colorway. However, this UN diver sports a black DLC titanium case, measuring 44mm in diameter and 15.7mm-thick. The skeletonized dial features the signature oversized “X” at the center, complete with azure accents. The barrel cover, partially visible on the dial under 12 o’clock, is made of Carbonium, as is the unidirectional bezel. Also visible on the open-worked dial is the oversized silicon balance wheel at 6 o’clock. Powering the Diver X Skeleton Azure is the UN-372 Manufacture movement with 96 hours of power reserve and a frequency of 21,600 beats per hour.
Fitted to the Diver X Skeleton Azure is a rubber strap in the same blue shade with a “Ulysse Nardin” signed black ceramic segment but furnished with a black ceramic and black PVD titanium folding clasp.
According to Ulysse Nardin, it wants to do its part to fight plastic pollution, which shapes the research efforts at its Sustainable Innovation Lab in creating innovative and responsible materials. And we get to see those efforts realized with models like these dive watches that include more sustainable materials. The Ulysse Nardin Diver Net Azure (ref. 1183-170-2B/3A) is priced at $12,600 USD while the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton Azure is priced at $26,400 USD, both available online and at select authorized retailers. For more information on these new Ulysse Nardin Azure diving watches, please visit the brand’s website.