Ulysse Nardin introduces their 'upcycled watch' the Diver Net

·4-min read
Diver Net. (PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)
Diver Net. (PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)

Ulysse Nardin is taking their commitment further by introducing the Diver Net, a concept watch in which each trim element has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

For the case, middle, back and bezel decoration of the Diver Net, Ulysse Nardin has placed its trust in three young Breton designers who have created the first fishing net recycling sector in France. Fil&Fab recovers nets that are no longer in use from harbours and transforms them into polyamide pellets, a raw material that is highly resistant to friction. These partners have an industrial design and transition background, with a real sensitivity to the product.

“A design object is creating one which has been thought out from start to finish to fulfil its functions without damaging the environment”, emphasises Yann Louboutin, one of the three founders of Fil&Fab.

“Our association with Ulysse Nardin is natural: it is inevitably first and foremost linked to the sea, to Ulysses, the Odyssey, adventure, exploration, gusts of wind, salt spray and so on. We also share the desire to produce reliable objects, made to last, while reducing the ecological impact. Today, we are devoting our energy to trying to curb environmental problems, and no initiatives should be considered too small. Recycled materials are a necessity for the future.”

The research around the Diver Net has consisted of redesigning its trim elements, leading the watch to feature a wrist strap made from PET plastic from the sea, transformed into reels of thread by the Swiss company Tide. This supplier is also working to stop the production of virgin plastic at its source and use the huge resources already available.

(PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)
(PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)

In its search for low-impact solutions, Ulysse Nardin has also replaced the traditional sapphire glass by a transparent ceramic glass, machined in the Swiss Jura. The transparent ceramic glass is a material used with the goal of having a lower environmental impact by limiting energy when it is manufactured. The innovation department has thus appraised and tested several solutions, which may be extended to other products.

The Diver Net is a concept watch that explores important environmentally-friendly innovations while keeping the brand’s tradition of brilliant watchmaking alive. In fact, the silicon technology of the UN-118 movement can be admired through the back of its 44mm case. This concept diver watch is equipped with a concave inverted unidirectional bezel, also made of recycled fishing nets, with a curved transparent ceramic glass instead of a traditional sapphire glass. The white, gray and green dial, with its majestic white “UN” lettering, heralds the mechanical marvel that sits within it.

On the hour-markers and hands, the acid green Superluminova makes it easier to see the time in the dark. Green touches - symbolizing nature - are omnipresent: on the dial, bezel, crown protector and on the stitching on the recycled PET strap. The dial also features a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, as well as a date window and a small second hand at 6 o’clock.

“The sea has always been part of our brand’s DNA and exploration has always been our spearhead”, stresses Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin.

“There is generally a strong willingness and interest of the staff members to support initiatives to improve the brand’s environmental performance. Our intention is not to be the first to innovate with sustainable materials, but rather to show the watch industry that it is possible to make our customers aware of recycled materials, even for luxury items. We would be very happy if our innovations were somehow ‘open-source’.”

Olympian snowboarder Mathieu Crepel. (PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)
Olympian snowboarder Mathieu Crepel. (PHOTO: Ulysse Nardin)

To convey the message of this nontraditional watch, Ulysse Nardin has chosen Mathieu Crepel, a “Ulysses” of the company, as its ambassador. World champion snowboarder, Olympic medalist and surfer, he instinctively glides from snowflakes to waves and is heavily involved with The Water Family, an organization dedicated to the education of water protection and health of the planet.

“When you surf, you are faced with the problem of plastic on the beach, in the water and so on. It has harmful effects on marine fauna and flora. I am proud to be able to support Ulysse Nardin in a reflection that leads them to use recycled materials,” stated Mathieu Crepel.

They are at the forefront in working with the noblest and most durable materials. This recycled plastic in turn becomes a raw material that can be used for an exceptional product. This is an important brand statement: manufacturing luxury goods now requires a global approach. Being the spokesman for the launch of this watch makes me want to motivate and inspire people even more. It’s an achievement.”