All eyes are on Dubai these days as watchmaking brands unveil their novelties for the fifth edition of the Dubai Watch Week. As a participant of the Dubai watch fair and to celebrate its partnership with leading watch retailer Seddiqi, Ulysse Nardin has prepared a pre-launch of just 10 timepieces of its new Diver X Skeleton Black. Although 175 watches will be produced and launched worldwide in 2022, Ulysse Nardin wanted to offer a sneak preview of its radically skeletonised Diver with a black Carbonium® bezel and bright yellow accents.
The Call of the Sea
Switzerland might be landlocked, but Ulysse Nardin, a young watchmaker from Le Locle, consolidated his reputation with the production of precision marine chronometers. By the 1870s, the manufacture supplied more than 50 navies and merchant marine companies with chronometers to calculate longitude at sea. Today, 175 years later, Ulysse Nardin continues to produce marine-inspired collections, ranging from classical watches in the Marine collection to more contemporary dive watches in the Diver family, which is also home to the Diver X Skeleton. Launched in April 2021, the Diver X Skeleton takes design cues from the Diver and Blast Skeleton collections.
Fusion of a Diver with a Blast Skeleton
With their exposed mechanics, skeletonised watches are not usually pitched as sporty dive watches. Ulysse Nardin begs to differ and presents a bold, eye-catching sports watch with 200m water-resistance and a formidable X traversing the skeletonised movement.
To fuse the sporty design of a Diver with the technical prowess of the Blast Skeleton, Ulysse Nardin’s engineering team had to redesign the manual-winding UN-371 movement designed initially for the Blast Skeleton collection. The first adaptation was to convert it to automatic winding with a large X-shaped oscillating weight. The new UN-372 manufacture calibre beats at 21,600vph and delivers a sturdy power supply of 96 hours.
However, the biggest challenge was to integrate the signature X of the Blast family. On most Blast Skeleton timepieces, the larger X pattern traversing the dial is fixed to the flange, while the second X is fixed to the central rectangular window. Since there is no rectangular window here, the prominent black DLC X seems to float above the movement while the second X, in black and yellow, appears to be fixed to the flange with the hour markers.
The Xs allow for an almost unobstructed view of the movement with its black Carbonium® barrel cover at 12 o’clock and views of the running gears and the brand’s silicium escape wheel, anchor and oscillator. In keeping with its sporty credentials, the hour markers and central hour, minutes and seconds hands are treated with Super-LumiNova.
Black lightweight case
The 44mm case (height 16mm), made in black DLC-coated titanium with sandblasted sides and satin-polished lugs, is somewhat eclipsed by the prominent notched bezel fitted with a Carbonium® inlay. A material generally reserved for the production of aeronautic wings and fuselage, Carbonium® is a super-light, high-performance material made from carbon fibres. According to the brand, the production of lightweight Carbonium® has 40% less environmental impact than other carbon composites since it uses remnants from aeronautical pieces.
The mottled or marbled pattern of this material, which is obtained by subjecting carbon fibre to high pressure, is different on every watch. The unidirectional rotating bezel displays a 60-minute scale with white and yellow markings to track diving times, and its concave silhouette means that it also protects the domed sapphire glass from impacts. Similarly, the crown is flanked by yellow rubber guards to protect it from unwanted knocks.
Availability and Price
As mentioned, only 10 pieces of the Diver X Skeleton Black will be available in 2021; the remaining 165 watches will be launched worldwide in early 2022. Offered on a sporty blue or yellow rubber strap, the Diver X Skeleton Black will retail for CHF 24,500.
More information at Ulysse Nardin.