As sustainability initiatives gain more and more momentum within the luxury watch industry, we are likely to see more initiatives like Ulysse Nardin’s new concept watch, the Diver Net that features an entire case constructed from recycled fishing nets recovered from the oceans.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver Net is a concept watch boasting an entire case made of recycled fishing nets. Apparently a first for the luxury watch industry that has this far restricted recycled ocean waste products for straps and packaging. Earlier this year Alpina introduced the Gyre Seastrong diver that featured a composite case that was 70 percent PA6 thermoplastic made from recycled fishing nets and 30 percent fiberglass. The Ulysse Nardin Diver Net’s middle, caseback, and bezel insert are formed entirely from polyamide pellets, a friction-resistant raw material that results from the melting down of out-of-use plastic fishing nets harvested from harbors. This is a bonafide diver as the case is depth-rated to 300 meters.
Ulysse Nardin sources the case material from Fil & Fab, a French start-up which recovers polyamide netting from the harbors near the port city of Brest, in Brittany. The strap is also “upcycled,” made from sea-polluting PET plastic pressed into reels of thread and is manufactured by a Swiss company called TIDE. The crystal is made from transparent ceramic glass rather than sapphire. This is an environmentally friendly upgrade, as it uses less energy to produce.
The watch has a white-and-gray dial with white “UN” lettering as its background motif. Green accents abound — from the “acid green” Super-LumiNova on the hour markers and hands, to the green crown protectors and UN logo on the crown, to the contrast stitching on the strap.
Inside the Diver Net’s 44-mm case is the manufacture Caliber 118, the flagship movement that powers other nautical-themed Ulysse Nardin watches, such as the GPHG-nominated Diver Chronometer. In addition to being a COSC-certified chronometer, the movement has also aced the additional performance tests required for Ulysse Nardin’s own in-house certificate.
Other technical highlights include the escapement, the result of a collaboration between Ulysse Nardin and the Swiss firm Sigatec, made of a material called Diamonsil, which consists of synthetic diamond grown on a silicon base; the oscillator with patented inertial balance wheel, and the patented silicon hairspring. The movement has a power reserve of approximately 60 hours, which, as in other Diver models, is displayed on the dial in a subdial at 12 o’clock.
All in all, the Diver Net — still a concept piece, not a commercial product, though Ulysse Nardin has expressed the intention to eventually produce a version for the market — may be the most sustainably produced luxury watch in existence right now.