After four months of racing at sea – starting in Alicante (Spain) in January and stopping off at Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Cape Town (South Africa) and Itajaí (Brazil) – The Ocean Race crews docked in Newport, RI (USA). Ulysse Nardin chose this capital of competitive sailing to reveal its latest creation, The Ocean Race Diver Chronograph, a new watch created to celebrate the historic race’s jubilee.
Originally known as the Whitbread Round the World Race, then The Volvo Ocean Race, and now being renamed The Ocean Race for the 2022-2023 edition, this legendary race is a unique human endeavour and the most formidable test for racing crews on the high seas.
This limited-edition timepiece, launched in collaboration with The Ocean Race, is a tribute to both partners’ passion for the sea, their shared sense of adventure, and their joint commitment to protecting the oceans. As the Official Timekeeper of the race, Ulysse Nardin is responsible for the official timings of the various legs and the start countdowns, but it is also a partner of the 24-Hour Speed Challenge, in which the crew that covers the greatest distance in 24 hours wins.
In addition to this role, Ulysse Nardin is also a partner of Time to Act, a program that aims to reduce the devastating impact of pollution, climate change, and industrial overfishing on our oceans. Time is at the heart of the race; not only in terms of the competition and records, but also in relation to the urgency of taking environmental action. As part of this program, the Racing with Purpose initiative developed alongside 11th Hour Racing – the main partner of The Ocean Race and the founding partner of the race’s sustainability program – relies on three major projects to achieve this goal, including a scientific scheme that aims to collect and analyze essential data on the health of the water.
As they chart a 60,000 km course across some of the planet’s most isolated regions, which are only rarely visited by research vessels, the teams have a unique opportunity to gather vital data and make up for a lack of information on two of the greatest threats to the health of the ocean: the impact of climate change and plastic pollution. It is thought to be the most data ever collected as part of a sporting event, and The Ocean Race is proud to be playing a key role in deepening our understanding of the marine world.
It is against this backdrop of sport and environmental commitment that the Manufacture is presenting The Ocean Race Diver Chronograph, a new timepiece celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Ocean Race, which first set off in 1973 from the coastal town of Portsmouth in England. Water-resistant to 300 meters, its 44mm sandblasted black DLC titanium case houses the Ulysse Nardin Manufacture chronograph calibre UN-150 and its 318 components. This movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back and bears the number ‘50’ in tribute to this anniversary.
The Ocean Race logo is affixed to the ceramic part adorning the rubber strap and its pin buckle. The unidirectional bezel has a Carbonium® finish, which contains fibers upcycled from aeroplane fuselage offcuts, offering a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites. Ulysse Nardin became the first watchmaker to use this innovative material on a timepiece in 2019. It offers incomparable resistance for its light weight, and its superb marbled effect makes this watch a truly unique creation.
The Ocean Race Diver Chronograph is being released as a limited edition of just 100 timepieces. “The new Diver celebrates this legendary sailing race, its commitment to protecting the ocean environment, and the research and marine conservation projects that Ulysse Nardin is proud to support,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin. The Ocean Race crews will set sail again from Newport on Sunday, May 21st to continue the competition, which will take them to Europe and pass through Aarhus (Denmark), the Kiel Fly-By (Germany) and The Hague (Netherlands) before the grand finale, which is set to take place in Genoa (Italy) at the end of June.