Yesterday, we covered a watch that was made of plastic recycled from waste pulled from the ocean. Well, this recycled ocean plastic seems to be catching the eyes of the larger Swiss brands out there, as Ulysse Nardin has leapt into the water with their Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver.

Now, the crew at Ulysse Nardin are no strangers to pushing limits, either in their watch designs or the materials that they’re using. In terms of design, the dial certainly as a unique flair to it with the double-X that they’ve pad printed on it. Still, it is “just” a three-hand dive watch – albeit with a sub-seconds dial and a power reserve indicator – so the focus can be on the materials, and how they’re implemented.

For the case, it’s made of two materials – 40% carbon composite, and 60% polyamide, which is a plastic recycled from fishing nets. When you look at the steel components used, those are made from steel content that is 80-85% recycled. Finally, the textile strap is also made of those recycled fishing nets. What we find so interesting about the approach here is that Ulysse Nardin is very transparent about where these materials are sourced (see more down in the tech specs section), letting us know where these materials come from. This allows the informed consumer to assess what the supply chain impacts are of their purchases.

Taking a step back, and viewing the Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver holistically, I think they’ve done a great job integrated all of these recycled materials. For a watch that is mostly done in monochrome (with those neon green accents), it still is quite visually interesting. There are multiple layers in the dial, and all of the shades of grey blend nicely, while still allowing the carbon waves in the bezel to stand out. That said, you won’t see many of these out there. Only 200 pieces – at $11,500 – are being produced. So, if you want to vote with your wallet to support this type of effort, you’ll need to move quickly. ulysse-nardin.com

Tech Specs from Ulysse Nardin

  • Reference: 1183-170LE-1A-TOR/0A
  • Movement:
    • UN-118 Manufacture movement
    • Silicium & DiamonSil escapement technology
  • Features:
    • Hours, minutes, date
    • Small second hand
    • Power reserve indicator
  • Power reserve: 60 hours
  • Case: 44mm
  • Bezel: Unidirectional concave rotating
  • Dial:
    • Green Super-LumiNova® markers
    • Anthracite (ruthenium) surface treatment
    • Double X
  • Case back: Sapphire crystal, The Ocean Race logo (white transfer)
  • Wrist strap:
    • Recycled from fishing nets
    • Gray with green and white stitches
    • Scratch closing
  • Water-resistance: 300m
  • Price: CHF 10,900 / EUR 10,400 / USD 11,500 / GBP 9,540
  • Recycled parts:
    • Side-case and case-back 40% Carbonium® and 60% recycled fishing nets, Nylo® (suppliers: Lavoisier Composite and FIL&FAB, France).
    • Stainless steel case at least 80% recycled from automotive industry (supplier: Voestalpine Boehler, Austria ).
    • Bezel decoration 100% Carbonium®.
    • Wrist strap with scratch closing 100% recycled from fishing nets (supplier: JTTI, France).
    • Components of the UN-118 movement sourced in Switzerland, within a 30 km radius.

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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