Ulysse Nardin is accelerating its use of innovative alternative materials, announcing the launch of the very first DIVER model largely composed of recycled fishing nets.
The Swiss watchmaker has been making marine chronometers of incomparable reliability for explorers since 1846. Today, sailors are often confronted with plastic pollution and fishing nets are a significant source: up to 640,000 metric tons are lost or abandoned each year (according to the UN), joining the nine million metric tons of plastic discharged into the sea annually (Science).
“How can we transform some of this plastic into a luxury item? With the help of start-ups such as FIL&FAB, we have successfully managed to fabricate and sell watches derived from recycled fishing nets,” announced Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin.
“Our way of making people aware of the issue is upcycling. In this process, finding suppliers was a key factor.”
In this case, Ulysse Nardin found a supplier who was able to upcycle discarded fishing net material into base material for components of The Ocean Race DIVER.
“At The Ocean Race, we have been sailing around the world since 1973 and as sailors, we have seen the Ocean change over the past 50 years,” said Richard Brisius, the Race Director of The Ocean Race. “We have learned the need to respect the Ocean and give the Ocean a voice in order to protect it and restore its health. We are proud to have a partner like Ulysse Nardin, who shares our values and to see the innovation taking place to support these efforts. This innovative watch reminds us that now is the time to act.”
In September 2020, Ulysse Nardin marked the first milestone in its commitment to the ocean and the circular economy (a model of production and consumption, which involves using materials and products for as long as possible) with the launch of the R-STRAP wrist strap which is made entirely from recycled fishing nets and can be used with MARINE, DIVER and FREAK X watches.
In November 2020, the brand innovated with the DIVER NET, an experimental concept watch, each element of which was designed for durability and to have as low an impact on the environment as possible. A totally innovative and upcycled watch. Two considerable positive advances for the brand and the watchmaking industry.
The Ocean Race DIVER embodies innovation and tradition with the mechanical movement of the watch is built on tradition and historical know-how but with 95% of the components sourced within a 30 km radius of the manufacturer, half of them coming from recycling channels (recycled steel and brass in particular: 100% of Ulysse Nardin timepiece movements make use of recycled brass).
The strap is fully recycled from fishing nets, and transformed into reels of yarn by the French company JTTI.
From June 2022, The Ocean Race DIVER will be sold in an original pack: a water-resistant R-PET pouch slipped into a dry bag recycled from the sea by Helly Hansen, the Official Clothing Supplier of The Ocean Race.