While Ulysse Nardin’s most prominent launch of 2018 was undoubtedly the groundbreaking Freak Vision, the Swiss brand identified since 1846 with nautical navigation also debuted the most robust model yet in its sporty Diver collection. The limited-edition Diver Deep Dive features a Hammerhead shark design motif throughout its dial and case — the latter of which boasts an extreme water resistance of 1,000 meters.
The watch — a follow-up of sorts to the first Hammerhead Shark limited edition, released by UN in 2010 — has a 46-mm angular-shaped case made of titanium. In addition to its rotating, 12-notched unidirectional bezel, also made of titanium and covered on much of its top surface with wave-patterned blue rubber, the case offers several new features useful for professional divers. These include a removable crown protector at 2 o’clock and an automatic, screw-on helium release valve at 9 o’clock for prolonged deep dives or saturation dives inside a diving bell. Another new innovation is found in the rubber strap, which includes an expandable element that adjusts to changes in wrist sizes, caused by the compression of neoprene diving suits, during dives.
The omnipresent hammerhead shark motif is what makes this watch, limited to 300 pieces, stand out from the rest of the Diver collection. There are, in total, 15 tiny silhouetted sharks swimming across the marine-blue expanse of the dial, a bright red one etched into the side of crown guard, and another one stamped in straight-on view on the screwed caseback, which is the only major part of the case that is in stainless steel rather than titanium. Under a nonreflective sapphire crystal, the dial sports luminous hands and hour markers, a small round date window at 3 o’clock, and an unusually positioned small seconds counter at 5 o’clock, traversed by a red seconds hand and stamped with a tiny shark figure.
Secured behind that shark-stamped caseback is the movement, automatic Caliber UN-320, notable for its judicious use of silicon, a material that Ulysse Nardin was among the very first to use in watchmaking. It incorporates a patented silicon lever and escape wheel configuration and a silicon balance spring, along with the brand’s characteristic anchor escapement. The movement carries a 48-hour power reserve when fully wound. Also included is a date correction mechanism that can advance the date either forward or backward. The Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive is priced at $12,000.