Sweden’s Artemis Racing team, sponsored by Ulysse Nardin, pulled off a dramatic victory in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series races in Bermuda on Sunday, October 18. WatchTime was there to witness the excitement and to get a glimpse of UN’s new limited-edition Artemis racing watch.
In three back-to-back races, Artemis accumulated 52 total points to lead the six-boat field sailing off Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, winning the year’s final America’s Cup Challengers race.
The finish delighted Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin, which is an official partner of the Artemis Racing Team. Patrik Hoffmann, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, said in a statement, “Artemis Racing’s victory in the America’s Cup World Series marks an important milestone in our cooperation with the Artemis Racing Team and we are proud to be associated with a team that showed their full talent following a collision with an umpire boat.” Hoffmann was referring to an incident just prior to the start of the day’s second race in which a small umpire boat collided with the Artemis boat. There were no injuries. The Artemis squad made some quick repairs and won the race.
Cheering on Artemis from a sponsor boat was a group of U.S. retailers and press who attended the event as guests of Ulysse Nardin North America. Hosting the group were Hartmut Kraft, CEO of Kering North America’s Luxury Watch division, and Susanne Hurni, chief communications and marketing officer at UN in Switzerland. Ulysse Nardin is a subsidiary of Kering, whose watch division includes the Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard brands. Kering also owns the Gucci brand.
During the four-day event, Ulysse Nardin’s guests got to meet and talk sailing and racing with members of the Artemis team, each of whom was wearing the Marine Diver Artemis Racing watch. The watch was unveiled in August in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the second of this year’s three Challenger Series Races. (The series determines which team will sail in the next America’s Cup race in Bermuda in 2017 against Oracle Team USA, the current holder of the Cup.)
The Artemis Racing watch is a limited-edition of 250 pieces within UN’s Marine Diver family. It is powered by automatic Caliber UN-26, the standard movement for Marine Divers. The watch sports the Artemis team colors blue and yellow, which are the colors of the Swedish Royal Yacht Club (and the Swedish flag). It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 44 mm that is water-resistant to 300 meters. The blue dial features tiny sailboats; the small seconds subdial includes the words “Challenger 35th America’s Cup Artemis Racing.” The power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock is decorated with the Artemis logo. The caseback is engraved with the Artemis boat and logo. The suggested retail price is $8,800.
This is Ulysse Nardin’s first time as a sponsor for a team participating in the America’s Cup races. “We have a desire to link Ulysse Nardin to sailing,” Hurni says. Company founder Ulysse Nardin and his son, she notes, were famous maker of ships’ chronometers. With that heritage, she says, “we don’t have to make anything up. Conquering the oceans is where we come from. We want to take this up again.”
Artemis Racing struggled in the two previous races in Gothenburg and Porstmouth, England. The victory in Bermuda put them behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Land Rover BAR in total points for the series and ahead of SoftBank Team Japan and Goupama Team France in the race to compete with Oracle for the Cup in 2017. Additional Challenger Series races will take place in 2016.