For over 166 years, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin has been creating some of the most reliable marine chronometers in existence. With its latest addition to the Marine Diver collection, the Blue Seas, this manufacturer from Le Locle firmly establishes its reputation as a cutting-edge watchmaker. For the novice luxury watch follower, allow us to explain some terminology. A timepiece does just that – it keeps time. A chronograph has some advanced movements – watch-speak for additional functionality – that allows it to measure distinct elements of time, for instance how fast Usain Bolt can run the 100 metres at the London Olympics. Most often, this functionality is controlled through pushing stop and start buttons added to the watch.

A chronometer, as produced with regularity by Ulysse Nardin, is a chronograph of extreme accuracy. Now you should understand in what company of watchmaking we are with Ulysse Nardin.

Resolutely anchored in aquatic sports, the brand new Blue Sea is designed to tackle extreme conditions. It perfectly combines its dual function as a diving instrument and a beautiful watchmaking piece. Blue Sea has a self-winding movement featuring a 42-hour power reserve indicator, oversized small seconds and large date display.

A symbol of the vigour of youth, this powerful timepiece showcases Ulysse Nardin’s constant advances in watchmaking technology. Its stainless-steel case, 45.8 millimetres in diameter, has been specially treated with a sophisticated vulcanisation process giving it a blue rubber coating with a remarkable appearance and a truly comfortable feel. Its exhibition case-back reveals the self-winding movement, also blued. The non-moving metal parts of the movement have been treated with a stainless blue titanium based alloy (ion sputtering process). Where necessary, the metal parts have been reworked to accommodate the blue coating, the thickness of which is 1 micron with a hardness of 1500 HV.

To enhance its look, a wave pattern adorns the structured strap and dial. The hour markers and hour and minute hands are covered with blue luminescent material for improved readability. Its power-reserve indicator is situated at 12 o’clock while the small seconds and large date are displayed at 6 o’clock. Small hands are painted blue. The sapphire crystal has been treated with an anti-reflective coating. Fitted with a unidirectional rotating bezel and screwed crown, the case is water-resistant to 200 metres. This edition is limited to 999 pieces, each individually numbered. The reliability of the Blue Sea is further strengthened by an exclusive black ceramic folding clasp and a blue rubber strap with ceramic components.

In the blue depths of the ocean bed, Blue Sea continues to sail ahead. Become one in 999 at the heavy price tag of approximately R90,000 plus travel costs, as you will have to move fast before they are gone.

By Nicole Baume
Published by Playboy South Africa June 2012