As a part of its 2021 novelties, Ulysse Nardin recently revealed the new Limited-Edition Diver X Skeleton watch. Featuring a heavily skeletonized dial packed inside a lightweight, 44mm Titanium case, this new watch is designed to offer consumers a unique dive watch experience blending artistic ideas with a rugged and utilitarian aesthetic. Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton 44mm
The real draw with this watch is the dramatic open-worked dial. While previously released dive X watches feature an X formation that blends with the rest of the dial, the Skeleton X, does the opposite and makes the concept more pronounced. Emanating from the center and presented in sporty shades of blue and orange, the ‘X’ formation is the centerpiece of this watch. The letter ‘X’ is also, for the most part, the only bit of dial on this watch, as the surrounding areas have been hollowed out to reveal the complex mechanical internals underneath. On the outer periphery of the dial is a printed orange minute track and lume filled hour indexes that have been applied in such a manner that they give an illusion of being suspended in the air. The broad baton-style hour and minute hands have been borrowed from other members of the Diver X family, whereas the second’s hand has a nice paddle-style shape. Furthermore, the hands also get a blue PVD treatment with a hint of orange to blend in with the overall color scheme.
Beating inside the new Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton is Ulysse Nardin’s in-house calibre UN-372. It is an automatic movement based on the manually wound UN-371 calibre. One of the major differences between the two is the X-shaped oscillating weight on the UN-372. The movement operates at a frequency of 3 Hz and offers a healthy autonomy of around 96 hours. Apart from the fact that its architecture can be admired from the front as well as the back, the movement bears an industrial look, leaving nothing much to write about with regards to the decoration.
Machined from Titanium, the case on this watch measures a modern 44mm in diameter. To match the colors on the dial and give the watch a coherent visual appearance, the case has been PVD coated in blue except for the vibrant orange crown guards. The case has been finely finished and features micro-beaded sides and satin polished lugs. It is water-resistant to 200 meters, and there is a chunky un-directional bezel on top of the case to time those recreational dives. Due to its carbon composite construction, the bezel also adds a fair bit of visual intrigue to the watch, exhibiting several shades of blue and grey.
Ulysse Nardin has merged two of it designs into a single watch, introducing the signature aesthetic of its Executive Skeleton watch to its Diver collection, creating the Diver X Skeleton. Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton 44mm
Limited to 175 individually numbered piece, the Diver X Skeleton strikes out alone as a new flagship within the Diver collection. The watch’s 44mm case and bezel are formed of Carbonium, a robust yet lightweight composite material used in the aerospace industry, before being given a blue PVD coating.
The Diver X Skeleton is able to resist water ingress to depths of 200m, with its unidirectional rotating bezel sitting proud of its sapphire crystal, protecting it from potentially catastrophic impacts underwater.
The watch’s UN-371 movement, which is usually employed within the Executive Skeleton collection, has been redesigned to take on the visual cues of the Diver collection. In order to accommodate the central blue PVD X which instantly identifies the Executive Skeleton, the Diver’s hour markers needed to be discretely fixed, giving them the appearance of floating above the dial.
Ulysse Nardin also emphasises the depth effect by building up the movement and dial in layers while applying different finishes to play with the light. A new X-shaped automatic winding rotor has been added while a blue Carbonium barrel cover can also be seen through the dial at the 12 o’clock position, matching the material used for the bezel.
The blue of the case, bezel and movement are offset by bright orange accents on the central X, the tip of the seconds hand and the five-minute markers on the bezel.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton blends two hitherto disparate horological genres. Launched at Watches & Wonders 2021, this new creation is housed in a 44mm case, dressed in blue PVD, and features a unidirectional bezel formed of blue Carbonium Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton 44mm
. The skeleton dial affords views of the self-winding movement, the UN-372 calibre, while the addition of orange accents enhances the overall appearance of this harmonious composition. It’s a fascinating watch and a highly original composition.
Imagine for a second, eating a salad washed in deionised water, incorporating dehydrated tomatoes, garnished with kale, sprinkled with organic broccoli and with a serving of quinoa on the side. The composition of this dish is rich in dietary virtue, albeit it sounds a tad boring.
Having consumed this dish, rich in minerals and vitamins, it seems inconceivable that you would then proceed to eat chocolate cake, lavishly drenched in chocolate sauce and cream, with a generous helping of ice cream on the side. Put simply, some things in life are simply incompatible.
In the world of horology, some genres are compatible, likely to result in a harmonious composition. Conversely, some creations seem ill-matched. A skeleton watch involves removing superfluous material from the dial and/or movement. Often they are slender, elegant, slightly delicate in temperament and ideally suited for formal occasions. By their very nature, they are likely to have minimal water resistance and are not suited to harsh treatment.
In contrast, divers’ watches are about robustness, they are not averse to getting their hair wet and have some features intended to meet specific professional needs. Intended to be worn over a wetsuit, this type of watch has a tendency to be large. Moreover, bold styling and impressive legibility are prerequisites for this type of watch, even for those wearers who seldom dip their toes in the sea.
These two very distinct categories of watch are seldom mentioned in the same breath. Well, that is until now. Ulysse Nardin, the Swiss Manufacture founded in 1846 and known for making marine chronometers in the past, has just unveiled its new Diver X Skeleton at Watches & Wonders. On paper, it sounds like utter madness, but the images reveal a fabulously-styled watch, exuding a high quotient of ingenuity and destined to evoke a smile even on the most miserable face.
The 44mm case is dressed in blue PVD, while the unidirectional bezel is formed of blue Carbonium
. This latter material is formed of two thirds ‘intermediate modulus carbon fibre and one third high temperature epoxy’. The material, widely used in the aerospace industry, is three times stiffer than titanium and yet only half its weight. Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton 44mm
Luminescent hour and minute hands collaborate with baton-style indexes which emanate from the case. The dial features a prominent X-shaped structure spanning the dial, bestowing it with a highly unusual appearance. The openworked dial design affords views of the keyless works, gear train, balance and escapement. Interestingly, the balance wheel, anchor and escapement are made of silicon, a material closely associated with the Maison. A blue-toned barrel is positioned below noon.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton is equipped with the self-winding UN-372 calibre, an evolution of the existing UN-371 used in the Executive Skeleton collection. The model is water-resistant to 200m and is offered with a choice of blue or orange strap.
Until a few days ago, I would never have thought of fitting a divers’ watch with a skeleton dial, however, with the advent of this model, Ulysse Nardin has now erased my former opinion. Quite simply, the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton is one of my favourite novelties to be launched at Watches & Wonders.
The brand’s press release
Ulysse Nardin’s links with the sea are as deep as the ocean itself. The Swiss Maison was a pioneer in watchmaking innovation from 1846, when the brand cemented its reputation for incomparably accurate marine chronometers; robust navigational instruments that allowed sailors to calculate longitude at sea. Now Ulysse Nardin is reaffirming its status as a watchmaker destined to rule the oceans with the arrival of the DIVER X SKELETON. In 2019, Ulysse Nardin launched the DIVER X Cape Horn, Nemo Point and Antarctica, celebrating the bravery of the solo round-the-world sailors of the Vendée Globe. Now, to celebrate its 175 years, Ulysse Nardin is pushing the design of its DIVER X even further by stripping away the dial and revealing its skeleton.
In an Xciting merger of the two DIVER and EXECUTIVE SKELETON worlds, Ulysse Nardin adds a new design to its range of horological UFOs: the DIVER X SKELETON, an exclusive edition of skeleton diving watches limited to 175 timepieces, all numbered. This cutting-edge evolution of the DIVER X retains its sporty appeal, while taking a radical step towards transparency. As the new hero watch of the DIVER collection, the DIVER X SKELETON is an explosive fusion between the sporty design of a DIVER and technical prowess of the EXECUTIVE SKELETON. It’s a match that was written in the stars.
Like all of Ulysse Nardin’s DIVERS, the DIVER X SKELETON is designed to withstand the potentially fatal pressures that exist at a depth of 200 meters. To achieve this, it is equipped with a concave inverted unidirectional rotating bezel, which protects the domed sapphire glass against untimely impacts.
The engineering team has completely redesigned the UN- 371 movement, which is visible through the 44mm case. Originally designed for the EXECUTIVE SKELETON collection, it has been improved by the addition of an oscillating weight in the shape of the Ulysse Nardin’s iconic X. There is also a barrel cover placed at midday with a blue Carbonium
, which is the same as the bezel, and the hours, minutes and seconds hands are coated with Superluminova, so you won’t struggle to read the time underwater.
The desire to keep the dial interface of the DIVER X SKELETON in the shape of the blue PVD X was one of the most technical and complex developments ever undertaken by Ulysse Nardin. The hour markers had to be secretly connected to the dial, so they appear to be floating. To achieve the sensation of depth, overlaid layers were used to emphasize the tiered construction of the central “X”. Different levels of finish were also employed to cause a play of light, which was amplified by the transparency of the skeleton movement.
The case, microbeaded on the sides with satin polished lugs, has been coated in blue PVD. Orange details, such as the hour markers, the internal lines of Ulysse Nardin’s signature “X” and the protective rubber around the crown, add vibrant pops of colour and emphasize the model’s sports origins.
On the bezel, Ulysse Nardin has used blue Carbonium
, a material originally used on its FREAK X. Carbonium
is an extremely lightweight aerospace material and among the most robust and durable materials ever developed by scientists. It is made from the same fibres as those used for the fuselage and wings of the latest generation of aircraft. Because its manufacturing process involves using waste materials, it has a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon. This high-performance material is created using a complex process which involves subjecting carbon fibres, which have a diameter of only 7 μm, to high pressure and temperature conditions. The process causes the fibres to form a pattern that is unique to each watch.
The DIVER X SKELETON comes on a rubber strap in either ocean blue or supercharged orange with an element adorned with the Ulysse Nardin anchor also in orange. A constant reminder that Ulysse Nardin has always ruled the waves by looking to the stars.