Upcycling, or the concept of reinventing waste products to create something new, is another important part of the all-important recycling picture. And Ulysse Nardin jumped right in, serving its favorite cause – the ocean – with the new limited edition Ocean Race Diver. The result of a partnership between the Swiss watch brand and the Ocean Race, the watch will be the official timepiece for the offshore sailing event, which is due to start in Alicante, Spain next January. It is partly made from recycled fishing nets and produced in a limited edition of 200 pieces.
Plastic is a problem
With an estimated 5,000 billion pieces of plastic floating in the sea, plastic pollution is a major problem in our world’s oceans. And fishing nets are a major contributor to the problem – with up to 640,000 tonnes lost or abandoned each year, along with the other nine million tonnes of plastic entering the seas, it says Science.
Ulysse Nardin is doing its part to alleviate the problem thanks to the work of French start-up FIL&FAB, the first fishing net recycling company in France. Founded in 2015, the company collects plastic nets from French fishing ports and recycles them in the form of polyamide granules used to make Nylo.
“With the help of start-ups like FIL&FAB, we’ve managed to make and sell watches made from recycled fishing nets,” said Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, of the new watch.
But previous milestones led the way for the brand, like the launch of the R-Strap in 2020. Made entirely from recycled fishing nets, the strap is compatible with the Marine, Diver and Freak X collections. Also this year, an experimental concept watch, the Diver Net, made its debut.
Ocean race diver
The Ocean Race Diver will be officially launched next month and features a variety of fine watch details, such as: B. the inclusion of the UN-118 movement with silicon technology. Interestingly and appropriately, 95% of the movement’s components come from within a 30km radius of the manufacture, and half of that comes from recycling channels, mostly recycled steel and brass.
The watch is water-resistant to 300m and has a bezel made from carbonium, which is made from the same fibers used in the fuselage and wings of modern airplanes. The production of carbonium has a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites, as it incorporates aircraft offcuts.
The case side and caseback of the 44mm The Ocean Race Diver are made from 40% carbonium and 60% nylo, while the steel used to make the case is at least 80% recycled and comes from an automotive steel recycling channel. The strap is also made from recycled fishing nets, which are turned into spools by JTTI, a French company specializing in textile processing.
The limited edition Ocean Race Diver comes in a waterproof R-PET pouch embedded in a dry bag from Norwegian clothing manufacturer and retailer Helly Hansen, the official clothing supplier for the circumnavigation.