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Fishing Nets Upcycled for Innovative New Timepiece

18th May 2022
The Ocean Race DIVER watch
The Ocean Race DIVER watch comes in a limited edition of 200 with a water-resistant dry bag recycled from the sea by Helly Hansen Credit: Ulysse Nardin

Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin says it’s accelerating its use of innovative alternative materials with the launch of The Ocean Race DIVER, largely composed of recycled fishing nets.

The official timing partner of The Ocean Race has been making marine chronometers for explorers since 1846 — and it says that today’s ocean adventurers are often confronted with the scale of plastic pollution in the world’s seas.

“How can we transform some of this plastic into a luxury item? With the help of start-ups such as FIL&FAB, we have successfully managed to fabricate and sell watches derived from recycled fishing nets,” Ulysse Nardin chief executive Patrick Pruniaux explained.

“Our way of making people aware of the issue is upcycling. In this process, finding suppliers was a key factor.”

In this case, Ulysse Nardin found a supplier who was able to upcycle discarded fishing net material into base material for components of The Ocean Race DIVER — which comes with a definitely luxury price tag of $11,500 (€10,900).

“At The Ocean Race, we have been sailing around the world since 1973 and as sailors, we have seen the Ocean change over the past 50 years,” said Richard Brisius, race director of The Ocean Race.

“We have learned the need to respect the ocean and give the ocean a voice in order to protect it and restore its health.

“We are proud to have a partner like Ulysse Nardin, who shares our values and to see the innovation taking place to support these efforts. This innovative watch reminds us that now is the time to act.”

Discarded fishing nets collected for upcycling | Credit: Ulysse NardinDiscarded fishing nets collected for upcycling | Credit: Ulysse Nardin

In September 2020, Ulysse Nardin marked the first milestone in its commitment to the ocean and the circular economy — a model of production and consumption, which involves using materials and products for as long as possible — with the launch of the R-STRAP wrist strap, which is made entirely from recycled fishing nets and can be used with its MARINE, DIVER and FREAK X watches.

In November 2020, the brand innovated with the DIVER NET, an experimental concept watch, each element of which was designed for durability and to have as low an impact on the environment as possible.

The latest iteration is The Ocean Race DIVER, which the watchmaker says “embodies innovation and tradition”, with 95% of its components sourced within a 30km radius of the manufacturer, and half of them coming from recycling channels, particularly recycled steel and brass.

The strap is also fully recycled from fishing nets, transformed into reels of yarn by the French company JTTI.

From June, The Ocean Race DIVER will be sold in a limited edition of 200 in an original pack with a water-resistant R-PET pouch slipped into a dry bag recycled from the sea by Helly Hansen, the official clothing supplier of The Ocean Race. For more see the Ulysse Nardin website HERE.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
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