The story of Ulysse Nardin is intertwined with the sea. The brand’s on-board marine chronometers are among the most reliable ever designed—partly because the maison is one of the few luxury watch manufacturers with the in-house expertise to produce the highest possible precision movements. And to mark World Oceans Day this month and the brand’s 175th anniversary this year, the Swiss watchmaker has debuted its latest nautical diver, which is sure to appeal to seafaring adventurers and landlocked horophiles alike: the Lemon Shark.
Ulysse Nardin has long considered sharks its unofficial mascot of sorts—who could forget the menacing sharks illustrated on the brand’s NSFW erotic watches?—and this latest diver draws inspiration from what is commonly referred to as the “lemon shark.” Negaprion brevirostris, a vicious marine mammal based mainly off the Florida coast, is an apex predator that keeps the delicate marine ecosystem balanced, and thanks to its yellowish color, often appears one with Florida’s sandy ocean floors. Great White Sharks are flashy, cliché, rote—but Lemon Sharks are elusive, discreet killers.
The watch itself ticks all the right boxes for a luxury diver, nailing the combination of form and function. The case comes in a handsome 42mm diameter—a versatile size. An inverted concave bezel gives it the appearance of a smaller watch, yet the diameter is proportioned to make an impression. On the back you’ll find an etching of lemon sharks fabricated into the black diamond-like carbon finished steel. The watch’s escapements benefit from silicon technology, so you can spend more time relying on your watch’s precise movements and less time sending it to the repair shop. Of course, as a diver it is waterproof to 300 meters—and lemon-hued second hand and second markers will positively glow even in the murkiest depths.
But the commitment to the seas is not just aesthetic; the brand has pledged efforts to meet the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. As part of that endeavor, the Lemon Shark’s watch band is made from reclaimed fishing nets from Brest and Marseille in France. And to further its relationship with the oceans and help the world better understand the role that sharks play, Ulysse Nardin has partnered with oceanographic research non-profit OCEARCH as well as Florida International University’s Medina Aquarius Program, supporting these institutions in their mission to fill in the enormous gaps of everything we don’t yet know about sharks and just how connected we really are with our oceans.
A limited run of 300 Lemon Sharks went into production, so collectors will have to move fast if they want to get their hands on one of these divers.
Images by Fred Buyle