Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Artemis Racing - The Swedish Challenger's (to the 34th America's Cups) Official Watch
This watch is the Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Artemis; a timepiece from the Marine Diver collection that is named after Artemis Racing, the challenger representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club for the 34th America's Cup (for your information Artemis Racing won the last stage of the Louis Vuitton World Series last Monday). For those of us who are around 40 years of age and used to read watch magazines in the late 80s, this timepiece is the quintessential Ulysse Nardin. It encompasses all the typical characteristics for which the Swiss brand had always been recognized before deciding to move on to a different path, widen its portfolio of products and become a completely different watchmaker that specializes in haute-horlogerie timepieces too (this is something that I have tackled on here already when I reviewed the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time Manufacture).
This time I would like to start with a review of the style of this timepiece to then end with a review of its features and this is not because these are missing or lacking something (maybe just a bit) but rather because this is a watch that you can either love or hate at first sight. A Marine Diver is definitely not an understated watch and, in a way that is quite uncommon in today's watchmaking partnerships, the brand does nothing to hide its relationship with the Artemis team; the blue rubber strap features yellow stitching all along the band to remind us of the Swedish flag, while one of the stainless inserts sports the Artemis logo embossed on it. The same logo is also reproduced, in yellow color, under the Power Reserve hand placed at 12 o' clock (the Power Reserve can make the watch run for up to 42 hours).
The dial is ornated with a group of vessels that seem to float on the sea and create a shimmering effect, while at 6 o' clock are the oversize seconds counter and the date window, which is covered by a magnifying glass placed on the inside of the sapphire glass; a nice feature and a very clever solution that avoids the insertion of an additional external glass protruding from the main one (a type of architecture that I've never really liked).
When you focus on the size of the case (44mm) and the finish of this watch that's when you are in for a surprise, as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Artemis Racing is less “Marine Diver style” and more classy than what you might think when you just look at it from above. This watch is thick, perfectly mirror-polished (the polishing process used at the Ulysse Nardin's workshops produces some of the best polished cases on the market, which means that they not only shine more than the standard ones but they also shine better, meaning without any distorsion). What I cannot fully understand is why the brand has decided to go for a polished case coupled with satin-finish inserts and folding buckle; two choices that don't really match from an aesthetic point of view. Maybe the brand's goal was to preserve a bit of classic style in what is a 100% classic yachting watch rather than a diver (as its name clearly suggests.)
Once you have worn it around your wrist, it looks cool but this is also that kind of watch that you need to match to a proper dress style (possibly a sporty one) or else it will look completely out of context. Although I was not able to take pictures of this timepiece in the proper photo-set (which would have meant bringing it to the nearest yachting club; a hard enough thing to do when it is autumn-time in Italy and you've been given the watch only for a few days and you are stuck in rainy Milan), these pictures still give justice to a nicely made watch. It is absolutely perfect if you love the world of yachting but it is probably a bit less perfect if you are wearing it in a different environment, given the amount of logos and lettering that it sports and that make it a bit too overcrowded. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Artemis retails at a price of 8,500€ and, in my humble opinion, it is a bit overpriced if you consider the fact that this timepiece does not feature an in-house built caliber; a real pity, given the high quality and great features of the movements that this brand is able to manufacture.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter