As Ulysse Nardin Diver has streamlined its product line-up over the last few years, the Ulysse Nardin Diver family has become one of the collection’s anchors (if you’ll pardon the pun). Until now though, these mostly three-hand-and-date watches have been on the big side, sitting at 44mm or larger. Today that changes with the introduction of a new collection of Divers that preserve the aesthetics and details of their larger brethren but in a more manageable 42mm size. Sure, that’s still not approaching vintage diver territory, but it’s definitely a huge difference that will open this collection up to many new people. There are both blue and black dial/bezel variants and a handful of great strap options to choose from, including two different steel bracelets.
While most of the watches are part of the main collection, there is one limited edition Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm, the so-called Blue Shark, which has a steel case with a matte blue PVD coating and a blue dial with an orange shark down at six o’clock. It comes paired with a matching blue textile strap with orange stitching and is limited to just 300 pieces.
There is a lot to like about UN’s Diver collection, especially when it comes to the details. The slightly concave bezel with its concentric rings adds a lot of visual depth to the watch, the grained dials have just enough texture to them, and the faceting on the lugs and knurling on the bezel add dynamism to the cases. These watches look and feel modern, but they’re not trying to find solutions to problems that don’t exist – they know that a lot of what makes dive watches so iconic is their simplicity and there’s no reason to add superfluous extras (the only place where this misses for me is the inclusion of the geographic coordinates of the UN manufacture in Le Locle at six o’clock on the dials). I’m also a big fan of the choice to include a mesh bracelet with straight end links as an option here. It’s a play for the vintage nerds, sure, but it totally got me. I’m looking forward to seeing these in the metal soon.