In the spirit that unites Ulysse Nardin with the explorers and fearless adventurers of the world, the Swiss manufacture, located in Le Locle near Neuchatel, has partnered with the Vendée Globe to sponsor the world’s most challenging sailing race. UN has created the Diver X Cape Horn and the Diver X Nemo Point – watches bringing the X-factor to tackle world’s roughest seas – in honor of the sailors who choose to risk everything by taking this daunting, dangerous challenge, many passing through Nemo Point – a location where the nearest inhabited landmass is over 2,700 kilometers away.
The ultimate test in ocean racing, the Vendée Globe begins and ends in the Sables d’Olonne, in the Vendée region of France. Competed without any support, stops or technical assistance of any kind, skippers face icy cold conditions, mountainous waves, leaden skies and howling gales as they traverse the Atlantic and Southern Oceans to sail solo around the planet’s roughest seas.
Taking place once every four years, the course – often referred to as the “Everest of the Seas” – takes the monohull yachts from the French coast 40,075 kilometers on a north-south trajectory around the circumference of the Earth. To limit the risk of encounters with icebergs, the Race Direction has established a zone prohibited to sailing, called the Antarctic Exclusion Zone (AEZ) which goes around the Antarctic between the 45° on the Croset Islands side and the 68° S off Cape Horn.
The next Vendée Globe race begins on November 8, 2020 and will mark 30 years since the first challenge and Ulysse Nardin will be the official timekeeper.
“This is not a race for those who doubt themselves,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin. “This is a challenge for modern-day Ulysses who believe that they will be able to confront themselves, their fears and nature’s strongest forces in order to complete an Odyssey of epic proportions.”
“We are delighted to welcome Ulysse Nardin as Official Timer of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021. This pioneering brand of Swiss haute horlogerie has been built internationally in connection with the nautical world. It is therefore natural that the Vendée Globe, the international reference for solo offshore racing, and Ulysse Nardin have come together to found this partnership for the next edition.” Said Yves Auvinet, President of Vendée Globe.
Cape Horn, one of the land points the Vendée Globe sailors must pass by on their voyage around the world, is one of the most treacherous routes. As they navigate around the southernmost tip of Chile, skippers face icebergs, violent winds and dangerous currents, making this one of the most confrontational chapters in the renowned round-the-world race. As they circumnavigate the globe, the passage around Cape Horn is one of the most harrowing because, as the point at which the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet, nature unleashes an array of furies, each more precarious than the next. The geographical coordinates of Cape Horn, as well as the route of the Vendée Globe race, are stamped on the back of each watch.
With its saffron burnt orange stitching on the strap to recall the Spice Route or the harrowing trip around Tierra del Fuego, carbon bezel and instantly recognizable “X” on the face, the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Cape Horn – the official watch of the Vendée Globe – will be issued in a limited edition of 300 pieces only. Its UN-118 movement guarantees accuracy in any hemisphere at any time of the day or night. The fabric strap is made from cutting-edge technology closing scratch: adjustable yet light, this material pairs magnificently with the ultra-light, carbon face. The satin black “X” is boldly stamped 6-12 in relief across the face.
One of the locations many of the sailors cross is Nemo Point, a position in the South Pacific off of the coast of Chile, named after author Jules Verne’s seafaring captain, which is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Closer to the International Space Station than to solid land, Point Nemo is Located at 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W, the location in the ocean that is farthest from land.
It is an oceanographic location that sits within the South Pacific Gyre, the most remote position on planet Earth. Sailing through Nemo Point, many of the sailors participating in the Vendée Globe find themselves in this massive, rotating ocean current, a centripetal force that tests them to the very core. The geographical coordinates of Nemo Point, as well as the route of the Vendée Globe race, are stamped on the back of each watch.
With its blue fabric strap with red lining, it is reminiscent of the leash on a surfboard. The closing scratch is made with cutting-edge technology. The blue rubber bezel and instantly recognizable “X” on the face, the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Nemo Point will be issued in a limited edition of 300 pieces only. Its UN-118 movement guarantees accuracy in any hemisphere at any time of the day or night. The blue “X” is boldly stamped in relief across the face and the route of the Vendée Globe is stamped on the back.