Brace yourself, there’s another vintage re-issue watch incoming, this time in the form of the Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle. Based on a dive watch from the 1960’s, this new model stays fairly true to the original design with a couple of minor aesthetic tweaks and the addition of an in-house automatic movement.
Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle
Given the almost overwhelming trend of vintage re-issue and retro-inspired watches hitting the market over the last 12 to 18 months, I almost don’t want to like the Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle just on principle. I can’t help it though. This is a really nice looking, understated dive watch with a strong sense of heritage and a manufacture movement. There’s just not that much to find fault with, no matter how exhausted you are by this persistent trend.
Speaking of heritage, the Ulysse Nardin Dive Le Locle is inspired by an almost identical looking model from 1964, with some minor updates of course. The most noticeable one, as you might expect, is the case size. Whilst the original model was a reasonably large-for-the-time 38mm, the new version is offered in a 42mm steel case, which is much better suited to today’s tastes (not unlike what Tag Heuer has done with the new Autavia).
The new Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle also features a sub-dial with cross-hair markings at six o’clock for the small seconds, whereas the original had a central seconds hand. The Alpha shape of the small seconds is consistent with the original design however. Finally, the date is magnified on the new version, which was not the case on the original. The distinctive, baton-shaped luminescent hour and minute hands though look like they’ve lifted straight from the 1964 model, particularly because they, along with the other indexes on the dial, have all been given the faux patina treatment to simulate an aged dial.
Presented in a polished steel case, the Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle has lovely facetted lugs and a uni-directional, black-coated aluminium bezel with a nice glossy finish. True dive watch enthusiasts probably would have preferred a matte black finish but this is more the type of dive watch you wear out to dinner at the yacht club as opposed to when you’re exploring coral reefs. That being said, it is still rated as water resistant to 100m, which is more than enough for most recreational divers.
Although it’s hidden beneath the solid case-back – which features the same engraving of a scuba diver as the original model – the Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle does boast a manufacture movement, the in-house automatic caliber UN-320. Fitted with a silicon escapement and hairspring, this highly reliable work-horse offers a 48-hour power reserve. Completing the look is a sporty black sailcloth strap with white contrast stitching and a pin buckle.
The Ulysse Nardin Dive Le Locle is available now and priced at US$9600. (Ref. 3203-950)