This month the Swiss Manufacture has unveiled a sexy, young and sportive series of diving watches exclusively for women, rejuvenating its Lady Diver collection twelve years after the launch of its first feminine diving watch. With more than a touch of elegance, this series is the new sensuous and bold feminine identity of Ulysse Nardin. The current of Xploration is clearly flowing in a resolutely female direction with four extraordinary new Ulysse Nardin Lady Diver models, already creating a tempest in the world of watch connoisseurs.
Diamonds, drive and determination: Ulysse Nardin reveals a stunning new line of LADY DIVER watches launched as Alessia Zecchini, champion free diver and world-record apnea holder, becomes the first female to join the “Ulysse” family of adventurers.
“Beneath the howl of the oceans and the crashing waves on the sea, the water is silent and infused with sunlight. I dive towards the abyss, my abyss, to find my true self. Intimately connected to the elements, luck is not a factor for me. I am ready to face any unknown obstacles – whether light or shadow – before resurfacing to my life. I wear a talisman on my wrist; I am Ulysses.” – Alessia Zecchini, free-diving champion and first female “Ulysse”
These refined diving watches, strong and tasteful, share many qualities with Alessia Zecchini, a 27-year old Italian-born free-diver and multiple champion record-holder. Alessia, who just joined the armada of Ulysse Nardin’s “modern Ulysses”, is an extraordinary young woman who has found her rightful place in the UN family of intrepid and fearless Xplorers. To embody the spirit of the ocean, the force we carry within ourselves and the spirit of Ulysses, Ulysse Nardin is delighted to welcome champion free-diver Alessia as the first female in this unique family of adventurers.
With long, dark hair flowing in the water behind her, Alessia embarks on her ocean odyssey with astonishing beauty and grace; her fit, sun-kissed body diving below the stormy surface she searches for inner peace and calm. Testing her own limits as well as those of nature, she is alone in her wetsuit, deep blue eyes searching the waters around her on her quest to discover herself. Concentrating on her own breathing, she delves the depths of the untamed seas, every submerged second lasting an eternity. When she has reached her goal, she emerges back towards the light, a pearl of sea water sliding down her strong back, up towards sky, air and sunshine.
Born in Rome in 1992, Alessia began free diving when she was just thirteen. At 16 she took her first formal course in apnea diving at the Apnea Blu Mare Society but, according to federal rules, had to wait until she was 18 before officially entering into competition.
She is the current world record holder in Constant Weight Apnea (CWA) an astonishing 113 meters (“the deepest woman in the world”) and Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) world record holder in Dynamic Apnea having reached 250 meters. She has won 16 Gold Medals in the World Championships and holds twenty-five world records in almost all the disciplines of freediving. A “talisman” Ulysse Nardin LADY DIVER on her wrist, Alessia plunges to the depths beneath the waves, Xploring the wonders of the ocean like the modern-day Ulysses she is.
Françoise Bezzola, Chief Marketing Officer at Ulysse Nardin explains: “At Ulysse Nardin, the feminine story is still a blank page waiting to be written. As this model is a young and dynamic design, we chose a young woman to personify our vision. Although she is a master diver, she is not a mermaid but a true “Ulysses”. A fearless athlete, she embodies force and determination. In 2020, being beautiful is not enough. Alessia Zecchini is a multiple-layered woman who has done us the honor of being the first female in our family of male explorers.”
With a silhouette re-sculpted to 39mm, thinner and discreet, the new LADY DIVER has been created in three iconic colors: deep blue, intense black and mother-of-pearl. A special model in light gray – the LADY DIVER “Great White” – will be made in a limited edition of just 300 pieces. The first three will be stamped with a wind rose on the back while the Great White features a sensual drawing of a female apnea diver on the case back.
As with its masculine counterpart, the LADY DIVER has a domed glass and a concave unidirectional bezel. The diamond hour markers shatter all conventional diving watch design by bringing a unique touch to a traditionally sportive look of a diving watch; their brilliance recalls the sparkling surface of the sea. For women who want a brighter shine, the new LADY DIVER series comes with the option of a 40-diamond bezel, each one a generous 1,7 mm in diameter (0.92 Carats). The UN-816 silicium technology movement is the beating heart of each one of these models, keeping expert track of the hours, minutes, seconds and date.
“We are honored to have Alessia Zecchini as the first female explorer to join our family of Ulysses”, says Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “We have chosen to launch the new line of LADY DIVER watches simultaneously with Alessia’s arrival. Her spirit of adventure and willingness to take the risks necessary to test her own limits is emblematic of our vision at Ulysse Nardin.”
Alessia Zecchini Free diver world champion & first female to join the “Ulysse” family of adventures
World Champion free diver Alessia Zecchini has been diving ever since the age of thirteen, a tender age during which adolescents are more preoccupied with social activities, school and what the future may hold than high-level athletics. However, for Alessia, the motivation to swim to the deepest depths of the ocean superseded any of those worries. “I have no hobbies”, says Alessia. “Diving is my passion, my freedom, my life.”
Born in Rome in 1992, Alessia took her first course of federal apnea at the Apnea Blu Mare Society in 2005. In spite of her obvious talent and enthusiasm for the sport, the rules stipulated that she had to wait until she was 18 to officially compete, but the wait paid off; at age eighteen she won a silver medal in her debut competition at the Italian Championships.
In 2007 she joined the national team and in 2011 she ranked second in two disciplines out of three at the Italian Championships in Turin. A year later, she competed in her first international competition in Antalya, with a stellar performance at the European Championships. Ever since, the list of her achievements never ceases to grow longer.
At the World Championships 2013 in Kazan, she won the gold medal in static apnea with a breathtaking time of 6’23 “. She obtained a medal in every discipline, including a silver medal in the “dynamic no fins” category and a bronze in the dynamic category. She went on to earn her first world CMAS (Conféderation Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques) World Record at the Italian Depth Championships, reaching a stunning -81m. In 2014 in Tenerife, she won a silver medal in dynamic apnea with 218 m and a third place in static apnea with a time of 6’08 “.
In 2015 she took part in the Indoor World Championship in Mulhouse and, together with her friend and colleague Ilaria Bonin, won 5 medals. She won in dynamic no fins with 165 m, a new CMAS world record in a 50m swimming pool. She went on to win two silver medals in the “dynamic with monofin” category achieving a depth of 234 m and static with a time of 6’35 “. At the Outdoor World Championship in Ischia, organized by the Italian Federation of Sport Fishing and Underwater Activities, she won three gold medals with respective world records: in constant weight with monofin with -93 m, in constant no fins with -58 m and in jump blue with 190 m.
In June 2016 Alessia went even further into the ocean’s depths; at the Indoor World Championships Lignano Sabbiadoro where she won three golds and set three world records CMAS with 171 m in dynamic no fins, 204 m in dynamics with fins and 250 m in dynamics with the monofin.
In 2017 Alessia was crowned the “deepest woman in the world” after having conquered the world record with a depth of 104 m in the Vertical Blue competition on the island of Long Island in the Bahamas on the 10th of May. It was a competition that saw Alessia break the constant weight record of -101 m record held by of Natalia Molchanova for 6 years. The first Italian athlete to reach the bottom at -102 m, she beat Hanako Hirose’s drop to -103 m with a-104 m descent.
A month later, she took part in the CMAS Indoor European Championship where she managed to win three medals in the Cagliari pool over the three disputed races. In August of the same year, she participated in the AIDA World Championships in Roatan and became world champion in free-immersion with the new Italian record at -88 m and 2nd in constant weight with the measure of -98 m. In October, at the CMAS European Championship in Kas, Turkey, she won two silver medals in CWT and CNF with -93 m and -63 m, a new Italian record.
In 2018 Alessia was reconfirmed as the deepest woman in the world. On May 10th in San Andrés Colombia she set the new world record in constant weight with -105m, and then down to -107m in the Nirvana Oceanquest Freediving Competition.
At the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Istanbul she won two gold medals and one silver and set two new world records. She went on to set three world records in Rotan and win three gold medals before going on to Curacao where she set three world monofin records and won three gold medals.
Alessia is the current world record holder in constant weight apnea diving having reached an astonishing 113 meters and CMAS world record holder in dynamic apnea (DYA) at 250 meters. She has won a total of 16 world championship gold medals and set 25 world records in almost every discipline of freediving, both outdoors and indoors.
One of the activities she enjoys most on land is lecturing about her career at schools. “I love to share my passion with the children and explain how important it is to follow your passion, whatever it happens to be for you”, she says
Alessia’s budding friendship with Ulysse Nardin has been a great source of satisfaction for her. “Ulysse Nardin is the most amazing company”, she says. “The watches are not only beautiful, but exactly perfect for what I do. At Ulysse Nardin they are as devoted to the conservation of the world’s oceans as I am – it is the best brand in the world in my opinion.”
LADY DIVER / GREAT WHITE, LIMITED EDITION, STEEL 39MM*
In a limited edition of just 300 pieces, the LADY DIVER Great White is none other than the female counterpart to the men’s Diver Great White. Powered by the UN-816 silicium technology movement. With a case back bearing the stamp of a female apnea diver and a fully integrated rubber bracelet textured to represent ocean waves or mermaid’s scales. Its face is gray and sparkles with 11 diamonds hour-markers.
LADY DIVER / DEEP BLUE, STEEL 39MM*
This steel version with its night blue face is intensified by the touches of rose gold on the second hand, the Ulysse Nardin anchor logo and the date. It can be worn with a blue sailcloth strap with a pin buckle, an alligator or a rubber band.
LADY DIVER / MOTHER-OF-PEARL, STEEL 39MM*
What more appropriate than a mother-of-pearl face to evoke the depth and beauty of the ocean? The reflections shine on this singular seashell. The choice of white alligator band, its satin finish comes with four singular “point-de-bride” stitches in deep blue to give a shimmering, summery touch.
LADY DIVER / INTENSE BLACK MATTE STEEL & ROSE GOLD, 39MM*
A combination of 5N rose gold (on the bezel, crown and elements of the dial) and of DLC black matte steel (case and the horns). Its black matte face is completed by a textured rubber band. The combination of rose gold and absolute black give this model its sporty/chic appeal. The all-diamond bezel consists of 40 diamonds of 0.92 Carats.
*All models are powered by the UN-816 silicium technology movement and come with a large wind rose engraved on the case back.
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About Ulysse Nardin – Manufacture of Freedom
Ulysse Nardin is the Pioneering Manufacture inspired by the sea and delivering innovative timepieces to free spirits.
Founded by Mr. Ulysse Nardin in 1846 and a proud member of the global luxury group Kering since November 2014, Ulysse Nardin has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie. The company’s earliest renown came from its links to the nautical world: its marine chronometers are among the most reliable ever made, still sought by collectors around the world. A pioneer of cutting-edge technologies and the innovative use of materials like silicon, the brand is one of the few with the in-house expertise to produce its own high-precision components and movements. This exceptional level of watchmaking excellence has earned Ulysse Nardin membership in the most exclusive circle of Swiss watchmaking, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Today, from its sites in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the brand’s continuing quest for horological perfection centres around five collections: The Marine, the Diver, the Classico, the Executive and the Freak. In 2019, Ulysse Nardin introduces the X-factor in watchmaking. www.ulysse-nardin.com
Lady Diver 39 mm Technical Specifications
- Caliber UN-816
- Silicium technology caliber
- Automatic movement
- Hours, minutes, seconds
- 42 hours
- Stainless steel
- Stainless steel black DLC & Rose Gold 5N
- Inverted concave unidirectional rotating bezel
- 39 mm
- 300 meters
- Large wind rose engraving
- Great White: stamped with female free diver
- Great White: Rubber
- Mother of pearl : Alligator & Rubber
- Blue : Sailcloth, Karung, Alligator & Rubber
- Black & Rose gold : Alligator & Rubber
- Great White: 7’900 CHF
- Mother of pearl: 10’800 CHF
- Blue: 10’800 CHF
- Black & Rose gold: 14’900 CHF