Ulysse Nardin Ulysse Nardin Announces Partnership With 11th Hour Racing Team
With the round-the-world Ocean Race 2022-23 around the corner, Ulysse Nardin becomes the Official Timekeeper of 11th Hour Racing Team, whose goal of improving ocean health closely aligns with the Swiss watch brand.
It isn’t every day you get to fly on a seaplane. In fact, most people never get to do this in their entire lives. But I was one of just a little more than a handful of select USA journalists who got to join Ulysse Nardin and Blade from New York’s East River to Newport, Rhode Island, last week for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ulysse Nardin announced its partnership with 11th Hour Racing Team as the Official Timekeeper for the team as it readies itself for the World Ocean Race that begins in January 2023 and takes about seven months to complete. We got the chance to go aboard the new IMOCA Class race yacht, named Malama, that was only recently built by the title sponsor 11th Hour Racing – just in time for The Ocean Race 2022-23 season.
Sustainability is at the core of all operations. Even the boat is made predominantly using sustainable materials, as time is ticking when it comes to ocean pollution. The male and female sailing team, along with the title sponsor, 11th Hour Racing Organization, looks to inspire coastal communities around the world to create change in ocean health. The team was formed three years ago and is led by American offshore sailors Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. In total, the boat will be crewed during The Ocean Race by just five individuals at a time. Many of its goals align with the focus of Ulysse Nardin.
On the IMOCA 60
As we came upon the IMOCA 60 (also known as an Open 60 foot boat), it seemed majestic on the water with beautiful blue sails rising tall into the sky, and white and orange foils that reach up and out of the water. The colorful design of the racing yacht alone is inspiring. But heading down into that monohull – where all of the racing operations take place – was truly an enlightening experience.
In that tiny hull, we watched as sailors demonstrated their skills and as the ocean seemed to engulf the racing boat with waves splashing over us that would’ve surely knocked us right off the boat had we not been in the protection of that small space. As we raced along, that hull essentially came to life with electronic equipment flashing, and ropes and rigs being pulled, pushed and moved to change the sail direction above us.
IMOCA 60 © The Ocean Race
The experience was a true adventure, and I have a new appreciation not just for racing and these rocket-like sail boats, but more importantly for the crew that tirelessly works day after day as they muster all their strength, willpower and determination for a dream of winning what is billed as the world’s longest sporting event.
Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver Watch
Every move the 11th Hour Racing Team makes is determined and precise. In fact, the entire race is about performance, timing and excellence. That is probably why the fit with Ulysse Nardin is so perfect. That and their shared commitment toward making a positive impact on ocean health.
In fact, the Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver watch is a perfect example of its commitment. The watch is crafted using plastic fishing nets that have been recovered from the sea. Created in partnership with The Ocean Race, the watch uses material from Fil &Fab, whose fishnet recycling business turns the nets into small polyamide granules that produce Nylo. Nylo, along with Carbonium (recycled steel from aircraft whose manufacture has a 40 percent lower environmental impact that regular steel), serves as the case of the watch. In addition to the upcycled case, the watch boasts the R-Strap made of recycled fishing nets, too, that were transformed into yarn reels. Water resistant to 300 meters, the watch houses a mechanical movement wherein some of the components are made from recycled steel and brass. It retails for $11,500 and is sold in a dry bag made by Helly Hansen, the official clothing supplier for the round-the-world Ocean Race.
Ocean Race Diver © Ulysse nardin
“The 11th Hour Racing Team is the ideal partner for our brand,” said Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin. “Like us, they are explorers. We strive to innovate through use of novel materials that lessen our impact on the environment and 11th Hour Racing Team employs cutting-edge technology that proves sustainability can win the race.” Mark Towill, 11th Hour Racing Team founder, added, “Time is ingrained in everything we do at 11th Hour Racing Team from the precise second we cross the start line of The Ocean Race and the hundreds of thousands of minutes we will be pushing ourselves and the boat on each leg, to the critical hour we are at in relation to climate change. We are proud to be carrying the marque of a sustainably focused brand such as Ulysse Nardin and look forward to our partnership on this epic race around the planet.”