All right, you horologists out there. Time for something a bit more expensive than usual. In a world where prices in excess of R200,000 are considered normal, the Diver x Skeleton Black is something special. It’s more than twice as expensive, for a start.
Part of that has to do with the brand name — Ulysse Nardin. There are also 23 jewels in the blasted thing. The other bit has to do with scarcity. There are only 175 timepieces on offer worldwide. Which is a missed opportunity, in our books. Since the watch uses the company’s UN-372 Manufacture movement, which has 171 working parts, the Diver x Skeleton Black really could have dropped four units from its inventory.
Diver x Skeleton crew
But four units equals close to two million bucks, in South African money, so we can understand why they were kept. That, and the company reckons these timepieces are technical marvels. Beyond the titanium case, Carbonium (an aerospace material with its very own ®) bezel, and sapphire glass, the internals are impressive.
And visible, which is kind of the point. That, and the whole ‘X marks the spot’ theme, which uses the X as an oscillating weight. Getting the Silicium bit working was… complicated.
“The hour indexes had to be secretly connected to the dial, so they appear to be floating. To achieve the sensation of depth, overlaid layers were used to emphasize the tiered construction of the central ‘X’. Different levels of finish were also employed to create a play of light, amplified by the transparency of the skeleton movement.”
And then there are the straps. The yellow is made from Polyamide, an expensive plastic with a ceramic accent and a titanium buckle. The black strap is made from recycled fishing nets. Because if you’re going to spend vast sums of money, you might as well do a little bit for the ocean at the same time. Right?
If you simply must have one, and you have the estimated R465,000 asking price (this could change, depending on the exchange rate), it’ll be available here. Well, a few of them. They’ll be available from two Boutique Haute Horlogerie stores, either in Cape Town or Johannesburg. If you’ve never heard of the outlet, you… probably can’t afford to shop there.