With the new Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Black Sea (Ref. 263-92-3C), the Swiss watchmaker once again updates its maritime-inspired collection. Looking deliciously un-Rolex with its vulcanized rubber case and eerie black-and-red color scheme, the Black Sea may not be as versatile as a Submariner, but it definitely is as original as money could buy.
Like a number of other luxury diving tools presented in the last couple of years, the new Marine Diver Black Sea is presented in a stainless steel case, which is further enhanced by a special vulcanization process with a matte-black rubber coating.
Soft to the touch and scratch-resistant, the coating looks especially good when the watch is used with a neoprene wetsuit.
Frankly, I highly doubt that somebody will use this toy for real diving or surfing. Still, thanks to the chosen black-and-red color scheme, the watch will also look good if you plan to spend a day on a motorboat or a night at an elegant beach party.
The new watch continues the trend of the last decade: it keeps gradually getting bigger in size.
Although the Caliber UN-26 automatic movement is still only 25.60 millimeters in diameter, the rugged-looking case of the Marine Diver will soon reach 46 millimeters. This particular model, for example, is 45.80 mm wide.
Speaking about movement, I must point out that this is not an in-house caliber, but a modified version of the well-known ETA 2892 blank movement, which is equipped with a matte-black, branded oscillating weight.
As usual, the Ref. 263-92-3C is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel with the trademark wave-pattern and the inevitable diving scale with a large lume-covered point at 0.
The dial, as you can see for yourselves, is also black with the morbid monotony interrupted only by red trapezoids of hour markers, gray markers of the minute track and bright-red hands.
Traditionally, the oversized small seconds display at six o’clock is also home for the date window, its small round aperture magnified by a special lens on the sapphire crystal.
Thanks to a screw-down security crown and a pair of rather thick sapphire crystals (the one at the top sports an anti-reflective treatment, by the way) the Marine Black Sea is rated for depths of down to 200 meters, which makes it a real diver (but a very expensive at that.)
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Black Sea (Ref. 263-92-3C) specification
Price: $9900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber UN-26, based on ETA 2892, 25.60 mm in diameter, 5.10 mm in height, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Matte-black branded winding rotor
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case and Bezel: Stainless steel, vulcanized, matte-black rubber coating
Crown: Stainless steel
Size: 45.80 mm
Lug width: 20.00
Case height: 14.80 mm
Dial: Black, waves motif
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Rubber bracelet with two ceramic elements and deployant clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
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Bought my first mechanical watch in 1986 and it took me ten more years to realize that I have a problem: at some point in time watches became my passion. Well, it could be worse.