Expanding the bizarre collection of “fashion divers”, the 2013 Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver (Ref. 266-33-8C/922) offers a nice combo of 18-karat rose gold with elements of its chunky body and solid bracelet crafted from black rubber and glossy black ceramic respectively. While clearly not a “tool,” the timekeeper is nevertheless equipped with a COSC-certified chronometer movement and features a water resistance rating that makes it suitable at least for recreational diving.
As the other members of the family, this new Maxi Marine Diver ref. 266-33-8C/922 comes powered by the same Caliber UN-26 automatic movement. Based on a top-grade variation of the well-known ETA 2892-A2 ebauche, the movement is redecorated and equipped with a branded rotor that features the Swiss brand’s signature anchor.
Despite its name, the watch is not terribly huge, far from it. In fact, the new timekeeper measures less than 43 millimeters, which makes it suitable for most people in terms of size (but probably not in terms of finish).
As the rest of the family, the watch features the same familiar design with an easy to read power reserve indicator sitting at 12 hours and a small seconds indicator sharing its place at 6 o’clock with a circular date aperture. Also, the calendar window is quite small, it’s still quite legible thanks to the traditional Cyclops lens integrated into the scratch-proof front sapphire crystal.
The hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers nicely, match each other in terms of design and size and also make it especially easy to read the watch both on the surface and deep underwater. Even the unidirectional rotating bezel seems quite legible even despite the fact that its only luminous element is limited to a tiny dot at “00”.
There is still no information regarding pricing, but, judging by their current Maxi Marine models of similar size, functionality, and finish, the timekeeper will possibly bear a price tag of some $45,000 and will probably retail online at $35,000 or something dangerously close to this number.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
UPDATE ON PRICE: The watch is currently listed at a pretty much intimidating street price of $47,000 and you can actually find one in a gray(ish) online store at just over $20k, but that still seems to be too overpriced to yours truly. While the gadget looks great if you are into this sort of styling, I would say that the choice of the mechanism is still a bummer for yours truly: a watch (even if it’s crafted from rose gold) that costs like a family sedan should definitely be powered by something way more impressive than a glorified version of the ETA 2892. After all, Ulysse Nardin does have access to a lot more interesting calibers of a considerably higher grade than this one poor tired workhorse.
Photos: Ulysse Nardin
2013 Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver (Ref. 266-33-8C/922) specification
Price: $47,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber UN-26, base ETA 2892, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve indicator, unidirectional rotating bezel
Case: 18-karat rose gold
Bezel: Matches case, black rubber insert
Size: 42.70 mm
Dial: Black, waves pattern
Hour markers: Rose gold, luminous
Hands: Rose gold, skeletonized, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: 18-karat rose gold bracelet with black ceramic elements and folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective