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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ulysse Nardin, Artemis Racing Win America’s Cup Race In Chicago

When the Artemis Racing finished first in scoring this past weekend during the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series preliminary race in Chicago, Ulysse Nardin also came out a winner. That’s because the Swiss luxury watch brand is a sponsor of the Swedish sailing team. 

After four races on Lake Michigan over a two-day period Artemis took a strong early lead and held on to squeak out a three-point win with 61 points. The weekend’s performance was enough to pull Artemis from sixth to fourth place in the overall preliminary standings. 

The America’s Cup finals will be held June 2017 in Bermuda. The scoring system for the America’s Cup is a bit convoluted but the team with the most points overall during the preliminary rounds will have the opportunity to earn the equivalent of a win in the finals before actually racing.

The weekend’s race made history as it was first time in the event’s 165-year history that it was held on fresh water. With a dramatic view of the Chicago skyline in the background, the racers glided across the lake in conditions ranging from scorching hot and calm to cool and blustery.

Sailing competitions such as the America’s Cup attract a sophisticated and affluent crowd. They are smart enough to understand that in America’s Cup racing—although the boats are exactly alike and teams are evenly matched—racing conditions vary constantly and oftentimes the team that leads in the start of the race has a direct path to victory. So you pick a team, usually based on a person’s nationality, hope for the best and have a good time. 

Ulysse Nardin is promoting three timepieces for the event. The first is the Artemis Racing Marine Diver, with a “deep-ocean blue” dial augmented with bursts of the signature yellow of the sailing team on the hands and hour markers. The dial also has a pattern of sailing vessels that seem to float on the sea. The power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock features the Artemis Racing logo. The small seconds subdial window at 6 o’clock reads, “Challenger 35th America’s Cup Artemis Racing.” The logo and expression also appear on the stainless steel caseback. 

The 44 mm watch is powered by the UN-26 automatic caliber. The Artemis Racing logo and yellow stripes also appear on the blue rubber strap. Good luck trying to find this watch, however. Limited to 250 pieces and only available through Ulysse Nardin’s worldwide retail network, the watch is almost sold out, according to an official of the watch brand.

The FreakWing, Ulysse Nardin’s high-tech timepiece, contains features of the Artemis catamaran. For example, the upper bridge for the minutes is inspired by the internal structure of the rigid sail, while the texture of the rotating hours disc evokes the mesh net of the multihull. The bezel and case back are forged from carbon fiber, an element that is omnipresent in high-level sailing. 

The tourbillon in the center rides high with the Artemis Racing logo on the back. The UlyChoc safety system is a new generation of shock absorbers. Created and built in-house, it replaces three traditional microelements with just one made of silicon. The black DLC titanium case a carbon-style strap with yellow stitching makes the FreakWing lightweight and sturdy. 

In the absence of a crown, the upper and lower bezels, integrated into the movement, perform the various functions. The caliber UN-210 has an eight-day power reserve. It is limited to 50 pieces.

The Classico America is the artistic timepiece of the series. In 18k white gold and rose-gold with enamel cloisonné, the dial has an authentic depiction of the “America” schooner, which raced in the first America’s Cup in 1851. The daunting terrain of the Isle of Wight is its backdrop and pales in comparison to the ship’s colossal masts and sails. Handcrafted in-house at Donzé Cadrans, a member of the Ulysse Nardin group of companies, the process of enamel cloisonné is extremely intricate. Each cloisonné dial requires 50 hours of artisan expertise and 26 processes to complete. 

The 40mm watch is powered UN-815 COSC certified movement with a 42-hour power reserve. It is available in a limited edition of 30 pieces. 

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