Surf's Up! Ulysse Nardin Gives Back With The Diver Deep Dive “One More Wave” Limited Edition
A few months back, I received a phone call from Ulysse Nardin's US President, François-Xavier Hotier. He told me, "I have an empowering project coming up." Turns out, he wasn't blowing steam. Ulysse Nardin's partnership with One More Wave is an attention-worthy cause.
Ulysse Nardin has long been linked with the sea, from Marine Chronometers (read HERE) to Mega Yachts (HERE), the brand has seen their fair share of oceanic exploits. With a rich history in Naval navigation, the brand has gone on to supply some of the world's top Naval forces with their now-ubiquitous chronometers. Today, the brand takes its military efforts a step further by giving back to those who've served.
Giving back – One More Wave
During a launch event at Watches of Switzerland's SoHo boutique, François-Xavier Hotier and Kyle Buckett, Managing Director of One More Wave, officially launched their partnership. For those unfamiliar with One More Wave, the San Diego based non-profit organization was founded with one central mission, to create custom surfboards for wounded or disabled veterans. A noteworthy cause that helps veterans from all services take to the sea regardless of disability.
During the event, I asked Hotier and Buckett how this collaboration came to be, Hotier gave some color, "We were connected through a mutual friend, I was told the [Navy] Seals could bring me into Coronado, so they brought me in for a day of surfing. One of the veterans put me on a surfboard for the first time in the Pacific, and I was freezing! But I was blown away by the spirit of this community."
When speaking with Buckett, he gave some insights as to how One More Wave was started, "In 2015 Alex West, one of our founders, was surfing in San Diego with a wounded-disabled Marine. They're smiling, having fun, they're out in the water and Alex asks Marine if he's having a good surf, to which the Marine replies, "Well, that's not why I'm smiling." And Alex asked, "What's going on?" And the Marine, an amputee, says, "I'm smiling because out here, in the water, I'm just like everyone else." Well, that day Alex goes *bing!* and thinks, "We've got something here!" He goes straight to Barnes & Noble and buys a How to Run a Non-Profit for Dummies book. He went home that night and just start pounding through the book and started One More Wave."
Ulysse Nardin and One More Wave's partnership goals are twofold. First, as a non-profit, One More Wave relies entirely on donations (donate HERE) and as you can imagine, creating one-off surfboards isn't cheap. The second is awareness, One More Wave is unique in the sense that they are the only company in the world creating custom-designed surfboards for the disabled. The best part? Any veteran can apply for a board. One More Wave's volunteer community not only creates the boards but also assists veterans in reaching the beach and even offering surf lessons to all skills of surfer.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive “One More Wave”
To help raise awareness and funds for One More Wave, Ulysse Nardin has released the Diver Deep Dive “One More Wave” limited edition. Created within the brand's Deep Dive collection, this 46mm DLC coated titanium piece is limited to just 100 pieces. Water-resistant to 1000m, the Diver Deep Dive "One More Wave" edition has an all-black color code that pays homage to our great Navy Seals. The piece comes fitted to a black rubber strap and a custom case back engraved with the "One More Wave" logo.
Watchonista had the opportunity to go hands-on with the piece during Ulysse Nardin's launch event. While the piece commanded a large wrist presence on my diminutive 7.5" wrists, I clearly understand this watch wasn't made for me. This watch was made for a Seal, the type of frogmen that train for years to be able to join America's most elite fighting squad. Huge forearms come with the job, and once they transfer to civilian life this watch is a worthy companion in everyday life.
Furthermore, the watch was designed in full collaboration with One More Wave. The charity is deeply rooted within the Seal community and counts on many veteran Seals for their day to day operations. When I asked Buckett if he ever thought he'd be building surfboards, he replied, "Never in a million years! But now we'll build whatever they [veterans] need. That's step one, getting all this equipment right. Then, step two is getting them tied into our global community now. We have 582 volunteers all across the country. So, if a guy or girl was like, "Hey, I want to go surf tomorrow but I don't have any legs. I'm going to be there at 7 am." Then, three or four of our volunteers would offer to help that person. So that community aspect is important for me and has really just been exploding."
The partnership between the brand and charity feels natural as Hotier has been involved in every step of the program. From design to concept, and finally the finished product, the two teams have developed and delivered not just a watch, but a new way of driving awareness to this important cause. Just in September alone, 77 veterans joined the waitlist for boards, so donations are crucial to expanding the work of One More Wave. The charity will also be present at FLIBS 2019 (read about last year's experience HERE).
Priced at $13,500, the Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive "One More Wave" is exclusive to the US market and is available at all Ulysse Nardin retailers. For more information on One More Wave or to donate to this very worthy cause, visit their website.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell and Aidan Demolli)