Blood in the Water: The Ulysse Hammerhead Shark Chronograph

The Ulysse Nardin Hammerhead Shark Chronograph in stainless steel. Photo via Ulysse Nardin.

The Ulysse Nardin Hammerhead Shark Chronograph in stainless steel. Photo via Ulysse Nardin.

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What I know about Ulysse Nardin wouldn't fill up the back of a postcard.

In fact it could probably fit on the back of a postage stamp and even then I'd still be spelling Ulysse wrong every time and after seeing their latest release, the Hammerhead Shark Chronograph, I'm OK with that.

I'm not one that demands that watches have to be completely serious at all times. There is a place in the world for silliness and immaturity when it's done right. Erotic watches can be as complex as they are ridiculous but when done correctly the craft behind the intricate moving automatons lasts longer than their mechanical thrusting ever could. The Hammerhead Shark Chronograph on the other hand looks a boring divers chronograph that a child drew over in crayon. I image it's creation went something like this.

Shark inspiration

The Ulysse Nardin Hammerhead Shark Chrono in Rose Gold. Photo courtesy of Ulysse Nardin.

The nanny had called in sick and the wife was packing for the weekend trip to Naples so a silver haired executive at Ulysse Nardin begrudgingly brought his son to work. With an approaching deadline for a new release the Executive needed complete focus so gave his son a few coloring pencils and paper to pass the time to distract him. The little boy (As all little boys are at one stage) was really really interested in sharks, much to the disappointment of his father who wanted the boy to focus more on his studies. His bedroom walls (The Son's, not the Father's) were covered in glow-in-the-dark stickers of shark skeletons that cast an eerie green glow over the boy as he played well past his bed time with fake plastic teeth that littered the floor. A giant plush Hammerhead shark sat on the foot of his bed protecting him from monsters and his older sister. This little boy was now sat bored in his Father's office doodling more sharks over what turned out to be a failed concept design for a watch, rejected for being too boring.

Looking over the Father quickly snatched the paper from his Son and was about to scold him for touching his things when he saw the garish monstrosity his son had drawn. Across the 44m case of a dull diving chronograph his son had drawn countless hammerhead sharks swimming across the dial, scratches of blood red splattered seemingly on random parts of the registers whilst an undulating wave lapped at the edges of the bezel. It was odd. It was weird. It was exactly what was needed. Shrieking in joy and promising his son all the gelato he could eat, the Executive rushed to the design department thankful that he had a new watch to release.

The marketing team didn't know anything about sharks so the Executive sat his son down at the end of a conference table and told him to tell everyone all he knew. As ever increasing dribbles of gelato dripped onto the mahogany table, the boy listed off all the facts he could remember which were then copied verbatim into the press release. This is the only explanation I can think of for the paragraph telling me that Hammerhead sharks are the only sharks that feed at night only to return to the same spot.

If part of the profit made on this watch was to be donated to a charity dedicated to the preservation of Hammerhead sharks then I could at least understand this baffling watch. Whilst there is no mention of any charitable intentions in the press release I do now know that hammerhead sharks possess the sharpest sensory accuracy of all the sharks. I could talk about the manufacture caliber UN-150 fitted inside which has a silicium escapement and balance spring but when the watch looks like something you'd buy for $50 at an Aquarium gift shop I don't think it matters.

I eagerly await the announcement of the Ulysse Nardin Tyrannosaurus Rex GMT and the Robots & Aliens with digital display.