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Interviews

Expect the Unexpected

When I was 6 years old, my dad bought me a watch with Mickey Mouse on the dial. Mickey’s hands indicated the time and I clearly remember it being my first significant personal gift. It really meant a lot to me.

Yachts
Patrick, when did your interest in timepieces begin?

When I was 6 years old, my dad bought me a watch with Mickey Mouse on the dial. Mickey’s hands indicated the time and I clearly remember it being my first significant personal gift. It really meant a lot to me. During my teen years, my interest in timepieces grew stronger and I became interested in products that encapsulated strong values. When I started backpacking, travelling and living in different places around the world, watches became an obvious interest.

You have a passion for sailing?

I do indeed. I started learning how to sail when I was living in Mozambique 20 years ago. Since then, I have had many opportunities to go sailing in different parts of the world. However, I still need to practice a lot more.

There can’t be many CEOs who free dive either?

I would not be able to talk for others, but I am sure many other CEOs are avid sportsmen and who knows, they may even be free divers. It requires some practice and some time, but I find free diving to be a fulfilling experience with numerous great mental and physical benefits. It’s like meditation and it allows me to discover amazing wild environments.

When did you join Ulysse Nardin?

I joined the company in September 2017.

You came from Apple, how has that helped at Ulysse Nardin?

My Apple experience enables me to step back from a pure watchmaking perspective. It helps facilitate, with the rest of the teams, a fresh view on things.  What idea did you implement first? I really wanted to write a new chapter, but of the same story. Since 1964, Ulysse Nardin has been creating fabulous dive watches. The first pieces were sold to professionals, working mainly for the military, or in the offshore petroleum business sectors. As a free diving enthusiast and because the sea has always been Ulysse Nardin’s natural playground, I wanted to strengthen and amplify our products in that segment. I can testify that there are many strong ideas coming in the near future.

Which timepiece is popular with yacht owners?

Yacht owners prefer design: the more bold and audacious, the better. Next year we will be launching an extraordinary timepiece dedicated to these exclusive clients, so watch this space.

How important is the Middle East market to the brand?

The Middle East is a key market for Ulysse Nardin, as the brand has many aficionados in the region. These are watch lovers that appreciate the quality and the authenticity of our products, as well as the Ulysse Nardin universe. The love for the sea, sailing and diving is a strong in region. The Middle East’s tradition is based around discovery and exploration.

Superyacht owners are getting younger. Does this have an impact on watch design in any way?

We cannot ignore that there is a new wave of younger owners who are very much connected and much more attracted to luxury than previous generations. The only way to reach this new clientele is to be creative and disruptive while staying authentic. We will of course be considering the younger owners in future product developments.

These are watch lovers that appreciate the quality and the authenticity of our products, as well as the Ulysse Nardin universe.
How could the classic diver’s watch be evolved?

Just wait until September, when we will be unveiling the all new
DIVER collection.

Will we see an Ulysse Nardin smart watch?

I do not think there is any value in Ulysse Nardin making a smart watch. I do not see what more we can bring to the consumer.

What can we expect from Ulysse Nardin in the next five years?

The unexpected.