FEARLESS FREE DIVER FRED BUYLE
Sunlight, water, air. Fred Buyle is using his underwater photography to change the way we see the seas. Thanks to his bold exploration, we can marvel at the icebergs of Antarctica from an orca’s point of view, swim with sharks, and look up from 60m below the surface at the sun shining through the water.
Without disrupting the fragile marine environment, Buyle uses his artistic background to capture little-seen animals of the deep on film, tagging them for biologists in the process. Able to reach 60m on one lungful of air with his camera, his images are taken with natural light and one breath of air. Belgian-born Buyle is specialized in capturing images of sharks in their natural habitats, without a protective cage, diving freely with iconic species such as hammerheads, tigers and even great white sharks.
To accompany Buyle into the ocean depths, Ulysse Nardin has created the Diver Deep Dive, a robust, functional sports watch, water resistant to 1000 meters. “At a time when our mobility is changing so much, it’s great to be able to carry an object with you all the time that says so much about who you are”, says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin. Powered by the in-house UN-320 caliber it has everything a serious diver needs: a helium escape valve, removable titanium guard, an expandable, adjustable rubber strap and a large bezel with 12-nothed teeth for easy manipulation, even with diving gloves. Fifteen sharks adorn the dial and one more is stamped on the back – a reminder that man is only a visitor in the ocean’s depths; the seas belong first to the animals.
“Three things have fascinated me since I was small kid: bicycles, sailboats and mechanical watches. The three share one technical aspect, natural energy and a little bit of magic”, said Buyle.
Bold, respectful and talented, Fred Buyle has not finished surprising us.
ALEX CAIZERGUES, FASTER THAN THE WIND !
Through sheer determination and perseverance, Alex has carved out a career for himself, a life, in the world of board sports. He is first and foremost a lover of adventure, both as an athlete and as a person: adventure is what drives him and gives him the strength to push past any limits. Given this, it was only natural for Alex to join the growing armada of Ulysse Nardin’s adventurers. Ulysse Nardin sets its sights on modern adventurers, on the Ulysses of today, on those who love to break the rules, cast off their moorings and swim against the current. On Beautiful Freaks.
“If it comes down to a choice between a session in a favourable mistral and a family lunch, I pick the kite”, says Alex, justifying himself. He goes on: “I live by the rhythm of the wind”. His is a life of sacrifices and determination. “You have to give everything to stay in the race. And it gets harder and harder every year because the level just keeps going up”. In kitesurfing, you’re on your own on the board, as well as against the stopwatch. Athletes and watchmakers have always been connected. “Time is crucial to me and the synergy is real”, he concludes.
Alex is accompanied on the water by Ulysse Nardin’s Diver Deep Dive, a sturdy and functional sports watch that is water-resistant to a depth of 1,000 metres. Powered by the in-house UN-320 calibre, the features of the Diver Deep Dive have been designed for extreme sports enthusiasts both under and on the water: a helium valve, a detachable titanium guard, an expandable and adjustable leather strap and a large bezel fitted with 12 notched teeth for easy manipulation. Its dial is decorated with 15 sharks, plus another stamped onto the caseback, to remind us that man only visits the oceans and that the sea belongs to the animals that inhabit it.
Determined, respectful and talented, Alex Caizergues still has plenty of surprises in store.
FRENCH-AUSTRALIAN SAILOR AND NAVIGATOR
French/Australian skipper and navigator Sebastien Destremau, winner of the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race – considered by some to be the most difficult sailing race in the world – decided to try an even greater challenge in 2016; the Vendée Globe, the supreme challenge of the sport’s most daunting around-the-world solo race. Overcoming technical troubles, lack of food and even a cracked hull, he accomplished his goal, crossing the finish line 124 days later at Sables d’Olonne to a conquering hero’s welcome. The five-time world champion has also represented France at the Olympic Games.
- 5 times America’s Cup competitor
- 124 days alone at sea for the 2016 Vendée Globe Ocean Race
- One Sydney-Hobart victory
- One Olympic participation aboard the Flying Dutchman
- One solo victory aboard the Calero Solo Transat 2016
FRENCH SNOWBOARDING CHAMPION
World Champion snowboarder and French athlete Mathieu Crépel was invited to take part in the Arctic Challenge at the tender age of 15. He went on to win the Crystal Globe competition, becoming the first of his nationality to earn a half pipe world title. At the 2007 World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland, he became the first person ever to land a switch backside 1260 in competition, distinguishing him from all other snowboarders in history. He also represented France at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Mathieu Crepel is a real-life « waterman »: aware of Nature, water cycles and the seasons, his passion for surf has become as important as snowboard and he now splits his time between mountain and ocean, snowflakes and waves.
- 2006 TTR world champion
- 2007 2 times FIS world champion
- 2010 X games silver medalist
- 2016 winner of the legendary banked slalom
- 2 times Olympian (2006 & 2010)
Romain Pilliard is a French sailor. Born in Paris, he discovered sailing while on holiday with family in Brittany. He participated in the La Solitaire du Figaro in 2000 and 2001, and sailed as a crewman, notably for British sailor Ellen MacArthur.
With his wife, he founded EOL Sports & Lifestyle, a sports marketing agency specializing in sailing. Together in 2008, they created the Tour de Belle-Île, the first major annual sailing event in France, which today unites over 500 boats.
In 2018, he will participate in the Route du Rhum. His sailboat, the Remade – Use it Again! belonged notably to Ellen MacArthur and was used during her journey around the world. Today, Romain Pilliard offers a second life to this trimaran, a testament to his desire to promote a circular economy for a sustainable future. He is thus a perfect fit with the philosophy of Ulysse Nardin, itself highly aware of the need to preserve the environment.
Dan’s true challenge on this journey is the fact that he is alone on his 33-foot-long sailboat, SCIA, without equipment such as an engine, any electronics, GPS, log, compass or autopilot. Dan’s only gear will be the watch on his wrist, a Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer Great White, that will accompany him on his mission.
The Vela-Code mission has set up two accounts, Instagram @vela.code and a Facebook page, Vela-page. SCIA is equipped with a tracker/beacon that will signal Dan’s position every hour throughout the voyage. While Dan can’t chart his progress via this device, his audience can. The shore team will update the project’s social media sites and the website will display his progress from data received via the beacon. From 20th of January until around the 5th February, Dan will be out of contact with the world, until he reaches the Carribeans. A voyage with a mission, a call to raise awareness, an adventure for the free-spirited.