Romain Pilliard is no stranger to challenges, and his upcoming participation in the Route du Rhum is perfect proof. The race, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, links Saint-Malo, France, to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. This Sunday, November 4, 2018, Romain Pilliard will join over a hundred other solitary sailors as they set off to cross the Atlantic in this quadrennial event. Today, this seasoned sailor is embarking on an adventure that perfectly defines the state of mind dear to Ulysse Nardin: boundless determination, a thirst for discovery and the desire to push one’s limits.
Romain Pilliard rounds out the armada of Ulysses who, in addition to Sébastien Destremau, include mountain-climber and photographer Fred Buyle, kite-surfer Alex Caizergues and snowboarder and surfer Mathieu Crépel. These modern-day heroes share a passion for exploration, live in strict harmony with water, both on its surface and in its depths, and are guided by their courage and ambition.
Close to nature and sensitive to environmental causes, Romain Pilliard plans to use his transatlantic journey to promote circular economy. A concept based on the reuse of goods and materials, circular economy aims to achieve a means of consumption without waste. “Climate change concerns us all. I want to prove to people that circular economy and performance are compatible.” His boat, which was constructed by British sailor Ellen MacArthur, a record-holder for single-handed sailing around the world, has been entirely refurbished with reused or recycled materials. The energy required for the proper functioning of the tools on board will also be produced by natural sources – solar panels, wind turbines and hydro-generators. The watchwords of his campaign: “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
For the entire length of the race, he will be accompanied by his Diver Chronometer, the new diving watch by Ulysse Nardin. A robust, elegant sports watch, designed for extreme sports on or under the sea. It is equipped with an inverted, concave bezel with domed sapphire glass. Its Superluminova indexes and hands make the time visible in the dark – an indispensable feature for an adventure such as the one Romain Pilliard is about to take on. The dial also houses a power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and a date and small seconds aperture at 6 o’clock, all nestled within a unidirectional rotating bezel that is curved inward. Through the back of its 44 mm case, the UN-118 movement is visible with its silicon technology – a specialty of the Manufacture.
For Ulysse Nardin, whose history is closely linked to the nautical world, it’s a partnership that goes without saying. Indeed, the watchmaking brand exists for our time’s modern explorers – the Ulysses of today. Those who like breaking the rules, casting off unmoored and swimming against the tide. The Beautiful Freaks.