It turns out that adding Cayman Islands maritime branding to a history-rich, luxury watch brand known for its world-class craftsmanship was a good idea.
Two years ago, famed Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin produced a 50-piece limited edition watch exclusively for Islands Jewellers that commemorated “The Wreck of the Ten Sail,” an historical shipwreck that took place on the reef off of East End in 1794. All 50 of the watches were sold in 129 days.
It was the first time Ulysse Nardin had ever made a limited-edition watch for any country in the Caribbean. Because of the company’s nautical links — it is a leading manufacturer of accurate marine chronometers — the watch had to have a connection to the Cayman Islands’ maritime history or heritage.
Buoyed by the success of that release, Island Jewellers has partnered with Ulyssee Nardin to create another limited edition watch that commemorates an aspect of the Cayman Islands maritime history: its discovery by Christopher Columbus on May 10, 1503.
“After the huge success of our last partnership with Ulysse Nardin to create the Cayman Islands limited edition watch, we couldn’t wait to partner with Ulysse on a second design,” says Suzi Culbert, marketing manager for Island Jewellers. “A more classic model choice — the Marine Chronometer Annual Calendar — was selected for this limited edition. The modifications are stunning and full of many exquisite and subtle details.”
The watch’s blue dial represents the Caribbean Sea and features a world map. A small red star in the upper left quadrant marks the location of the Cayman Islands on that map. A titanium piece located on the blue strap has the word “Cayman Islands” etched over the latitude and longitude of Grand Cayman. The case back features the signature of Christopher Columbus three stars representing the three Cayman Islands, around an anchor.
The watch face features classic Roman numerals, a power reserve indicator and an annual calendar that Culbert says is a patented detail.
“The watch accurately predicts the start of a new month, resulting in the wearer having to manually adjust the date only once per year, in February,” she says. “With these desirable features and its exquisite design, we anticipate a quick sell of this limited edition, offered exclusively at Islands Jewellers locations.”
Each watch is numbered, with the number etched in the side of the case opposite the crown. Only 99 watches were produced for this limited edition release and #1 sold in November, when sales were launched, at the Hedge Funds Care charity event.
“It sold for $6,000 over retail price to someone who already has the first limited edition watch in his collection,” says Culbert.