When I speculated about a new chronograph in the Marine series some months ago, I had a Diver chronograph in mind, and did not expect the classic-looking beauties that were shown to me in Basel. The new Maxi Marine Chronograph is larger than the current Marine chronograph (41 or 42mm, I do not have the exact case diameter at hand). If this one (with the three subdials) will be replaced by the Maxi chronograph, is not yet confirmed. I assume that the 40mm Marine chronograph will be gradually phased out. As fas as I know, the Marine Annual chronograph will not be affected.
The new Maxi Marine Chronograph will be offered in stainless steel and 18k pink gold, with a variety of beautifully structured, two-tone dials. Here is a steel version with blue dial:
Afar from the already classic Ulysse Nardin Marine hands, the Maxi chronograph introduces some changes: Instead of the sober Arabic numerals of the previous models, the dial features attractive Roman numerals at 12 and 6, with large straight hourmarkers at the other positions; all are inlaid with Super Luminova. While the current 40mm Marine Chronograph sports the typical dial layout of its ETA 2894A2 movement, with tricompax-arranged subdials for 30 minutes- and 12 hours-counters, the Maxi chronograph only has a 45 minutes-counter, which is the result of an exclusive modification made for UN by Dubois-Dépraz. With only two subdials, more room for the dial surface is left to impress the observer.
My favourite from the series: 18k pink gold case with grey/white dial
All chronographs have a displayback now, with the gold variants also having a solid 22k gold rotor.
Pink gold case with grey/beige dial
What I am a bit critical about is the date window, located between 4 and 5. First, it is located too far within the dial, even cutting away a small part from the dial's inner circle. I know that the position of the date window is determined by the base movement, this is common knowledge. But does this mean it has to be true in all cases? It is possible to increase the date ring's size, leaving the inner diameter, which has the teeth necessary for the switching process, unchanged, but increasing the outer diameter. By this, it is possible to relocate the date window to a position nearer to the dial's border. An additional bonus of this would be a larger space being available for the date numerals, resulting in better legibility.
And this is the second point I have to nitpick on: The date window is too small. It is even considerably smaller than that of the Marine Diver! This marks a return to the time of the early rectangular date window of the 1846 Marine Chronometer, which was more or less unuseable.
Other than that, the new Maxi Marine Chronograph is a really beautiful watch, with a styling typical for UN. I am convinced that it will be very popular!