Many accept Ulysse Nardin as the sole groundbreaker of ultra-modern watchmaking. All breathtaking mechanical watches with their outlandish designs — none of them would have come to be, had it not been for the Ulysse Nardin Freak of 2001. With it, Ulysse Nardin has not changed the rules, but has torn up the entire rulebook. Nearly two decades later, the relatively small, yet mighty manufacture has stayed on its course and consistently pushed the envelope when it comes to movement, as well as watch exterior design.
Their latest all-new piece, launched at Geneva Watch Days, is the Ulysse Nardin Blast designed to look like an inside-out explosion of lines, gears, wheels, materials and ideas. The heavily openworked dial reveals many of the proprietary complications that live inside: a micro-rotor rewinds the mainspring under the 12 o’clock position, followed by wheels with beautifully machined spokes rotating as they transfer power to flying tourbillon — the regulating organ at the 6 o’clock position. Comprising proprietary silicium components and a special, X-shaped cage, this assembly of frantically oscillating and rotating parts is by all means in the centre of attention. The case follows not much behind with never-before-seen angularity that posed all-new challenges in machining and surface treatment.
Prices for the Ulysse Nardin Blast range between $44,000 in titanium, $46,000 in white or black ceramic, and $54,000 in 18-karat rose gold. Pricey, but actually highly competitive in its segment.
Words: David B.
Photos: Ulysse Nardin