During this year’s Geneva Watch Days, Ulysse Nardin unveiled the captivating and innovative Blast Free Wheel Marquetry. This creation showcases the artistic potential of silicon and features a familiar design reminiscent of the Executive Free Wheel Tourbillon, characterised by its captivating display of movement components. This latest horological composition echoes the recurring thematic of “floating” elements, encompassing a flying tourbillon, a poised gear train, and a power reserve indicator. Furthermore, this timepiece includes multi-coloured silicon marquetry, an artistry that had hitherto adorned the Freak X editions since 2019. This noteworthy revelation marks the inaugural integration of this artistic technique within the Blast collection. Let’s glance at this Ulysse Nardin Blast Free Wheel Marquetry timepiece.
Presented in a 45mm white gold Blast case, the watch manifests an imposing presence, augmented by the deliberate omission of a conventional bezel. This design strategy optimises the dial space, creating an inherently captivating visual tableau. Notwithstanding its dimensions, the watch’s ergonomic configuration ensures a seamless and comfortable wear experience, a characteristic in alignment with preceding iterations of the UN Blast lineage. The thoughtful incorporation of a glass box, seamlessly integrated into the case structure, facilitates an unobstructed vantage of the UN-176 Manufacture calibre that propels this exceptional chronometric creation. This view extends to the lateral aspects of the timepiece.
Adorning the dial, poised above an intricately conceived mosaic-like motif, the constituent elements are strategically arranged to reverberate with the enigmatic movement’s inherent symphony. Gracing the 12 o’clock position is an exquisitely adorned barrel that harbours a 7-day power reserve. Positioned at 3 o’clock is the decorated winding wheel, while the power reserve indicator finds its home at 4 o’clock (although the mechanism measuring the power reserve resides at 8 o’clock). The flying tourbillon featuring the Ulysse Anchor Constant Escapement is gracefully positioned at 6 o’clock. The left side of the dial hosts the reduction gear, power reserve differential, and intermediate wheel.
The dial of this horological wonder unfolds as a compelling visual spectacle, embellished with the presence of 103 luminous blue silicium marquetry inlays. This artistic composition metamorphoses the dial into a captivating canvas, a veritable work of art. The discerning craftsmanship at play manifests through the interplay of finely textured matte and mirror-polished surfaces, orchestrated across two distinct thicknesses, measuring 0.30mm and 0.35mm, respectively. This nuanced interplay engenders a dynamic dance of reflections and contrasts, endowing the timepiece with a radiant and immersive three-dimensional demeanour.
The meticulous assembly of the dial necessitates the intricate arrangement of diminutive silicon plates. This undertaking demands hours of painstaking labour from accomplished artisans, who must exercise a profound degree of finesse to safeguard these inherently fragile elements from potential breakage or blemishing. Notably, the case back of the Blast Free Wheel Marquetry presents a distinct refinement – a blue silicon plate. This pioneering inclusion underscores the brand’s unwavering commitment to meticulously utilising premium materials, even in the minutiae of design.
The new Ulysse Nardin Blast Free Wheel Marquetry is offered on a velvet effect waterproof rubber strap or a blue alligator leather strap, compatible with other Blast Tourbillon straps, secured with a white gold deployant buckle. The price is CHF 130,000 or EUR 139,200 (incl. VAT), and for more information, please visit www.ulysse-nardin.com.