Watches that actually ‘sing‘ are something quite usual in the watchmaking industry – even if those watches that we call a repeater are usually requiring very deep pockets. These watches strike the time on demand (in order to have an indication of time without looking at the watch but only by hearing the sound of the chimes). Ulysse Nardin, which are not known to be the worst watchmakers of Switzerland, have something slightly different to offer, a watch that doesn’t strike the time but that properly (and mechanically) plays music. The Ulysse Nardin Stranger is unique on its own and become even more special now, as for Only Watch 2015, the brand just created a one-of-a-kind piece that plays Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Only by the action of a mechanical device, the Ulysse Nardin Only watch Stranger is able to play one of the most iconic rock ballads of the legendary music band Queen: ‘We are the Champions’, written by Freddie Mercury. Patrik Hoffmann, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, was impressed by the mission of The Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy, and he stated that the organization is “led by champions for champions”. However, the main question you might have is probably how… How this watch – that was already introduced in editions playing ‘Strangers in the Night’ and Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in E – can mechanically perform music?
In fact the solution is quite simple (apparently) but difficult to achieve (execution, tuning and assembly might be quite stressful). The mechanism is composed of a rotating wheel at 12, held in place by a triangular bridge, and 10 blades, each tuned to perform a certain music note. The musical wheel features small protrusions that strike the blades, creating ringing tones of the melody, a process that finally end into a melody (take a look at video of the Vivaldi edition to understand how it works).
This watch features other interesting features, such as a “Melody-on-call” function selector through which the owner can enjoy the melody on the hour, and also on request. This selector is linked to an indicator at 8, to know whether if the ‘on the hour’ melody is on or off. The Ulysse Nardin Only Watch Stranger also feature a crown position selector (a pusher into the crown allows to select the position instead of pulling out the crown to wind or set the watch) and an indicator (at 4, with W for Winding, D for Date and T for Time). Finally and even if the musical device occupies half of the dial, the Stranger also indicates the time and features a small second indicator and a date aperture at 6.
This Ulysse Nardin Stranger for only Watch 2015 is unique first because of the melody played but also because of its titanium case coated in black – the case measures 45mm. The dial is also specific with a anthracite grey main plate and cherry red blades. Over the small second sub-dial is written Only Watch. Finally, the case back is engraved with the tittle of the melody played: ‘We Are The Champions’.
This unique watch and 42 other uniques timepieces are to be auctioned on 7 November 2015 during the Only Watch 2015 charity auction in Geneva. For more details, please visit this page.