Last year, Ulysse Nardin introduced the Marine Torpilleur (and later its sportier version, the Marine Torpilleur Military), a well-thought, tasteful and well-priced take on the iconic Marine DNA of the brand. Classical but not too much, simplified but still with great horological content, well manufactured… It quickly proved to the be a winning formula, as it is the brand’s current bestseller. After the white and blue inaugural editions, it is time for the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur collection to grow, with new 2018 models.
Marine Chronometers are certainly what best define the brand Ulysse Nardin. Since its inception in 1846, the brand earned a reputation for producing exceptional deck chronometers. Such deck clocks were not there just for decorative purposes. They were crucial elements of navigation as, without modern devices such as navigation systems, deck chronometers were the only way to calculate longitude at sea. The accuracy and legibility of such timepieces were indeed capital – and Ulysse Nardin was one of the best manufacturers in this field of action. Very few watch manufacturers have exhibited such thorough mastery of the marine chronometer – and chronometry in general. This background is now the base for the creation of modern, urban-inspired watches that pay tribute to the marine chronometer.
Antique marine chronometers by Ulysse Nardin (and more brands) usually featured central pear-shaped hour and minute hands, a small second at 6 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and a combination of a railroad minute track and elongated Roman numerals. All these elements were used as a base to create the Marine Torpilleur. Initially launched in 2017 with traditional white or blue dials (one being the defining colour of a marine chronometer and the other a clear reference to the sea), the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur fleet is now reinforced with new editions for 2018.
The first of the two new versions presented for the 2018 collection is a modern, yet elegant boutique-only version in stainless steel with a gunmetal grey dial – non-limited but reserved to the official boutiques of the brand. The second edition of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur to be introduced this year has a more luxurious 18k rose gold case and black dial combination – and this model will be available at all retailers. The inaugural white and blue dial versions will, of course, remain in the collection.
Both watches are evolutions of an existing model, meaning that they share equal specifications and dimensions. The case, in steel or rose gold, has been reshaped compared to the original Marine watches made by Ulysse Nardin – such as this one. Slightly smaller at 42mm, more conventional thanks to classical lugs – no more integrated module at 12 and 6 o’clock – these watches are easier on the wrist, and more suitable for daily use. Some of the signature elements of UN watches have been kept, such as the ultra-thin fluted bezel and, of course, the dial layout.
New editions here means new colours. The steel, boutique-only version of the Marine Torpilleur shows a nice, brushed gunmetal grey dial while the rose gold version has a classic black dial (also brushed). Both watches have rose gold-coloured hands and elongated white Roman numerals. Compared to antique marine deck-clocks, the dial display is very similar, with the exception of the date positioned at the bottom of the small seconds sub-dial. The steel/grey model is particularly appealing once strapped on the wrist and adds a contemporary touch to the Marine concept.
Under the hood of the Marine Torpilleur is a well-known and “very-UN” movement, the calibre UN-118 – a movement found in various watches of the brand, with or without complications. This automatic calibre has been developed by UN and is produced in-house. It has a comfortable 60-hour power reserve and features several modern technologies, such as the proprietary Silicium anchor escapement and inertial balance wheel with silicium hairspring. Visible through the sapphire case back, it is nicely decorated with concentric Geneva stripes, an engraved oscillating weight, blued screws and bevelled angles on the bridges.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is worn on an alligator leather strap with a folding buckle (matching the case material). These new versions add a modern or more luxurious feel to this already desirable model. The steel boutique-only version (ref. 1183-310/42-BQ) will be priced at EUR 6,900. The 18k rose gold version (ref. 1182-310/42) will be priced at EUR 17,900. More details on www.ulysse-nardin.com.