Ulysse Nardin… quite a manufacture, with bold designs, inspired by the world of Marine. But that’s for the visual side. Technically, this brand has so much to offer. They are from the most innovative of them all. They introduced silicon in watchmaking, they created complex watches with extremely simple mechanisms (thanks to master watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin) but they also have traditional and complex timepieces. Today, not only they come with a new skeleton tourbillon, widely opened and lightweight-oriented, but they do it with a quite interesting piece tag (to say the least). Here is the Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon.
The new Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon is all about transparency combined to a highly sporty attitude. It creates a quite dramatic contrast between the refinement of its delicate skeleton tourbillon movement and the robust size and look of the case. This new watch shows what Ulysse Nardin does best: combining the modernity of the design and the technical solutions, with traditional codes of watchmaking. First of all, the case. The Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon, despite its apparent lightness, presents a robust case, with substantial dimensions. Its skeleton movement is house in a generous 45mm titanium container, with bulky lugs, and a black ceramic bezel, with brushed surface. To complement the look, the crown is protected by the caseband and comes in black and titanium. The final touch is a leather strap with carbon structure.
No dial on this Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon but a face animated by several geometrical parts, such a the large stylized Roman numeral and polished markers, as well as a matte black rectangular bridge – this shape is reminiscent of the rectangular tracks printed on the dials of the Executive collection, however this shape plays a more important role here. The sword hands are large, highly readable and luminous, as a testimony of the sporty vocation of this watch.
The movement of the Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon is entirely visible though the crystal of the dial. It might be a tourbillon in its simplest form – it only displays the hours and minutes – it nevertheless comes with quite regarded technical solutions. First is the power reserve, which is impressive, at 170 hours. Then, there’s the tourbillon itself. Classically beating at 2.5Hz (18,000bph) and rotating in one minute, it comprises a balance spring and an espcaement wheel made in silicon, with a distinctive shape. This technology is properly mastered by Ulysse Nardin, which was the first manufacture to commercialize a watch with silicon technology, back in 2001 (the Freak, that we recently reviewed, in its latest edition here). It’s no surprise to see such material in the actual production.
The movement itself is opened, light and highly transparent, allowing the wearer to see envy single part of the mechanism in action – from the barrel, to the gear train and the regulating organ. It is finished in a modern way, with wheels shaped like car rims, a laser engraved barrel and black coating on the bridges.
Now, we have to talk about price. Since a year or two, Ulysse Nardin has a quite aggressive price strategy. For instance, the recently introduced Anchor Tourbillon, which combines a superbly finished movement to an innovative constant force device (in a gold case with enamel dial) was priced at “only” CHF 88,000. Another example is the brand new Marine Chronograph Annual Calendar, which is priced at CHF 11,900 and that mainly requires only CHF 1,000 more than a traditional chronograph. Well, the same strategy is applied to the Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon. This watch – remember, a skeleton tourbillon with silicon technology – is priced at CHF 38,000. Very competitive indeed. More details on www.ulysse-nardin.com.
Specifications of the Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton Tourbillon
- Case: 45mm diameter – titanium case with brushed ceramic bezel – sapphire crystal on front and caseback – 30m water resistant
- Movement: calibre UN-171, in-house – manual winding – power reserve of 170 hours – 18,000bph – hours, minutes, one-minute tourbillon
- Strap: black leather strap with carbon structure, black ceramic folding clasp