For a company that built its name as a purveyor of precision marine chronometers, Ulysse Nardin has a long-standing and authentic link to the sea. Combine this with the brand’s penchant for extravagant complications and showmanship and you get the Marine Mega Yacht, a watch that combines a flying tourbillon, a tide indicator, a moon phase indicator with miniature lifelike recreations of a ship’s features – anchor, chain, propeller, windlass and bow – directly on the dial! With a price tag of just over EUR 300,000, the platinum watch is a limited edition of just 30 pieces.
The Marine Mega Yacht follows in the wake of the Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon, a watch launched by Ulysse Nardin in 2016 with jumping hours, a tourbillon and a unique way to read the retrograde minutes via a nautical boom pulled by nanowires, all set against wood marquetry decking on the dial. In a departure from the Grand Deck Tourbillon that recreated elements of classic sailboats and luxury liners, the avant-garde (should we say ultra-bold?) design of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht captures the more contemporary spirit of today’s luxury vessels.
All hands on deck
The large V-shape sailing through the blue Grand Feu enamel waters represents the bow of a ship and is crafted in white gold. At the bottom of the bow is the 60-second flying tourbillon, firmly held in place with a bridge that resembles a propeller with the hallmark Ulysse Nardin anchor in the centre. Knowing that today’s mariners are equipped with sophisticated electronic instruments, Ulysse Nardin’s watchmakers wanted to provide useful maritime information in a graphic, three-dimensional way. The moon phase indicator that invades the bow at 9 o’clock features a hyper-realistic representation of our neighbouring satellite, complete with craters. Composed of two half spheres, one in blue PVD to represent the period of the new moon and the other with a rhodium plating to simulate the illuminating effect of the Sun.
Deciding where to anchor is always a tough call for mariners if they do not consult a tide table beforehand. A mechanism to display the height of the tides in real time in relation to a specific location is featured on the dial in a window just below the moon phase. The functions are set at the crown and the position (S for setting the hands; TM for Tide and Moon position; and W for winding) is revealed in a lateral window on the caseband that replicates the screen of a Chadburn Telegraph.
However, the most striking element of all is the realistic anchor and chain on the right. Not just there for decorative purposes, the anchor chain and the windlass located behind a sapphire window at 12 o’clock move in response to the movements of the winding crown to indicate the power reserve against a white scale. And just in case the owner of this spectacular timepiece actually wants to consult the time, the central hour and minute hands are treated with luminescent material.
The Engine Room
With its imposing 44mm diameter, the platinum case features a fluted bezel and a screw-down crown and the sapphire caseback reveals the impressive manual-winding movement. Developed in collaboration with Christophe Claret manufacture, the UN-631 calibre resembles the machinery found in a modern ship’s engine room complete with aerated turbine covers and bold, contemporary finishes. Measuring 37mm in diameter, the movement has 504 components, beats at 21,600 vph and offers a power reserve of 80 hours; a pretty impressive amount of energy given all the action on deck.
The Marine Mega Yacht comes on a fully integrated blue crocodile leather strap and, as mentioned previously, is a limited edition of 30 pieces retailing for EUR 310,000. For more details, please consult www.ulysse-nardin.com.