Last year, for their first attendance at the Geneva watch fair (a.k.a. the SIHH), Ulysse Nardin surprised guests and collectors with an impressive collection, which aimed to merge the classical style of the brand, with refined crafting techniques and very decent prices. One of the best examples of this strategy was the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon, a steel watch with white enamel dial and very nice movement, priced at just (relatively speaking) CHF 28,000 – making it one of the most accessible tourbillons on the market. As a preview of the SIHH 2018, Ulysse Nardin has a new version of this Marine Tourbillon, this time with their classic Guilloche/Grand Feu Enamel blue Dial.
Part of the SIHH 2017 collection, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon was a great surprise on its own, not only because of the cool design of this watch (which felt 100% Ulysse Nardin, yet slightly more refined and less complex than before) but mainly because of the price tag. As it is coming in for a little under EUR 30k, it seemed like a pretty good deal for a tourbillon watch. Was it? Well, if you consider that you’ll get an in-house developed and manufactured movement, with flying tourbillon, chronometer rated by the COSC, fitted with the brand’s typical Silicium escapement and spring, and that the dial is made from real grand feu enamel… That’s not bad, at all! The only real concession was the steel case, which is far from being a deal-breaker for us, here at MONOCHROME.
In its preparations for SIHH 2018, Ulysse Nardin presents a new version of this watch, this time with their signature blue enamel dial – a style that we’ve seen for instance on the Classico Manufacture or the Marine Annual Calendar Chronometer. On the contrary of the plain and untextured white enamel version, blue enamel at Ulysse Nardin means texture and depth. Indeed, Donzé Cadran, sister company of UN, applies blue enamel on a dial that has been first guilloched, and its texture is revealed by the transparency of the blue grand feu enamel that is applied at the second stage. The wave pattern of the dial can then be seen under the glossy and translucent blue layer.
Elsewhere, there are no major evolutions for this watch. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Blue Grand Feu still relies on its 43mm steel case, with the signature “Marine” shape, meaning a large central container with thin fluted bezel, on which are attached massive lug modules. Complementing the elegant blue Grand Feu enamel dial, are the classical hands and Roman numerals of the Marine collection, the power-reserve indicator at 12 and, replacing the standard small second sub-dial at 6, the tourbillon regulator.
The tourbillon here is a “flying” one, meaning that it is cantilevered from the main-plate, with no bridge on top – offering a clear view onto its ballet. It features a Silicium escapement and spring and ticks rather fast for such a regulator, at 4Hz. It regulates a self-winding movement, the Calibre UN-128, with 60h power reserve and chronometer certification. The decoration of this movement, on the back, is relatively simple. The tourbillon is done with great care though, with for instance hand-polished bevels.
Just like its predecessor with white dial, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Blue Grand Feu Enamel will be priced at EUR 28,000 or CHF 28,000. It will be officially revealed in January, at the SIHH 2018. More details on ulysse-nardin.com.
Technical Specifications – Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Blue Grand Feu Enamel
- Case: 43mm diameter – stainless steel – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water resistant
- Dial: Guilloche Grand Feu enamel blue dial
- Movement: Calibre UN-128, in-house – Chronometer rated – Automatic – 60h power reserve – 4Hz frequency – hours, minutes, flying tourbillon with silicon escapement and spring, power reserve indication
- Strap: blue alligator leather strap with steel folding clasp
- Reference: 1283-181/E3
- Price: EUR 28,000 – CHF 28,000