The marine world has been an integral part of Ulysse Nardin’s history since 1846, when a young watchmaker named Ulysse Nardin created the first, highly-coveted marine deck chronometers. These precision navigational instruments – once prized by mariners and navies the world over – are nowadays still the main source of inspiration for the Ulysse Nardin Marine Collection, arguably the best know range of watches from this oh so desirable manufacture. At SIHH 2017 we welcome the Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu, a stunning new timepiece featuring a sleek, elegant and classical design coupled with a brand new movement.
The new Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel embodies all the traditional codes of the Marine Collection and of the antique Marine Chronometer that earned the brand its reputation. It features the classical, elegant and legible Marine dial, with large diameter, clear background, long Roman numerals. and has the traditional display with two sub-registers at 12 and 6, which are an iconic feature of Marine chronometers. Finally, it comes in a case that makes this collection easily recognizable, although it has been slightly redesigned over the past years, for a more elegant look. Thus, no big surprise here, but still, this Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel is an extremely beautiful piece of classical watchmaking.
First of all, there’s this dial, balanced and discreet, elegantly dressed in grand feu white enamel, again a reference to antique marine chronometers. It is made in-house by Ulysse Nardin’s enamel specialists Donzé Cadrans. Its lovely pale milky color is a direct result of the process of manufacturing, a technique that gets its name from the incredible heat required to fuse the enamel powder in a kiln. Not only does this dial look superb now it will do so for years to come, as enamel is one of the most resistant materials for a dial. This Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu has the traditional layout of precise timekeeping instruments, with the power reserve at 12. Yet, at 6 o’clock, where we would usually find a small seconds indication, Ulysse Nardin integrates something more delicate: a tourbillon.
Inside the 43mm stainless steel is indeed a brand new movement, the calibre UN-128, a self-winding engine with 60-hours power reserve, COSC-certified and produced entirely in-house. The tourbillon is a “flying” one, meaning that it is cantilevered from the main plate with no bridge on top. It features a Silicium escapement and spring and ticks rather fast for such a regulator, at 4Hz. As you can see on the close-up photo, the movement is finished with great care, with hand-polished bevels and several different finishings on the various surfaces.
More details will be given after the SIHH 2017, with a more in-depth hands-on look at this very clean, yet complex watch. Price: 28,000 Swiss Francs, which considering the technical content you’ll get is very reasonable. ulysse-nardin.com.
Specifications of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel
- Case: 43mm diameter – stainless steel – sapphire crystal on both sides – 100m water resistant
- 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: black alligator leather strap with steel folding clasp