It is a big year for Ulysse Nardin. The brand that has regularly been on the cutting edge of technology and innovation once again wows us with its technical prowess. At this year’s BaselWorld, Ulysse Nardin takes a bold leap forward – combining its marine heritage roots dating back to the 1800’s with a visionary look forward.
For the first time ever, the brand introduces two new haute horology complexities into the Marine Chronometer line. Now, before you have the chance to say it, we will acknowledge it: building a COSC-certified Marine Chronometer is already a horological accomplishment. However, this year Ulysse Nardin takes the line to all new heights.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the modern Marine Chronometer line, the company unveils a Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon, and a Marine Chronograph Annual Calendar watch. Both underscore the Ulysse Nardin’s historical DNA, yet align the collection more strongly with the brand’s high-watchmaking position.
The Grand Deck marks the first time the line has had a high complication in it. The watch, which will retail for approximately 285,000 Swiss Francs, offers an all-new way to display time, and is a marvelous rendition of nautical on the wrist.
The nautically inspired, high-precision watch features a dial that resembles a ships’ deck. It is made of hand-crafted wood marquetry and features a “boom” reaching out from the 12:00 position to indicate the retrograde minutes, which run horizontally across the dial in an arc-shape resembling a latitude line. When the boom reaches “60’ minutes, its automatically returns to “0” to begin the minute count again. The boom (which in nautical sailing terms is the horizontal spar used to angle the head sail) is pulled by nanowires – emulating the ropes of ship masts.
The patented system is regulated by a second barrel and incorporates a stunning 60-second flying tourbillon escapement at 6:00 that features the iconic Ulysse Nardin anchor in its center. The entire boom concept relies on the high-tech fibers – thinner than a human hair – that connect the system and pull the boom across the minute’s arc. The 0.0357mm thin nanowire can withstand traction without stretching, as it is made of a polyethylene Dyneema fiber (a material used in ship riggings). The material, which is looped through a rigging screw, has never been used in watchmaking before.
The hours of the watch are “jumping” hours – driven by two large off-center disks (at 5:00 and 7:00) that turn in real time. The hours are displayed beneath the boom via a double aperture, and jump on the hour to change the digital indication.
The incredibly complex manual-winding Manufacture movement, Caliber UN-630, consists of 469 parts, and offers 48 hours of power reserve thanks to the double barrel design. In this caliber, one barrel powers the Nano-wires and the complex display of time, while the other powers the movement.
A mesmerizing play of wires, booms and nautical wheels against a stunning ship’s deck, the Grand Deck is housed in a 44mm 18-karat white gold case that is water resistant to 100 meters. Just 18 pieces will ever be made. As mentioned above, each will retail for approximately 285,000 Swiss Francs. Trust us, you will want to sail away with this beauty.