Ulysse Nardin and the Art of a “simple” Tourbillon

There was a time when tourbillon’s where a rare and precious complication. While they are still precious, rare has gotten a different meaning. While you still don’t see them that often of the wrist of people, many brands have at least one model with a tourbillon, most of them even several. It has become significantly more difficult for brands to stand out with a tourbillon watch. Some respond to this by adding more tourbillon’s or give it multiple axes to rotate around. Ulysse Nardin did it differently and dedicated to showing us the art of the “simple” tourbillon, with the Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu
Mind you, the term simple only applies here on the look fo the watch, which is rather understated and non-pretentious, especially for a tourbillon. It starts off by forgoing precious metals and selecting stainless steel to craft the 43mm case of the Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel from. While the added value in this can be found in the fact that it makes the watch more robust, it also doesn’t draw away too much attention from the dial.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu
That dial is made of grand feu enamel and looks as pure as freshly fallen snow. Ulysse Nardin knows to highlight this even more with the stretched out Roman numerals on the dial. The power reserve indicator at twelve o’clock brings some color to the dial with its red accents, and prevent it from becoming too “simple” in design. The six o’clock position is reserved for the tourbillon.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu
Ulysse Nardin visually shielded the tourbillon so that you cannot see the rest of the movement. They don’t have anything to hide, but a well finished manufacture movement, but more so wanted to highlight the tourbillon itself. It is a flying tourbillon, meaning that there is no bridge on top of it, blocking the view and of course is it fitted with Ulysse Nardin’s Silicium escapement and spring. The movement itself is automatic, with a beautiful rotor featuring the Ulysse Nardin logo between two anchors, and provides a generous power reserve of 60 hours.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu
In all its beauty, the Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel is, in fact, a very practical watch, something we cannot say of every tourbillon. Daily wear, even when you have an active lifestyle, should not be a problem. Not only for the stainless steel case but also because it is water resistant to 100 meters. While the blued hands look quite classical, they are filled with SuperLumiNova, making the time easy to read, even in low-light conditions.

Of course, such splendor comes with a price-tag. With 28.000 CHF it is one of the most competitive priced Swiss tourbillon’s, especially when you take into consideration the Chronometer certified manufacture movement, grand feu enamel dial, and overall high-quality finish. In fact, Ulysse Nardin is not only showing us the art of creating a “simple” tourbillon but is rather giving us a lesson on how to do this well. Class adjourned!

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