Over the course of its history, Ulysse Nardin has produced many bold, unique and innovative timepieces. The company has long been associated with pocket watches and marine chronometers, the latter of which were rumored to be used by more than 50 of the world’s navies during the 19th century.
The Le Locle-based brand has constantly made its mark on the world of horology and, today, produces everything from time only watches to stunning examples of haute horology. We had heard several rumors about Ulysse Nardin’s new for 2015 timepieces, and we’re happy to report that the company more than met our expectations at BaselWorld 2015.
Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon
The result of eight years of research and development, the Anchor Tourbillon features a Grand Feu Enamel dial, and can be had in either a 44mm rose gold or white gold case. Both references are limited to just 18 pieces each.
The manual winding calibre UN-178 Manufacture Tourbillon features double barrels and a power reserve of at least 7-days. The movement also features a 60-seconds tourbillon comprised of 35 components that weigh no more than 0.4-grams.
The ‘Freak’ is synonymous with Ulysse Nardin, so it’s no wonder the brand wanted to continue growing the collection. For this year, the watch features date and tourbillon complications but, as with previous models, the wearer can adjust the date in the same way as they would set the time – by manipulating the bezel. Setting the time requires that the wearer unlock the bezel and turn it clockwise, while adjusting the date calls for counter-clockwise rotations of the bezel.
The FreakLab is only being produced in white gold and features a 45mm case diameter. The manual winding calibre UN-210 sports a 1-hour tourbillon and offers 7-days of power reserve. Ulysse Nardin says that one full rotation of the winding system is equivalent to 12 hours of power reserve. The FreakLab is limited to 99 pieces.
Hannibal Minute Repeater
Limited to 30 pieces, the Hannibal Minute Repeater pays homage to Carthaginan general Hannibal Barca. The dial is crafted from granite sourced from the same mountain range that the general and his brigade crossed, and depicts Hannibal in action, on a horse, fighting alongside his troops who are atop an elephant. The figures and mountainous background seen on the dial are all hand carved from 18-carat white gold, and the foreground figures are actually Jaquemarts, which means they animate when the minute repeater function is activated.
The 44mm case is forged from platinum and Ulysse Nardin has fitted its calibre UN-78 manual winding movement. Fully wound, the movement offers approximately 70 hours of power reserve, and packs in a Westminster Carillon tourbillon and a Jaquemarts Minute Repeater, which strikes on hours, quarters and minutes with four distinctive chimes.
Hourstriker Oil Pump
The Hourstriker Oil Pump is designed to honor the energy industry, and is the latest addition to Ulysse Nardin’s Exceptional Collection. The timepiece can be purchased in either rose gold or platinum, with both references being limited to 18 pieces each. The Hourstriker boasts a black enamel dial that depicts an oil field, where each of the detailed adornments are hand-engraved from the same material as the watch’s 42mm case.
The pumps are more than just static depictions however, the arms of the oil pumps are actually Jaquemarts, and so move up and down in concert with the sound of each gong strike. The self-winding calibre UN-610 is found within the Hourstriker Oil Pump, and offers approximately 42 hours of power reserve. The watch strikes the hours and half hours, features an automatic chime activation system and, as we mentioned earlier, boasts 18ct-animated Jaquemarts.
The Stranger is one of Ulysse Nardin’s newer creations, it was introduced in 2013, and gained notoriety amongst watch enthusiasts because of its ability to play a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night. The Swiss brand has, now, expanded the collection with a new reference, and this timepiece is able to perform a rendition of Vivaldi’s famed Violin Concerto in E.
The second reference sports the in-house developed, self-winding calibre UN-690 movement, which offers approximately 48 hours of power reserve. The watch is limited to 99 pieces and is only produced with a 45mm 18-carat rose gold case.
To see the new Stranger in action click here.
Feel free to click through the gallery below to see the watches on their own.
We’ve always had a keen interest in Ulysse Nardin (UN) because even though it has experienced its ups and downs over the years (like most watch brands), it has remained faithful to its roots, and has always focused on elements that we, as watch enthusiasts, can appreciate. This is a brand that has been obsessed with in-house movements, quality and style, so when you buy a UN watch, you can rest assured that it won’t be mistaken for a watch from any other brand.
For BaselWorld 2015, UN unveiled several different timepieces, and what you see above are the references that interested us the most. Should we win the lottery tomorrow, we’d quite happily walk away with all five of these magnificent creations.
Each timepiece you see here is unique in its own way, and while some are more complicated than others, all five share one common (and highly desirable) trait – they are all wearable on a daily basis.
The largest pieces, the FreakLab and Stranger, have 45mm precious metal cases, and while this is larger than average, they are far from gigantic. Remember, today, you can get watches that have cases with diameters measuring 50mm! In terms of thickness too, the watches aren’t as chunky as others we’ve seen on the market, so you could easily wear these timepieces with formal clothes, and be delighted each time they peek out from under your shirt’s cuff.
That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate haute horology pieces that are not wearable on a daily basis but, in our opinion, the real magic of watch ownership is being able to take your highly complicated timepiece with you, so that you and your watch create a story of your own.
For more information about Ulysse Nardin, please click here.