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Live Photos: Ulysse Nardin at Baselworld 2014
For 2014, Ulysse Nardin unveils two exceptional musical timepieces. The first exceptional timepiece is the Imperial Blue minute repeating watch with carillon Westminster chime with four hammers on four gongs suspended from a blue sapphire crystal bridge. The timepiece looks as exquisite as it sounds with a flying tourbillon that floats on a transparent sapphire main plate.
The second exceptional timepiece is the Stranger musical watch with a rotating disc carrying pins that act on musical blades. When the disc rotates, the pins engage one of the blades to create a note. Altogether, the pins play the romantic melody “Strangers in the Night”.
The Freak Blue Cruiser updates the iconic Freak with a new manual-winding movement with 7-day carrousel Flying tourbillon and the iconic “Dual Ulysse” escapement.
The Caliber UN-32 GMT perpetual calendar is Ulysse Nardin’s signature movement and new for this year is the option of the movement in the classically designed Perpetual Manufacture or the more aggressive, hi-tech designed Black Toro.
For years, Ulysse Nardin has focused on in-house developed and manufactured calibers for its hi-tech and high complication timepieces. For the past year, Ulysse Nardin started to implement in-house calibers for its basic day/date timepieces. For 2014, manufacture movements find their way into a Ulysse Nardin chronometer, chronograph and dual time with an eye towards the Spring 2017, when Ulysse Nardin will be entirely independent and fitting in-house movements in all its timepieces.
The Imperial Blue is an horological masterpiece that features a flying tourbillon, Grande Sonnerie Westminster Carillon and an innovative double barrel system that results in a 50-hour power reserve.
The skeletonised hands provide an unobstructed view of the dramatic dial. At 6 o’clock, a flying tourbillon seemingly floats on a transparent bottom plate and is decorated with a faceted, blue sapphire end-stone. Every finishing detail adds to the dramatic effect, from the rhodium-plated balance wheel and balance screws, to the the heat-blued screws used for the tourbillon carriage, and the blued scale of the micrometer regulator. Above the flying tourbillon, a Sonnerie Westminster Carillon is suspended from a blue sapphire crystal bridge. The hours strike automatically with four hammers that are cleverly stacked in pairs. Each hammer is discreetly engraved “Mi”, “Do”, “Re” and “Sol”. The repeating hours, quarters and minutes are activated on demand by the repeater slide on the case at 9 o’clock. The polished white-gold case measures 46mm and the striking mechanism can be turned on/off on the caseback.
The ingenious double barrel system guarantees a fully operating Sonnerie by separating the energy required for the striking mechanism from the movement. One barrel is wound partially by activating the repeater slide, or by manually winding the crown. Manually winding the crown also winds a second barrel that is dedicated to the movement. When fully wound, the caliber UN-970 has a 50-hour power reserve.
The Imperial Blue is produced in a very limited edition of 20 pieces and at a price of CHF 750’000. A gem-set model with baguettes is also being produced in an even smaller production of 8 editions, with a price yet to be determined.
Imperial Blue in 18K white gold, Ref. 9700-125 (LE of 20)
The repeating hours, quarters & minutes are activated on demand by the repeater slide on the case
Caliber UN-970 84-jewel manual wind movement with flying tourbillon and Sonnerie Westminster Carillon
The Stranger is an in-house mechanical watch fitted with the UN-690 64-jewel automatic movement using silicium technology. The musical mechanism is a rotating disc that carries pins against blades to play the romantic melody “Strangers in the Night” made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra.
With its ingenious twin barrel system, energy is managed separately between the movement and the musical mechanism. Winding the crown forwards, winds the barrel for the movement; winding the crown backwards, winds the barrel for the movement and the musical mechanism. This twin barrel system guarantees a fully operating musical mechanism. The melody plays either on the hour or on demand. Like all Ulysse Nardin, the quick-set date system can be corrected forwards or backwards.
The 45mm polished white gold case frames a silver dial. The dial indication at 4 o’clock is denoted with the letters “T” “D” or “W”. Pushing the crown inwards changes an internal setting to easily set the time (“T”), set the date (“D”) or wind (“W”). This clever feature was first invented by Ulysse Nardin for one of its ladies timepieces to prevent a woman from breaking a nail. However, the feature became so popular that Ulysse Nardin is beginning to implement it in men’s timepieces.
The Stranger is the first in this series of musical watches and is limited to 99 pieces.
Stranger in 18K white gold, Ref. 6900-125 (LE of 99)
Freak Blue Cruiser
The Freak “Blue Cruiser” updates the iconic Freak with a new manual-winding movement with 7-day carrousel Flying tourbillon and the iconic “Dual Ulysse” escapement. Consistent with its name, the stacked twin barrels results in a seven day power reserve.
Similar with previous Freaks, the Freak Blue Cruiser does not have a crown; neither does it have an hour nor minutes hand. The movement itself rotates to indicate the time. The upper layer with its narrow white pointer, travels around the barrel one time per hour. This upper layer indicates the minutes. The bottom layer with its broad white pointer, travels around the barrel one time every 12-hours. This bottom layer indicates the hour.
Freak Blue Cruiser with 7-day carrousel Flying tourbillon, Ref. 2050-131/03
Caliber UN-205 19-jewels manual-wind movement with 7-day carrousel, flying tourbillon & “Dual Ulysse” escapement
The new Perpetual Manufacture is a classical, clean design that houses the legendary manufacture Caliber UN-32 automatic movement with perpetual calendar with dual time and a patented quick-set date that can be corrected forwards or backwards. The 43mm case is water resistant to 100 meters. Just 250 watches in red gold and 250 in platinum will be made, with each COSC-certified timepiece individually numbered on a plate attached on the case side.
Perpetual Manufacture with platinum case & silver guilloché dial, Ref. 329-10 (LE of 250)
Caliber UN-32 34-jewel automatic movement with perpetual calendar & sometime display
The Caliber UN-32 is Ulysse Nardin’s signature movement and the Black Toro is a hi-tech, masculine and aggressive looking perpetual calendar with dual time and a patented quick-set date that can be adjusted forwards or backwards. The 18-carat white gold case features a ceramic bezel and measures 43mm. The Black Toro is COSC-certified and water resistant to 100 meters.
Black Toro with 18K white gold & ceramic case and black dial, Ref. 320-00-3
Caliber UN-32 34-jewel automatic movement with perpetual calendar & sometime display
Marine Chronograph Manufacture
In 2012, UN acquired the rights to Ebel’s reputable Caliber 137 chronograph movement. After UN added its own silicium escapement and refined the movement, it renamed it the Caliber UN-150. Following last year’s introduction of the manufacture UN-150 in its Marine Chronograph Manufacture, this year the 43mm cases are now available in lightweight grade 5 titanium that can be polished to look like stainless steel. Retail starts at $12,700.
Marine Chronograph Manufacture with 18K rose gold case & blue dial, Ref. 1506-150/63
Marine Chronograph Manufacture with blue dial, Ref. 1503-150-3/63
Caliber UN-150 25-jewels automatic movement
Marine Chronometer Manufacture
The days of ETA-based chronometers are nearing their end and by Spring 2017, Ulysse Nardin will be fitting manufacture movements exclusively in all its timepieces. This is an important development for Ulysse Nardin, since the Marine Chronometer is the brand’s highest-volume selling collection. The new in-house caliber UN-118 automatic movement has some useful technical advances, including a quick-set date system that can be corrected forwards or backwards and a power reserve that is now extended to 60-hours. In addition, the new 43mm cases are available in grade 5 titanium, which can be polished to look just like stainless steel without the weight behind it. Retail starts at $10,300.
Marine Chronometer Manufacture with Ti case & white lacquer dial, Ref. 1183-126-7M/40
Marine Chronometer Manufacture with Ti case & black dial, Ref. 1183-126-7M/42
Marine Chronometer Manufacture with 18K rose gold case & blue dial, Ref. 1186-126/43
Caliber UN-118 50-jewels automatic movement
See also Ulysse Nardin Forum Live Photos: Ulysse Nardin at Baselworld 2014
Photos: Paul Boutros