Ulysse Nardin Tourbillon
Tourbillon Marine Grand Feu Automatique (Unique Piece)
Ulysse Nardin has designed a unique piece based on the extraordinary new watch unveiled at the SIHH 2017, which is both classical and innovative.
When the watch was introduced at the SIHH 2017, most of the journalists present were astounded by the outstanding specifications and amazing price point. Is it possible to imagine a creation from an haute horlogerie manufacture such as Ulysse Nardin, distinguished by an in-house automatic movement, equipped with a flying tourbillon with silicon escapement and balance spring, complete with a grand feu enamel dial, at a price of CHF 28,000? It is now. For the same price, one lucky collector also has an opportunity to acquire a one-of-a-kind example of this magnificent timepiece, with a discreet XVI on the dial in the 4 o’clock position.
This watch that is unique in the world was created to mark the 16th anniversary of the WorldTempus site belonging to the founder of the Fine Watch Club, who now wishes to enable a club member to enjoy owning it. This private collector’s item has never been worn.
Ulysse Nardin: silicon pioneer
Ulysse Nardin is not one to be swayed by the dictates of fashion: its focus has always been the pursuit of technological innovation, ever since it created some of the earliest marine chronometers used by navigators all over the globe. Back in 2000, it was one of the first watchmakers to begin researching the use of silicon, and incorporating this material into its movements. Combined with the skills of Ulysse Nardin’s craftsmen (a major factor in the Kering group’s 2014 purchase of the company), the innovative properties of silicon and the reliability of its movements are key factors in Ulysse Nardin’s policy of supplying all its watches with a five-year guarantee, one of very few watchmakers to do so. The same naturally applies to the new automatic caliber UN-128, whose tourbillon cage, gear trains, screws, and flying tourbillon balance spring are all designed in the company’s Le Locle workshops. In keeping with its heritage as a maker of precision navigation instruments, and as a tribute to the generous power reserve on which many 19th-century sailors’ lives depended, the Tourbillon Marine Grand Feu has an autonomy of 60 hours, displayed clearly on an indicator at 12 o’clock that harmonizes perfectly with rest of the dial.
Grand feu enamel – traditional craftsmanship
There are very few companies today that master the complex and demanding technique of grand feu enameling, which was perfected in the 17th century. Donzé Cadrans is one of them. The dial maker’s reputation spans the globe, and its products are prized by haute horlogerie collectors. Donzé Cadrans has also been part of the Ulysse Nardin stable since 2011. The technique of grand feu enameling involves subjecting the dial, covered in enamel powder, to several firings in a very hot kiln. If all the elements are not perfectly calculated, any one of these firings could damage the dial irrevocably. If every stage is executed successfully, the result is a sumptuous pale milky white enamel that is a hallmark of the finest watches. The Roman numerals typical of the Marine collection are then applied, along with the minutes track, providing a pleasing contrast with the creamy dial. The proud owner will no doubt take pleasure in noting the consternation of the more astute observers, when they notice the unexpected Roman numeral XVI!
A tourbillon for daily wear
The obvious elegance of the one-of-a-kind Tourbillon Marine Grand Feu belies its robustness: in fact, the 43mm stainless steel case with its beveled edges is water-resistant to 100 meters. Its user-friendliness extends to the easily manipulated rubber-coated knurled crown. The sapphire caseback is a source of lasting delight, providing a fascinating view of the manufacture movement, particularly in the morning and the evening, for those who prefer to sleep without a watch.
- 43mm - stainless steel with a fluted bezel, rubber cranulated crown , sapphire caseback
- Grand Feu enamel, XVI at 4 o'clock
- Self-winding (Caliber UN-128, 60-hour power reserve), fllying tourbillon with escapement and spiral in silicium
- Hours, minutes, tourbillon, power reserve
- Stainless steel
- Folding clasp
- Black alligator
- Water-resistance: 100m