GRANDES MAISONS - ULYSSE NARDIN, the joys of manufacture

There have been some big changes at Ulysse Nardin over the past few years. First of all, following the death of the brand’s charismatic boss Rolf Schnyder, there was a move from a company centred around a single decision-maker to a collaborative type of management that was closer to that of a group. Second objective: the continuation of the considerable efforts towards industrial integration.

This involved “digesting” the acquisition of the chronograph movement bought from Ebel and continuing the development of integrated in-house movements. The results are there for all to see, in terms of products – ingenious, efficient, easy to use – but also in terms of quantity. Ulysse Nardin now sells more than 25,000 watches per year. A remarkable result for high-end pieces.

Dual Time Manufacture by Ulysse Nardin
Dual Time Manufacture by Ulysse Nardin
Part of an iconic Ulysse Nardin collection, the new Dual Time Manufacture is today fitted with a self-winding movement, Calibre UN-334, which was conceived, developed and produced entirely in-house. It also has a big date with two windows that can be adjusted in both directions. The Home Time is displayed on a 24-hour scale in a window at 9 o’clock. To set the hand to local time or the travel time, you simply need to use the two pushbuttons (+ or -) at 10 o’clock and 8 o’clock. The date function sychronises automatically, forwards or backwards. The in-house calibre UN-334, which has a 48-hour power reserve, has an escape wheel, roller and spring in silicon. Ulysse Nardin is an uncontested pioneer in this technology, which requires no lubrication and offers exceptional resistance to wear. The 42mm case in 18-carat gold or steel, which is water resistant to 30m, and the black or silvered dial, have been completely redesigned to allow the best possible legibility and the greatest possible wearing comfort. It is indeed one of the clearest dual time models in the industry.

Perpetual Manufacture by Ulysse Nardin
Perpetual Manufacture by Ulysse Nardin
The new Perpetual Manufacture is equipped with the legendary Calibre UN-32, which is considered to be one of the most evolved perpetual calendar movements and was developed by Ludwig Oechslin. The indications for the day, date, month and year are very easy to adjust using the crown, in both directions (which is far from being the case for all perpetual calendars). Furthermore, this watch offers a second time zone that can also be moved forwards or backwards using two pushbuttons at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. As an exceptional touch of mechanical refinement, the date indications synchronise automatically. Here too, legibility determined the stylistic choices. On the “ocean white” dial, the hands and other indications are clearly structured and show a high attention to detail. The 43mm case has a plaque on the side bearing the serial number, with only 250 pieces available in red gold and 250 in platinum.

Source: Europa Star April - May 2014 Magazine Issue