Welcome, welcome to another instalment in our coverage of the great Baselworld watch show for 2016. We’ve been working exceptionally hard to keep you updated round the clock with the latest news and critiques from the show in Basel, Switzerland. This time, we’re dropping in onto the teak decks of the S.S. Ulysse Nardin and we’re going to be taking a look at one of their new tourbillon pieces, the maritime inspired Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon, all aboard!
Founded in 1846, Ulysse Nardin has been making wondrous workings of mechanical art for an extremely long time, with the watches it produces today being made in the manufacture plant in Le Locle that it acquired in 1865. You’re probably familiar with the current lineup of watches which are predominantly maritime focused diving watches, these seem to be their most popular watches that they make, although their game-changing Freak watches, the ones where the entire movement apart from the mainspring is built into the hour hand, these watches are well known for their creative thinking and distinctive looks.
Ulysse Nardin is no stranger to making works of excellence in the realm of watches, either. Along with the Freak lineup, they also make their own more traditional complicated watches, having said that, by more traditional I mean the movement is mounted in the correct place on the watch, the rest are pretty barmy. One thing that stays prevalent along the way with Ulysse Nardin is their maritime connection, the company having found success originally in its maritime chronometers despite Switzerland being landlocked. Their logo is that characteristic anchor shape, too, so it was non surprise when it was adorned onto this new watch.
To keep with the maritime theme, even more, particularly sailing, the watch has a comical way of showing the retrograde minutes. Rather than simply powering the hand directly, Ulysse Nardin has decided to create it’s own rigging to pull this mast along the hours track as it’s supposed to. When it gets to 60 minutes, it glides gracefully back to zero to start all over again. The hours are displayed just above this in a jumping format and the wonderful tourbillon mechanism covered with a Ulysse Nardin logo plaque can be found just below it. There’s also several little pulleys placed around the dial that help to move the wiring for the hand around, interestingly, that wiring is just 0.0357mm thick.
The 18K white gold case is 44mm in diameter and will keep that lovely in house made manual wind UN-630 calibre safe down to 100m below sea level, but you definitely shouldn’t swim with it as it’ll ruin the blue leather strap. The tourbillon movement inside this watch runs at a slower 3Hz which will give it a power reserve of 48 hours, you can be sure that the wiring system and jumping date are what’s stopping it running at the usual 4Hz that most of our mechanical watches run at, but it doesn’t bother us here at WristReview one bit. There’s only going to be 18 examples of this watch in total and they resale for 280,000 CHF, does someone have that cash to spare for someone like me? For more info, please visit ulysse-nardin.com
HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – MANAGING EDITOR
A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the “odd” Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram Read his articles here