Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata, a Complex Alarm Watch With Cathedral Gong

By Jovan Krstevski

Ulysse Nardin watches are nice but being complicated that they are, they used to appear bulky which is not bad at all if you want to go around with a big sporty watch on your wrist but for those looking for a more discreet timepiece, well that is not very good. Now, however, that is about to change with the new Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata. Note that this is not a new thing for Ulysse Nardin but making the watch on the elegant or at least on the discreet side is so yeah I’m a bit excited to talk more about this new Ulysse Nardin watch.

First and foremost, most mechanical watches are naturally bulky, just imagine those mechanical gears in a small case, ain’t doable… especially not for the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata but at 44mm case, Ulysse Nardin proves it’s doable. I like the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata for its simplicity yet it is at the same time a very complicated watch that features an alarm clock with a melodic cathedral gong. This alarm is also not the same as normal watches with alarm features that work traditionally, meaning the alarm is sounded using a mainspring, tensioned to power a hammer striking on resounding parts composed of a bell, a gong or even the case itself. This is a solid design and a very simple one for which the new Ulysse Nardin watch breaks away from.


The new Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata sounds more pleasing when it comes to its alarm. It uses a cathedral gong and a hammer just like in a repeater watch and produces longer and wonderful chimes. For this to work, Ulysse Nardin uses a patented inertial oscillator to control the rhythm seen at 7 o’clock on the dial. The alarm function also uses silicon hairspring, an automatic winding that makes adjustment for all its functions easy. This is common for a watch this caliber but the inner workings is subtly dramatic, I like it. This alarm winding mechanism can be accessed at 9 o’clock while the settings window is at the right quarter of the dial and the alarm indicator at 10 o’clock, everything looks neat to me here.


Going further to its stainless steel case, it looks amazing. Although at 44mm it kinda feels large but considering its complex mechanism, it’s forgivable. The finishing is very smooth from the signature stepped-lugs to the crowns and pushers sporting superb Ulysse Nardin style. With titanium bezel and caseback including sapphire crystal on both sides, it stands strong and water resistant up to 30m.


As for the blued dial, I like the harmonious relationship between the glaive hands and the triangular indexes. The design is clean and very easy on the eyes plus the Geneva stripes in the middle of the dial adds the Swiss prestige. As mentioned above, there is a sub-dial at the right quarter for the alarm settings, the alarm indicator at 10, and the patented inertial oscillator at 7. There is also the large date indicator at 4 and the dual time sub-dial at 6.


The Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata is powered by in-house automatic winding Calibre UN–67 operating at 28,800 vph and capable of cranking out 42 hours of power reserve. It comes in blue alligator straps with only 99 pieces and can be bought at official Ulysse Nardin boutiques only. For more info, please visit ulysse-nardin.com