Ulysse Nardin Riding the wave
Ulysse Nardin ushers in a new brand identity that is based around an ocean wave.
The Swiss expertise in precision timekeeping explains why this landlocked country was a preferred supplier of marine chronometers even in face of tough competition from sea-faring nations like England and France, among others, who were vying for control of the major trade routes and required precise marine chronometers to determine their exact location at sea. Ulysse Nardin earned a reputation for supplying just such precision instruments, which has evolved over the years in line with the development of fine watchmaking.
Ulysse Nardin, based in Le Locle, counts a staggering 4,300 awards to its name, as well as numerous patents. It was the first watch brand to use silicon components in its escapements and is one of just a handful of fine watch brands that produces its own balance springs and escapement components – the true heart of any mechanical watch movement.
For its new, refreshed, brand identity, Ulysse Nardin has sought inspiration from its origins and its founder’s links with the ocean. A powerful wave dominates the visual identity and recalls the intrepid ocean explorers who relied on marine chronometers for navigation. The unrelenting crashing of waves also alludes to the perpetual motion of a mechanical watch calibre and the constant drive to move forward and innovate.
As part of the new identity, Ulysse Nardin has also taken the opportunity to streamline its collections, focusing on six very distinct environments. The Marine collection maintains the link with the brand’s history, taking inspiration from the company’s navigational instruments. The Classic collection embodies the artisanal traditions of Ulysse Nardin in timepieces ranging from simple three-hand timepieces to the complicated Hourstriker and minute repeater models. Artistic touches such as hand-painted or enamel dials add a further touch of refinement. The Diver collection, first launched in 2001, logically has a place in the Ulysse Nardin collection and is designed to offer the water resistance and functionality required of a true diver’s watch.
The Executive and Freak collections offer more contemporary interpretations of the watchmaking theme. The former offers classic aesthetics that aim to make the complicated simple and show it off to maximum effect. The latter is avant-garde in the extreme, being the first watch to use silicon and using the entire movement to display the hours and minutes. For ladies, the Jade collection, launched in 2013, uses an in-house movement with a special function developed specifically with ladies in mind – the time and date can be set without any need to push or pull the crown, thus protecting a lady’s manicure!