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Ulysse Nardin - GMT XXL World

Ulysse Nardin GMT XXL World

Pushing the edge.

Ulysse Nardin has consistently offered us nautically inspired watches presenting a seamless blend of innovative technology and watchmaking savoir-faire. While the brand definitely boasts a collection of more classic watches, they’re widely known for their bolder, edgier pieces. The latest model is no exception to the rule of eyebrow-raising names : introducing Blast, an entirely new collection, made up of four models featuring combinations of different case materials.

THE YEAR OF X

The letter “X” has gone from recurring guest to starring role in Ulysse Nardin’s latest collections – a thread that aesthetically unites all its watches under one umbrella. Things are no different with the new Blast : the “X” shape overlaps a rectangle on the dial, sandwiching the movement together, clearly visible through the openworked dial.

Ulysse Nardin

Blue Blast © Joy Corthésy

Upon closer inspection, the new Blast bears all the edgy aesthetic codes we’ve come to know from Ulysse Nardin. The openworked dial was designed so that more of the movement is visible, with the 2.5 Hz tourbillon spinning at 6 o’clock. The indexes are straightforward, hourmarkers coated in Super-LumiNova® (as are the hours and minutes hands). The symmetry is more streamlined, with the Ulysse Nardin logo taking pride of place above the dial center. The lugs are also new for the brand, reshaped to be more geometric and leaner, like the wings of a stealth jet, and finished with a variety of polishes to catch the light in different ways.

Ulysse Nardin

Rose Gold Blast © Ulysse Nardin

With a 45mm case, the Blast comes in four variations : white, blue, black and rose gold. The white version has a case made of white ceramic, with metallic gray and dark blue detailing for an icy palette. The blue version features a titanium case middle offset with a titanium bezel, rectangular bridge, tourbillon cage and “X” all in blue, along with gray sculpted hands and hour-markers. For a dash of warmth, the Blast also comes in a sleek black DLC-coated and rose gold version with a rose gold tourbillon cage and lugs. By far the one most clearly inspired by Earth’s natural elements is the black version, featuring a black ceramic case and bezel, black rectangular bridge, along with a red and black “X”. For the first time ever, Ulysse Nardin has also developed a colored balance wheel for the black version of the Blast, in red to match the red “X”. All four versions come with straps in structured rubber, alligator leather or velvet. 

Ulysse Nardin

Blue Blast © Joy Corthésy

Blast welcomes a new movement

The Blast stemmed from 18 months of research and development that involved establishing a new approach to the mechanics inside the watch. The watch houses the UN-172 caliber, the next evolutionary step in the brand’s movement development. The UN-172 has a boosted power reserve of three days and features, for the first time in a skeletonized Ulysse Nardin model, an automatic silicon tourbillon. The tourbillon is housed in a newly designed X-shaped cage that varies in color depending on the model, appearing in flaming bright red, bicolor rose gold, or electric blue. As well as adorning the case, platinum shows up in the movement in the form of a new powerful micro-rotor, visible through the front of the watch at 12 o’clock. It’s only natural for Ulysse Nardin, as a leading champion of silicon, to use the material for this movement’s escape-wheel, pallet-lever and balance spring. The brand has been partnering with silicon component manufacturer Sigatec for well over a decade now, having launched their joint venture together in the pursuit of developing tougher and more reliable silicon components. The Blast marks the next step forward for Ulysse Nardin, anchored in a willingness to innovate, looking towards the future in both its design and movement.

 

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