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Ulysse Nardin - A Blast Of Technical Watchmaking!

Ulysse Nardin A Blast Of Technical Watchmaking!

Ulysse Nardin defines its 2021 with an in-house chiming complication

The historic manufacture based in Le Locle first brought us the high-impact Blast in the autumn of 2020 — juxtaposing an angular, geometric case inspired by stealth aircraft with an openworked movement to create a timepiece following in the disruptive aesthetic footsteps of their iconic Freak collection.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of Ulysse Nardin, and for Watches And Wonders 2021, the company adds to its family of Blast models with the Blast Hourstriker. This timepiece is the result of over three decades of chiming expertise at the manufacture, incorporating the acoustic improvements developed in 2019 (in conjunction with French audio systems experts Devialet) for their Hourstriker Phantom.

A Blast Of Technical Watchmaking!

Blast Hourstriker © Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin’s penchant for pairing surprising elements comes to the forefront in the Blast Hourstriker — you might think that a watch design inspired by stealth aircraft is meant to fly under the radar, but a chiming movement is nothing less than horology’s most audible attention magnet. Unlike previous Blast models, the Blast Hourstriker is not skeletonised, but it nevertheless possesses the same philosophy of putting its inner workings on show. Conventional sonnerie watches are constructed to have the components related to the chiming mechanism on the back of the watch, but the Blast Hourstriker is configured to feature these components on the dial-side of the movement. When a pusher, located at the 10 o’clock position on the case, is activated, the chiming mechanism leaps into action, allowing the wearer to observe the entire process without obstruction.

One of the most important characteristics of a chiming watch is the volume and quality of the sound produced when the hammers hit the gongs. To this end, a thin amplifying membrane (measuring only 0.3mm in thickness) is integrated within the Blast Hourstriker. X-shaped apertures in the case back allow the membrane to transmit the chime at an optimal level — with exactly the right balance of loudness and euphony.

A Blast Of Technical Watchmaking!

Blast Hourstriker © Ulysse Nardin

Further augmenting this mechanical ballet is the flying tourbillon, visible at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. Its upper cage is shaped like an X that continuously turns at the speed of one revolution per minute, symbolising the dynamism of Ulysse Nardin’s in-house watchmaking savoir-faire.  

The Blast Hourstriker is powered by the new UN-621 automatic manufacture calibre, with a power reserve of 60 hours. It comes in an eye-catching case of rose-gold with a bezel of black DLC titanium — the perfect combination of luxury and technology.


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