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Ulysse Nardin - SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

Ulysse Nardin SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

At the SIHH, Ulysse Nardin will raise the curtain on an extraordinary creative journey, taking in boats, pin-up models and oil derricks. Underpinning it all is a cutting-edge development named InnoVision 2.

Once again in 2017, the Le Locle manufacture confirms its masterful navigation of the watchmaking seas, with a selection of new models that showcase haute horlogerie, the artistic crafts, and the future of watchmaking. 

Oil rush
In the mechanical arts, Ulysse Nardin is presenting the latest iteration of one of its best-selling models, the Diver Chronograph Artemis Racing. The wavy indentations around the bezel are a reference to the brand’s nautical DNA, as is the screwed bezel, 200-metre depth rating and the eponymous ship on the dial. With its diameter of close to 46 mm, the timepiece has a sturdy and self-confident presence.

SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

Venturing a little further offshore, Ulysse Nardin is also unveiling the North Sea Minute Repeater, a model the manufacture itself describes as “stunning”. Far be it from us to contradict. In gold and champlevé enamel, it is an ode to... the oil industry. An offshore oil platform is depicted against a sombre seascape, with a second rig in the background. But even oil can be charming: when the minute repeater function is activated, the 18-karat gold jacquemarts representing the derricks come to life to ring the hours, the quarters and the minutes. You can admire the craftsmanship without necessarily thinking of DeepWater Horizon...

SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

Pin-ups and fair damsels
And if you need cheering up, Ulysse Nardin’s Hourstriker Pin-Up (limited edition of 28 in rose gold and platinum) features a miniature painting of a burlesque dancer, accompanied by jacquemarts that move cheekily aside in time with the striking function. This pure automaton, in the most noble sense of the term, is delightful, whimsical and infinitely more subtle than those erotic watches that can be awkward to reveal in public.
SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

The métiers d’art are called into play to adorn the dials of five colourful ladies’ models. The Jade collection with its “Grand Feu” and “Cloisonné” models is an ode to enamel, with dashes of dazzling ruby red, emerald green and turquoise. As an alternative to the one-of-a-kind pieces and highly limited series, the new Jade watches are a fine addition to the collection launched in 2013, which continues to differentiate itself through a cleverly designed crown (which is rotated rather than pulled out, to spare the manicure) and the use of silicon components.

SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

InnoVision 2: tomorrow’s watchmaking, today       
In addition to these completed models, Ulysse Nardin has unveiled the second chapter of its InnoVision programme, first introduced in 2007. It is difficult to describe adequately without embarking upon a technical dissertation. But it is possible to give some idea.

In substance, InnoVision 2 offers a constant force escapement resting on two flexible silicon blades, which provide perfect regulation and an increased power reserve. The aerodynamic balance combines negligible weight with great inertia, making it both more efficient and more precise. A new winding system goes against the grain of traditional oscillating weights, with slower but more powerful motions. The movement features wheels in solid gold – a soft material generally shunned by watchmakers because of its poor performance. But Ulysse Nardin has succeeded in applying a treatment that strengthens it and gives it superior performance compared with traditional materials. Finally, on the dial side, a glass bridge with an integral anti-shock system for the balance provides efficiency, functionality and aesthetic appeal. The minute hand is also made of glass.

SIHH 2017: pin-ups and oil rigs

Above and beyond the pure R&D programme, InnoVision 2 promises a cutting-edge timepiece that prefigures the watchmaking of tomorrow and beyond.


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