A leader in watchmaking complexities and a pioneer in developing silicium and other high technologies, Ulysse Nardin is a brand we expect great things from. And this company never disappoints. This year, it offers a host of important new timepieces, including the Imperial Blue and the Perpetual Calendar watch.
Personally, I love the new Imperial Blue – a watch that blends haute horology with high tech in superb fashion. The Imperial Blue, with blue transparent sapphire mainplate, features a flying tourbillon and Grand Sonnerie Westminster Carillon. The musical timepiece houses the Caliber UN-970, which chimes on four notes for every passing hour and also sounds the hours, quarter hours and minutes on demand.
Each of the different sounds accomplished in this timepiece is powered by the same barrel – presenting a challenging task for Ulysse Nardin watchmakers on managing energy. The brand rose to the occasion with a barrel that is wound either partially by activating the repeater slide, or fully by rotating the crown counterclockwise. When rotated clockwise, the crown winds a second barrel that is dedicated to the movement, and that offers 50 hours of power reserve. The watch features an on/off pusher to ensure the sonnerie remains silent if the wearer so wishes. Sadly, just 20 numbered pieces will ever be made of this blue treasure piece.
The Perpetual Calendar watch, however, is being built in a slightly larger series production. Exactly 250 pieces in rose gold and platinum will be built, each housing the new Manufacture made UN32 caliber that allows the date to be adjusted both forward and backward.
The perpetual calendar takes in to account not only all of the different months no matter their length, but also the leap year – all the way until 2100, which should be a leap year but is not in order to keep the Gregorian Calendar of time. In addition to day, date, month, and year indications – adjusted easily by turning the crown in either direction – the watch offers time in a second zone via a red GMT arrow hand. Even this function can be advanced or moved back by one or more positions simply by using the dedicated + and – pushpieces on the case side. All calendar functions synchronize automatically with the hour hand is changed. The Perpetual Calendar is a COSC-certified chronometer that is water resistant to 30 meters and offers 48 hours of power reserve.