A few years ago I remember being blown away by a watch I saw that featured an oil rig on its dial. Not just any oil rig, but an automaton, as well. Now, Ulysse Nardin unveils a watch with an alluring, incredibly large 18-karat gold oil rig smack in the middle of the dial of the Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater watch.
The nautical connection between the sea and horology is a theme many watch manufactures have drawn upon for inspiration over the years. With this watch, Ulysses Nardin has taken a unique approach, as the piece pays homage to the oil industry and the offshore drilling rigs that unendingly search for black gold.
Ulysses Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater Features
The Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater is the latest addition to the Classic Collection. Housed in a 42mm case, the watch is crafted in gold and features a bold red/orange champlevé enamel dial that depicts an off-shore oil rig in its industrial majestic glory. The manufacture elected to take a low angle vantage point and capture the rig as it rises out of the Black Sea with waves crash against it.
The minute repeater is one of the most revered of horological complications due to the inherent difficulty that comes from both its physical production as well as the difficulty in producing the correct sound quality. Ulysses Nardin is a manufacturer at home in this particular realm of haute horology and on the North Sea Minute Repeater, three 18-karat gold cranes move when the minute repeater is activated. Powered by the Caliber UN-73, the watch sounds the hours, quarter hours and minutes, and is equipped with 36 hours of power reserve.
The champlevé enamel technique used on the dial is a l technique mastered by only a handful of craftspeople worldwide. To create the effect of the rich orange/red sky, a master craftsman uses many different color enamels, over a long series of paintings and firings. Additionally, a master engraver takes to the dial with a fine chisel to carve the gold rig. In all, the 18-karat rose gold dial in final form is the result hundreds of hours of hand craftsmanship.
The Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater is deft combination of hand-crafted artistry paired with haute horology to produce a unique timepiece. While the oil theme will not play well with some environmentalists, it is sure to speak directly to both oil CEOs and OPEC titans.
Tech Specs of the Ulysse Nardin North Sea Minute Repeater
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Repeater
Case: 42mm round; pink gold
Movement: Manual wind
Water resistance: 30 meters