The Silicon Flying Anchor Escapement: An In-Depth Look At Ulysse Nardin’s Latest Innovation

Ulysse Nardin LogoUlysse Flying Anchor Escapement Silicon

What you see here is perhaps the most important watchmaking innovation revealed this year.  Seriously.  And I’m about to tell you why, with plenty of photo and videos to back me up.   With an official — though somewhat quiet — debut at Baselworld 2014, Ulysse Nardin’s silicon flying anchor escapement is one of those innovations which could very well change how certain things are done at high-end, cutting-edge horological landscape over the coming years and decades.  Though the exact long-term influence will only be determined over time, this kinda reminds me of that time, about 15 years ago, when Ulysse Nardin rolled out a little ‘ole watch called The Freak.  The Freak of course showcased — for the first time — a silicon escapement (among other niceties).  This seminal launch in 2001 also ushered in the era of silicon components and high-tech materials innovation, which continues apace yet today.

Yea, Rolex’s Syloxi Hairspring is a pretty big deal (quietly announced at Baselworld this year, too), and yes I recently went “In-Depth” on that too, you know– but it was certainly not the first time a silicon hairspring has been used in watchmaking.  Come to think of it, that honor also belongs to Ulysse Nardin.  But I digress.

From Perpetuelle’s point of view, Ulysse Nardin’s flying silicon anchor escapement carries the gravitas more along the lines of Girard-Perregaux’s revolutionary constant escapement which debuted in 2013.  In fact the two share a common principle in that they rely upon the elasticity of precision engineered silicon components.  Though still in prototype phase, Ulysse Nardin’s flying anchor escapement has been under development for seven years, and I predict that in due course this new innovation will really start to make waves in how things are done in the high-end watchmaking segment.   Follow along as Perpetuelle goes in-depth on this new innovation from Ulysse Nardin.

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Why Collecting Vintage Rolex Is Not for Me

Rolex dials collage by RPR

The market for “vintage” Rolex is the largest and most sophisticated secondary watch market there is, I think it is safe to say.  But collecting vintage Rolex is not for me — and this article over at (RPR) Rolex Passion Report recently reminded me why.  Though I can appreciate a good quality Rolex, the very serious and big-money world of vintage Rolex collecting will always be an arm’s length interest for me.

The gent who runs RPR is one of the most savvy and knowledgeable vintage Rolex experts out there today.  Spend a little time on his excellent website (I very much enjoy his blog articles) and you will start to comprehend the level of sophistication that is required to simply ascertain whether or not a particular vintage Rolex is the “real deal” or not.   It’s astonishing.  Own a geiger counter?  It’s a must have!

This said, if collecting vintage Rolex is your thing, you would be well served educating yourself over at RPR, starting with the aforementioned article….Be Aware:  High Quality Fake Vintage Rolex Dials!  Happy and safe collecting!

image:  RPR

Special Report: Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial Edition

Rolex DEEPSEA header and logoRolex Deepsea D-Blue gradient dial

If ever an event was worthy of a special commemorative Rolex, James Cameron’s journey to (and exploration of) the deepest place on earth, the Mariana Trench, would be it.  The new Rolex Deepsea “D-Blue Dial” edition is distinguished first and foremost by its two-tone gradient dial, a Rolex first.   Otherwise sharing all of the features of the first Deepsea that Rolex unveiled in 2008 (though a far cry from the ultra-robust specs of the THREE experimental Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch that went down with James Cameron (more on this new revelation below), I’ll walk you through the new Rolex Deepsea “D-Blue” in this Perpetuelle Special Report.

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New Rolex DeepSea Blue

Sneak peek….

Rolex Deepsea Blue

Rolex could be introducing what looks to be a new DeepSea model on August 4th, though exactly what is implied by the homepage right now is pure speculation.  Speculators guess that it will be a “blue” version of the heralded Rolex DeepSea watch.   That James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D (see movie poster below) is opening on August 8th is very likely not a coincidence.

Speaking of Rolex Deepsea and James Cameron…don’t miss my earlier special reports in which I chronicled the mission to the deepest point on Earth and the Rolex that went along with him:

1 – Rolex Deepsea Challenge:  Deepest Point On Earth

2 – Rolex Deepsea Challenge Watch  **UPDATE**

3 – Rolex Deepsea Challenge Watch

4 – Deep Sea Challenge:  Explorer James Cameron Recounts Voyage to Bottom of the Sea (and the Rolex that went with him)

And of course this all-time Perpetuelle favorite:  The (Original) Rolex Deep Sea Special – An Exclusive Report

Deepsea Challenge 3D movie poster



rolex deepsea challenge watch

Stay tuned!