This past Thursday in Zurich Ulysse Nardin debuted the “Stranger”, a timepiece which emulates a classical music box and plays Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” either on the hour or on call. This innovative timekeeper was done in collaboration with musician Dieter Meier (a rather interesting fellow, it appears). The Ulysse Nardin Stranger is a limited edition of 99 pieces.
As you can see below, the watch has a music mechanism that is conceptually similar to a wind-up music box, except here the music box mechanism is a rotating disc with 10 blades (many music boxes use a barrel-shaped device). Basically, the disc “pings” the fingers to create music. I presume that the sound is similar to that of music box, rather than that of a traditional a repeater.
The on/off pusher which enables the musical mechanism to be activated or deactivated is located at 10 o’clock. The melody can be programmed to play on the hour or not at all. To set the time, the crown function is activated by a pusher instead of pulling the crown out in the traditional way.
Ulysse Nardin has a long tradition of musical watches such as its groundbreaking “Genghis Khan” and “Alexander the Great Westminster Tourbillon” minute repeaters. With this latest piece, Ulysse Nardin has incorporated silicium technology for the escapement and anchor of its in-house, automatic mechanical UN-690 movement. The case is 45mm, rose gold.
Very clever. I like it.