Ulysse Nardin’s new Marine Torpilleur draws its name from the French word for torpedo boat. The nicely sculpted Marine Torpilleur is overall simpler and more cost efficient than other UN Marine chronometers, foregoing features such as a more complex case construction and enamel dial, thus providing an attractive watch at a more accessible price point by a wide margin. Especially when considering the automatic mechanical UN-118 (with diamond-coated silicon escapement ka DIAMonSIL and a silicon hairspring) which powers the watch. The benefit of some nice UN caliber pedigree without the completely outrageous price as far as UN goes (pricing below).
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch
42mm case (steel or rose gold)
I am particularly fond of the white dial version with blued hands:
The watch utilizes very traditional Roman numerals for the hour markers. The thin bezel with notched edge goes nicely with the short lugs which you may notice have both brushed and polished edges.
The watch has a 42mm case in choice of steel (white or blue color dial) or rose gold, and is water resistance rated to 50m with a screw-down crown and a sapphire crystal display back. The dial cleanly shows power reserve at 12 o’clock and sub-seconds + date at six oclock position.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur lists at 6,900 CHF/EUR in steel on alligator strap, 7,600 CHF/EUR in steel on steel bracelet, and 17,900 CHF/EUR in 18k rose gold on alligator strap.
The entire collection of unique pieces for the “Only Watch 2017” charity event are now posted (see all 49 of the Only Watch 2017 watches here) but I always like to review a handful of my favorite pieces. I’ve already tweeted about the spectacular pieces from FP Journe and Patek Philippe and will cover them in more detail here soon. Also catching my eye this year are pieces from Armin Strom, Chopard, Frederique Constant, Hautlence, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Louis Vuitton, and MB&F – all put forth highly commendable unique and artistic pieces for the event. Other brands take a more conventional approach — riffing on current designs with different color schemes, etc. One such example of this would be this beautiful Marine Tourbillon by Ulysse Nardin.
The Marine Tourbillon “Only Watch” edition is of course designed especially for this year’s event and features a blue Grand Feu enamel dial with yellow accents on the dial. The watch has a 43mm steel case, standard fare. The yellow “VII” is a subtle nod to this being the 7th edition of Only Watch. The enamel dial is tastefully done by UN’s Donzé Cadrans enamelling division — the concentric wave guilloche pattern underneath the enamel gives an added element of delicate beauty to the dial. As you can see the watch also has a flying tourbillon set at 6 o’clock. I do think a special caseback engraving or similar imprint would have been a nice added touch for this watch. A great piece nonetheless.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon for “Only Watch 2017”
The latest variation Ulysse Nardin’s Classic Dual Time, this limited edition timepiece sets itself apart with its off white grand feu enamel dial. Grand Feu designates an enameling technique that goes back to the 17th century, and is practiced today only by a handful of craftsmen, including those at Ulysse Nardin specialists Donzé Cadrans (see my in-depth article “Enamel Explained The Art of Cloisonné, Grand Feu, Champlevé, Paillonné, Flinqué & Other Enamel Techniques” for more insights on enamel and other enamel techniques).
There’s a lot more to the appeal of this watch than just its enamel dial, though. Let’s take a closer look.
Ulysse Nardin Classic Dual Time Enamel (Limited Edition)
Limited edition 99 pieces, $12,900
42mm steel case
It is equipped with UN’s patented dual time zone feature which makes it instantly adjustable both forwards and backwards with a mere push of a button (one pusher for each direction – at 8 and 10 o’clock on the case). When pressed, the pushers adjust the hour hand to a different time zone while the home time indicator at 9 o’clock continues its 24-hour cycle.
The double date display is near 2 o’clock on the dial, complementing the oversized roman numerals and black hands along with oversized small seconds at 6 o’clock. The crown does not need to be pulled out to change the functions. Instead rely upon the “T D W” scale – Time or Date or Wind/Wear: push the button on the crown to T when you want to set the time, push the button to D to set the date, and push to W to place the watch in winding / wearing the watch.
Inside is the self-winding UN-324 manufacture movement with its 48-hour power reserve and silicium escapement and balance spring.
The Classic Dual Time Enamel is being produced as a limited edition of 99 timepieces available exclusively at Ulysse Nardin boutiques. Price is $12,900.