The 35th Annual America’s Cup gets underway tomorrow, after today’s delay due to exceptionally strong winds in Bermuda. It seems as fitting a time as any to take a look at one of the more exceptional and exclusive nautically-themed pieces recently released by Ulysse Nardin, the Grand Deck Tourbillon. Though the watch first debuted in 2016, UN rolled out a beautiful rose gold edition this year to join the white gold and platinum editions. The level of detail and micro-engineering in this watch is quite astounding really (hence the ultra-limited production and six-figure price tag), and I’m excited to share a closer look!
Drawing heavily on maritime inspiration, the watch features an innovative time display system and a hand crafted wood marquerty dial. Marquety is the art of inlaying wood (or other materials) to create a decorative design, and very much a niche technique as far as Swiss watchmaking is concerned. For this piece, Ulysse Nardin has very effectively created a wood boat deck as the base of the dial.
But what really makes this watch special is its patented time display system: the visible pulleys and cables are linked to the movement and operate in unison to pull the large “boom” across a large minute timekeeping scale which sits elevated across the middle of the dial. After 60 minutes it swifly moves back across to the starting position – wouldn’t say it “jumps” because it does take about 4 seconds, according to UN. Surely something to do with avoiding stressing the intricate cable and pulley system. The hours are shown via the windows in the upper portion of the dial. And of course there is an impressive Ulysse Nardin flying tourbillon marking the seconds.
Such a unique and inspiring watch!
Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Tourbillon
limited edition 18 pieces in choice of white gold, rose gold, platinum / 270,000 CHF per
The lines are thinner than a human hair, measuring 0.0357 mm in diameter, and are capable of withstanding traction of 1.41 kg (about 3.10 pounds) without stretching. They are made of polyethylene Dyneema®, a fiber used in ship’s rigging that is many times stronger than steel.