Amaz­ing duo


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Dubbed its “most spec­tac­u­lar” cre­ation yet, Ulysse Nardin’s Ex­ec­u­tive Tour­bil­lon “Free Wheel” packs in­no­va­tion that aims to turn watch­mak­ing up­side down.

Avail­able in ei­ther white gold or rose gold, it’s star­tling in­side and out: a brand new move­ment that seems to defy grav­ity and a quite as­ton­ish­ing, in­no­va­tive box-domed sap­phire that took months to re­search and de­velop.

The mod­ern and siz­able 44mm dial of the 18-carat rose gold ver­sion is made of dark stone carved from slate. The dial of the 18-carat white gold ver­sion, on the other hand, is built on a sleek, black hon­ey­comb grid.

The most as­ton­ish­ing fea­tures are the dial’s tour­bil­lon bridges and the 7-day power re­serve in­di­ca­tor at four o’clock, which are shaped like boomerangs and made to look like they’re f loat­ing. That f loat­ing ef­fect is seen too in the other ‘skele­tonised’ com­po­nents, the hour and minute in­di­ca­tors and the gear trains.

The sap­phire glass box that houses these ‘f ly­ing’ el­e­ments has a struc­ture of high com­plex­ity and fin­ish, es­pe­cially the pol­ish­ing of the box an­gles – no doubt, a dif­fi­cult achieve­ment, re­quir­ing lengthy and painstak­ing ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. The case­back is in sap­phire too, ex­cept there’s noth­ing to see beyond it. That’s be­cause all the ex­quis­ite com­po­nents are vis­i­ble on the dial side, which is yet an­other dif­fer­ent and no­table fea­ture of this tour­bil­lon.

Pow­er­ing the Ulysse Nardin Ex­ec­u­tive Tour­bil­lon “Free Wheel” is the to­tally new UN-176 me­chan­i­cal move­ment, de­vel­oped en­tirely in house. Its f ly ing tour­bil­lon is the “Ulysse An­chor Es­cape­ment”, a pi­o­neer­ing tech­nolog y that re­places the tra­di­tional Swiss lever es­cape­ment sys­tem and uses Ulysse Nardin’s sig­na­ture low-fric­tion sili­cium in­stead of metal or sy nthetic ru­bies.

Com­plet­ing it is a pair of matte al­li­ga­tor wrist straps fea­tur­ing a ‘car­bon leather’ f in­ish, which feels soft and silky to the touch. De­spite its many ex­quis­ite traits, the “Free Wheel” is not po­si­tioned as a lim­ited edi­tion and can be ac­quired at any au­tho­rised Ulysse Nardin re­tailer world­wide.

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