AGE OF SAIL

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Ma­rine chronome­ters were Ulysse Nardin’s claim to fame, and the Grand Deck Ma­rine Tour­bil­lon ref­er­ences that pe­riod with var­i­ous mo­tifs and a brand new com­pli­ca­tion It’s the 20th an­niver­sary of Ulysse Nardin’s Ma­rine col­lec­tion, and it has ex­panded the col­lec­tion with suit­ably im­pres­sive pieces at Baselworld to mark the oc­ca­sion. The flag­ship for the year’s novel­ties is the Grand Deck Ma­rine Tour­bil­lon, which show­cases the brand’s high watch­mak­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The high­light of the watch is its time dis­play sys­tem. In­stead of a minute hand, an alu­minium boom – the hor­i­zon­tal spar used to an­gle a ship’s sail to the wind – points to a grad­u­ated arc run­ning across the mid­dle of the dial. Like an ac­tual boom, the one on the Grand Deck Ma­rine Tour­bil­lon is op­er­ated by a sys­tem of pul­leys and wires. For most of each hour, the pul­leys at two and four o’clock work to­gether to pull the boom right­wards with a wire. The re­verse hap­pens at each new hour as the op­po­site set of pul­leys pull the boom back to the left, in a ret­ro­grade mo­tion that takes around four sec­onds, while the dig­i­tal dis­play above the grad­u­ated arc jumps in­stan­ta­neously. Nat­u­rally, the wire used would be from the nau­ti­cal world. Known as Dyneema or Spec­tra, it is a form of poly­eth­yl­ene that’s spun into fi­bres to cre­ate lines, and is used in high-per­for­mance prod­ucts such as para­chute sus­pen­sion lines, climb­ing equip­ment, and, of course, yacht rig­ging.

Al­though the boom is the fo­cus of at­ten­tion on the watch, de­tail­ing on the rest of the dial also serves to re­in­force its nau­ti­cal slant. At 12 o’clock, Ulysse Nardin’s an­chor logo is flanked by two flags spell­ing out “UN” ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Code of Sig­nals used by mar­itime ves­sels. The flange, on the other hand, is dec­o­rated with guardrails and grom­mets. The back­drop of the en­tire scene is a dial formed by wood mar­quetry, to re­call a sail­boat’s tim­ber deck.

Ulysse Nardin has equipped the watch with the man­u­ally wound Cal­i­bre UN-630 move­ment, which has a fly­ing tour­bil­lon po­si­tioned at six o’clock. Note the in­dex reg­u­la­tion sys­tem po­si­tioned on the top of the tour­bil­lon it­self, with an arm of the tour­bil­lon cage re­placed with the lever used to shorten or lengthen the hair­spring for rate ad­just­ments. Cal­i­bre UN-630 has two sep­a­rate bar­rels – one is used solely for time­keep­ing, while the other pow­ers the jump­ing hour and ret­ro­grade boom ex­clu­sively. Such an ar­range­ment main­tains isochro­nism; by pow­er­ing the com­pli­ca­tions separately, the main­spring re­spon­si­ble for time­keep­ing will not see a sud­den de­crease in torque at ev­ery hour, when the boom arm must be pulled back and the jump­ing hour is ac­ti­vated, thus keep­ing the bal­ance wheel’s am­pli­tude more con­sis­tent for bet­ter time­keep­ing ac­cu­racy. The fi­nal points of in­ter­est con­cerns user-friend­li­ness – the hour dis­play can be quickly ad­justed in­de­pen­dently for con­ve­nience, while the bar­rels are skele­tonised to pro­vide a rough in­di­ca­tion of their state of wind. The Grand Deck Ma­rine Tour­bil­lon is lim­ited to 18 pieces. MOVE­MENT Man­ual-wind­ing Ulysse Nardin Cal­i­bre UN-630 with fly­ing tour­bil­lon, jump­ing hours, and ret­ro­grade min­utes; 48-hour power re­serve

CASE 45mm in white gold, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 100m STRAP Blue leather with white gold de­ploy­ant buckle PRICE $472,100

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