ULYSSE NARDINManufacture of freedom
Founded by Mr. Ulysse Nardin in 1846 and a proud member of the global luxury group Kering since November 2014, Ulysse Nardin has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie. The company’s earliest renown came from its links to the nautical world: its marine chronometers are among the most reliable ever made, still sought by collectors around the world. A pioneer of cutting-edge technologies and the innovative use of materials like silicium, the brand is one of the few with the in-house expertise to produce its own high-precision components and movements. This exceptional level of watchmaking excellence has earned Ulysse Nardin membership in the most exclusive circle of Swiss watchmaking, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Today, from its sites in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the brand’s continuing quest for horological perfection centers around five collections: The Marine, the Diver, the Classico, the Executive and the Freak. In 2019, Ulysse Nardin introduces the X-factor in watchmaking.
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Freak VisionWhen function defines design
A brand-new Manufacture flying carrousel movement rotating around its own axis with no dial and no hands. FREAK, Ulysse Nardin’s most audacious collection to date, boldly pushes desires to the max, shaking up the status quo. Form & design follow functions. This is the law. Designs that are strong. Technology that defies expectation. The Freak X isn’t just inspired by adventure. It IS the call for Xploration!
The FREAK X, the little cousin of its ”Freak antecedents”, stands out as the entry point into the FREAK collection. Though many of the same aesthetic and functional elements are in place, it pushes out into uncharted territory. The sizing is tighter - 43mm instead of 45mm - but it is easier to read and operate. It has a crown for time correction, which breaks with one of the most iconic aspects of the crown-less FREAK VISION or FREAK OUT models, which correct time by the bezel. The “baguette” movement is still a carrousel, turning once on itself every hour to indicate the time. It is simpler, bolder, and has fewer wheels. It has no dial and no hands - the central bridge acts as a minute hand and one of the wheels indicates the hours.
Inside and clearly visible beats one of the FREAK VISION’s most outstanding innovations: a super-light balance wheel in silicium, extra-wide, with nickel flyweights and stabilizing micro-blades. The movement itself, the new UN-230, is a fusion of the manufacture calibers UN-118 and FREAK VISION UN-250.The case, nicely rounded with curved lines, is wholly new, and seriously transformative. The new FREAK X is available in titanium, rose gold, black DLC or in Carbonium ®. It demonstrates the brand’s commitment to expanding and enriching its collections by pushing watchmaking Xpertise to the X degree. To the intrepid Ulysses of the modern world, it is a clarion call to adventure.
The revival of a very ancient technique, dating well before the Middle Ages and used extensively during the Byzantine Empire and in the West as early as the 4th century, this method consists of creating compartments or housings using gold wire in order to deposit the enamel with utmost precision.
Folding alone represents between 8 and 15 hours’ work per dial. Then the work is polished. This operation produces the end result. It takes immense effort and patience to make dials with a polished finish.
Ulysse Nardin & Sigatec
Since the early 2000’s, Silicium has become the most promising material in watchmaking.
An affiliate of Ulysse Nardin and Mimotec, Sigatec specializes in silicium micro-mechanical components and creates custom-made pieces with micron-level precision. Made especially for horology, these components allow for many to reap the exceptional benefits of monocrystalline silicium. With a unique and wide-ranging savoir-faire, constant investments in improving processes and equipment, Sigatec produces balance-springs, anchors, escapement wheels as well as more specific components, particularly for its main shareholder, Ulysse Nardin.
In this way, Sigatec frees up the creative field for its clients’ researchers and developers by opening up a new range of possibilities.
Ulysse Nardin Company Profile
Founded in 1846 by 23-year-old Ulysse Nardin, the brand that bears his name carries on his entrepreneurial spirit, always thinking about the next great development. Trained as a complicated watch specialist, Ulysse Nardin had his sights set on a sparkling horizon. He started his business in his birthplace of Le Locle, Switzerland, situated in the Swiss Jura, home to the specialized watchmaking industry.
Technology is driving the world at unfathomable speed. For watchmaking manufacture Ulysse Nardin, it has captained its course for almost two centuries. Calculating the waning and waxing of the moon to harness time and tides with exactitude, Ulysse Nardin changed how the world told time. Innovation upon innovation, it steers the craft into the future, marrying the age-old art of Haute Horlogerie with transformative technology, astounding with breakthrough performance and original design.
Ulysse Nardin pursues its innovative course with its three fundamentals as a guiding constellation. Firstly, ever more independence of spirit, continue to develop and manufacture an increasing number of components, movements and timepieces in-house. Secondly, while it already holds a great number of patents in mechanical watchmaking, the company continues in its quest for technical avant-garde, pushing back the limits of design, engineering and technology. And finally, the watchmaker upholds its heritage of craft, celebrating the savoir-faire of the centuries through its métiers d’art – enameling, miniature painting – and through the enduring skill of its ta-lented watchmakers.