All three debuts are tied to a retail partnership: a green model represents Yoshida in Japan, ice blue is for Bucherer and a champagne-colored UFO commemorates the watchmaker’s relationship with The Hour Glass in South-East Asia.
As we noted when Ulysse Nardin debuted the first UFO in 2021 to celebrate the watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, the sixteen-pound, 10.3-inch-tall aluminum and glass clock is the futuristic interpretation of what Ulysse Nardin’s designers, engineers, and watchmakers think a marine chronometer should look like in 175 years.
The UFO’s rounded base allows for a swinging motion that is meant to conjure images of the perpetually moving ocean and Ulysse Nardin’s history as a maker of award-winning marine chronometers.
Ulysse Nardin sold out its first seventy-five piece run of the dark blue UFO. In addition, a second UFO tinted orange sold for CHF 380,000 at the Only Watch charity auction in 2021. This newest UFO trio, each to be made as a limited edition of thirty pieces, will mark the clock’s final production.
The clock rocks
Maison L’Epée and Ulysse Nardin constructed the UFO to swing up to 60° from its axis – an amplitude of 120 degrees – without altering its precision.
L’Epée requires 663 components, and plenty of time, to build each UFO, with the three trapezoidal dials being among the clock’s most complex components. The manufacturer says it takes twenty-eight hours to manufacture eight of the dials. Three are placed into each UFO to allow the owner to display three different time zones at once, each seen from a different angle.
The UFO features six massive barrels that confer a full year of power reserve when fully wound with forty turns of a key. At the top of the movement L’Epee and Ulysse Nardin have installed a dramatic slow-beat, large-diameter (49mm) brass balance wheel.
The size and the leisurely 3,600 bph balance frequency (one per second) soothes the viewer while also contributing to movement’s ultra-long power reserve. And to put a finer point on the clock’s meditative rate, you’ll find a dead-beat second indicator just below the balance.
Ulysse Nardin includes a limited-edition certificate and a winding and setting key in the wooden box that houses each UFO.
Specifications: Ulysse Nardin UFO
Three limited editions of 30 numbered pieces:
UFO | Yoshida Exclusive – 9023-900LE-8A-YOS
UFO | Bucherer Exclusive – 9023-900LE-3A-BUCH
UFO | The Hour Glass Exclusive – 9023-900LE-9A-THG
Movement: UN-902 caliber table clock, manually wound movement displaying three time zones, hours, minutes, deadbeat second, 675 components, six barrels, extra-large oscillator (49mm), 0.5 Hz /3,600 Alt/H, one-year power reserve.
Case: Colored aluminum and blown glass measuring 263mm (H) x 159mm. Weight: 15.8 pounds.