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High accuracy has long been the ‘holy grail’ of many serious watch collectors. This stripe of enthusiast demands much more from their choice of timepiece than simply that it color-coordinates with their wardrobe. And these collectors are likely to monitor their chosen watches carefully – and frequently – for any loss of precision, whether resulting from shock damage, magnetism or moisture.

The ONEOF Accuracy2 is a compact watch measurement tool.

It’s for these collectors that new Swiss-based company, ONE OF, has launched a set of three devices, two of which are pocket-sized, built to assist them as they check their watches. ONE OF offers measurement tools that quickly check a watch’s health and wirelessly transmit that information to a smart phone or tablet.

ONEOF offers the accuracy tool/app in three different function levels, with versions designed specifically for collectors (Accuracy2, pictured above), for boutiques (Accuracy Boutique Edition) and also for watchmakers in a retail or professional setting (AccuracyPro).

The Accuracy technology automatically detects your watch when placed nearby. It then amplifies every single vibration within the mechanical movement, converting those sounds into a digital form and creating a full ‘health’ record visible on your phone or tablet.

Analyzing the watch movement’s myriad internal vibrations, ONE OF’s technology quickly calculates the watch’s rate accuracy, frequency, beat error, amplitude, lift angle and stability (known as integration time).

As a bonus, the new products use an integrated magnetic field sensor to check whether a watch movement is magnetized. Owners can scan their watch from various angles to see if it suffers from magnetization.

Additional functions

The Accuracy Boutique Edition, pictured with results on smartphone.

While the compact Accuracy2 ($320) tool will check for magnetization, with the card-deck-sized Accuracy Boutique Edition ($1,270), collectors can also demagnetize a mechanical watch, also using a smartphone or a tablet. The collector need only press the DEMAG function on the application. This generates a short but powerful electromagnetic pulse that demagnetizes the watch’s spiral balance.

The ONEOF Accuracy Boutique edition is a watch measurement tool with integrated demagnetizer.

“The ONE OF Accuracy Boutique Edition’s sensor is provided with a piezoelectric microphone that is very sensitive to the vibrations of the regulatory organ, the ‘ticking’ of the watch,” explains Alexis Sarkissian, founder of Totally Worth It, the tool’s distributor in the United States. “The application’s algorithms process the acoustic signal in real time and measure, among other things, the chronometric accuracy”.

For watchmakers, the AccuracyPro can test the watch in various positions.

As its name implies, the professional-level Accuracy Pro provides the watch owner with much more data. It can perform measurements manually using its integrated accelerometer to check the watch in multiple positions. It provides the watchmaker with amplitude and oscillation flaws and displays the acoustic characteristic of the escapement in diagrams and cumulative graphs.

The ONEOF Accuracy Pro is a manual multi-position watch measurement instrument.

See the ONEOF USA site for additional details about all three Accuracy products.

Prices: Accuracy2: $320 / Accuracy Boutique Edition: $1,270 / Accuracy Pro: $3,330

 

 

iW Presents the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Awards Ceremony.

 
Click below to watch the 2020 the 20th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards ceremony live on iwmagazine.com at 12:30 pm this Thursday, November 12. The ceremony, which is online only this year and not open to the general public, takes place at the Theatre du Léman in Geneva.  

The ceremony is in French but will be subtitled in English.

To view all the nominated watches for 2020, click here.

Enjoy the ceremony!


Colorado-based Vortic Watch Company celebrates Veterans Day by releasing a fifty-piece collection of its Military Edition watches to benefit the Veterans Watchmakers Initiative (VWI) in Odessa, Delaware. 

Available today, the watches will be offered on the Vortic website only, with Vortic pledging to donate $500 from the sale of each watch to the VWI. The non-profit organization trains and educates disabled military veterans. 

“The volunteers with the VWI are teaching our war veterans the skills to restore and preserve historic watches while also providing a new purpose for our nation’s heroes,” says R.T. Custer, co-founder of Vortic Watch Company. “The increasing demand for vintage wrist watches and resurgence of American-made products has led to a skills gap in the trade of watchmaking. The VWI provides a valuable service to both our vets and the watch industry.”

Vortic Military Edition watches

Vortic’s Military Edition watches are created from antique pocket watches known as the “Navigator’s Watch.” Commissioned by the U.S Army Air Corps during World War II, the pocket watches were used by aviators to aid in navigation. Vortic makes the watches using original pocket watch movements restored by watchmakers from the VWI and other partners. The straps are made with vintage military canvas bags, classic black leather, or bomber jacket material.

“We sold out in one day last year and were able to donate $25,000 to the school. This year, we’re aiming higher with a goal to sell the watches and other items to raise $50,000,” says Custer. “We have 3,000 people on the waitlist for 65 watches. We’re all excited about the watches but everyone is thrilled to help our veterans and our future watchmakers.”

Check the Vortic website for details about the sale and to learn more about the Military Edition watches.

By Laurent Martinez

Between the COVID pandemic, wildfires on the West Coast, hurricanes in the South, and other turmoil, we are living through exceptionally difficult times. Our daily lives, whether professional or personal, have changed in fundamental ways—particularly when it comes to in-person events. With all the current restrictions in place, companies have had to be creative to not only promote their brands but the causes they believe in too.

I received an email from Blancpain recently inviting me to attend a virtual event organized by Oceana. With the tagline “Protecting The World’s Oceans,” Oceana, based in Washington, D.C., is the largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.

Although it was only possible to attend the event online, it was clear that Oceana put in the extra effort. I then received from Andrew Handschin, general manager of Blancpain USA, a lovely package with bread, patés, specialty butter, a festive bottle of champagne, and an invitation to enjoy the live event from home.

 

Then, a link to attend the online “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” and silent auction was sent via email.

While the spirit, excitement, and inspiration of an online occasion cannot compare to an in-person event with hundreds of people sharing the same space, the message of “Protecting our oceans and future” was still conveyed passionately.

The Oceans & Hayek

Blancpain is famously involved with causes focused on saving the ocean, its eco-systems, and its species. At the helm of this involvement is Blancpain CEO, Marc A. Hayek, who is an enthusiastic scuba diver and a vocal advocate of ocean conservation. He has even received several accolades for his efforts.

Blancpain’s connection to marine conservation is further emphasized by having marine scientist, deep diver, and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta as an ambassador of the brand. Blancpain’s Lettres du Brassus magazine frequently publishes Ballesta’s incredible photography and stories as he travels the globe. 

 

The fascination with the ocean is not new to Blancpain. It was the first watchmaker to develop a professional diving watch in the form of the Fifty Fathoms in 1953—beating out the Rolex Submariner as “the first” by a few months. Since then, Blancpain has always had a spiritual affinity with the oceans of the world.

Blancpain developed the Fifty Fathoms professional diving watch in 1953.

As a result, it was only natural for Blancpain to partner with Oceana, assisting with the organization and publicity of the “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” event. The night’s hosts were Susan and David Rockefeller Jr. while speakers included Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston. The evening also featured performances by Sting, Nile Rodgers, and Chic.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment.

Among all the powerful words that were said that night, the ones that struck me the hardest were “Save the oceans, feed the world. Restoring the ocean could feed one billion people with a healthy seafood meal every day.” Followed up by “Do something.”

Learn More

These are strong statements, and I invite you to visit www.oceana.org to discover more about the organization’s projects and how you can help.

“Do something” rings true here, no matter the size of the effort—every bit helps, whether spreading awareness or making small contributions.

Once a year in my town, you can go on a Saturday morning help clean up the beach.

 

Once a year in my town, you can go for three hours on a Saturday morning to help clean up the beach by picking up plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage. It’s a fantastic community event where you not only learn about ocean conservation but where you can also meet other like-minded people.

Oceana and Blancpain are big organizations that strive to remind us that preserving the health of our oceans is critical and there is a need to change our habits and attitudes before it’s too late. One person at a time can make a big difference.

I am thankful that I attended this beautiful night, which served to highlight that awareness, creativity, unity and commitment can make a big difference in our lives, our children’s lives, and future generations.

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches, Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com

Watch companies have been collaborating with artists and designers for years, producing animated timekeepers with distinctive, non-traditional dials, eye-catching engravings and even unusual case finishes.

Brands as diverse as Hermès and G-Shock tout their artistic connections with special editions that typically offer playful, aesthetic variations to well-known collections. The partnerships take many forms, from one-off fund-raisers for charities to long-term collaborations that morph into full-fledged new collections.

Let’s take a look at a few of the latest watch-artist collaborations we’ve seen.      

Hublot’s new Classic Fusion Orlinski 40mm King Gold.

Hublot and Orlinski   

This artistic collaboration represents one of Hublot’s most successful, with multiple editions of Hublot’s Classic Fusion Orlinski reaching collectors of both Hublot watches and Pop Art, Orlinski’s domain. 

Richard Orlinski

Casual and serious art observers are aware of Richard Orlinski’s brightly colored beasts, including his “Wild Kong” gorilla sculpture in Cannes and his crocodiles in Miami. He and Hublot have teamed on their successful series of angular designs with light-reflecting faceted sapphire crystals for several years.

Just recently, Hublot released a new white-themed Classic Fusion Orlinski series – with gold and diamonds – just in time for the holiday season.

These are 40mm King gold or titanium models, with and without diamond pave bezels and lugs, all attached to a white rubber strap. Prices start at $11,500.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski 40mm Titanium Pavé

Movado and Lubomirski 

Movado has teamed with Alexi Lubomirski for its newest Artist Series dials. The photographer provided Movado with four photographs (Light, Water, Illumination and City Scenes) that will grace the dials of the Movado Museum dial with vegan straps in dark grey, yellow and navy blue.

Water, with dial by Alexi Lubomirski

Each steel 40mm watch ($595) also comes with a vegan reusable watch pouch and packaging made from recyclable materials.

A portion of proceeds from all watches sold (at Movado.com) will be donated to Alexi’s preferred charities Concern Worldwide and the Humane Society of America. Another collection with Lubomirski is expected for Spring 2021.

Rado True Square Undigital

Rado Designer Series

Rado has released special designer watches for 2020, the latest releases from an annual tradition for the high-tech watchmaker known for its ceramic cases and bracelets and its contemporary design focus.

Rado is working within its True Square collection to offer three models designed in collaboration with the Italian duo FormaFantasma, the British designer Tej Chauhan and Japanese duo YOY. All three have used the automatic True Square Collection as their Swiss watch canvas.

Rado True Square Formafantasma

The Rado True Square Formafantasma brings us a partially enclosed dial that refers to pocket watches with protective cases.

The Japanese design duo YOY offers a contemporary interpretation with the True Square Undigital. YOY shows only analog hands within the shape of a typical digital, possibly smart dial.

Award-winning British industrial designer Tej Chauhan brings us flowing shapes, high-tech ceramic and bold colors to evoke “futuristic visions of pop culture.”

Rado True Square x Tej Chauhan

Prices for the Rado True Square design collaborations: $1,800 (True Square Tej Chauhan), $2,550 (True Square FormaFantasma) and  $2,350 (True Square YOY).

The Atelier deMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback Stradivari.

Ateliers deMonaco and Luca Stradivari

Produced in partnership with the architect and designer Luca Stradivari, a direct descendant of famed luthier Antonio Stradivari, Atelier deMonaco launches its Admiral Chronographe Flyback Stradivari, available in four limited editions of eighty-eight pieces (steel, rose gold, white gold and yellow gold).

The 42mm flyback chronograph displays a dreamlike dial where elegant hands pass over matching markers and the autograph of the architect and designer.  The caseback shows the in-house dMc-760 Calibre, an eye-catching movement beautifully finished with intricate circular satin finishing, perlage, Côtes de Genève and chamfering. Price: CHF 18,000 (approximately $19,600.)

 

 

By James Henderson

Mention watches and traditional watchmaking, and you’d be forgiven for thinking of Switzerland, Germany or even Japan. But France, and more specifically Besançon, has perhaps one of the strongest histories of traditional watchmaking in the world. And when you think of French watches, the one brand that stands out above all others is Lip.

The view in Besançon, the center of French watchmaking.

Lip is indelibly linked to the French psyche much like Timex has been to those of us who grew up in the United States. 

Lip has become something of a cult brand, even in the U.S. And for good reason. The Lip Mach 2000 is something of an anomaly among watch fans. If we are honest about it, in its current format it is essentially a quartz chronograph, and Lip has made few cosmetic changes to it.

The Lip Mach 2000

More than a watch

But this is a watch that demonstrates that a watch is far more than the sum of its parts.  Think I’m kidding?

While in France I received a Facebook message from a fellow watch journalist stateside asking me to pick one up while I was there and bring it back for him.  There are certain watches out there that hit visceral nerves, and for me Lip has a few models that speak to me on levels I can’t really quantify. They are emotional as much as pragmatic.  Lip, at its very heart, is as much a feeling as it is a brand.

Lip is well known throughout the Francophone world, and famous with hard-core watch and design fans ache for the Mach 2000, as well as the now iconic Nautic Ski.

The Lip Nautic Ski

And the Nautic Ski is enjoying a best “second life” ever, with the return of smaller watches on the radar of most watch fans. When I visited Lip four years ago, the brand had been living sort of a diluted life, really treated by the (then) owners as only a brand label for watches and not the watch brand that Lip truly is.

Philippe and Pierre-Alain Bérard

Enter the Berards

At the time of my visit, the Berard family was producing Lip under a license, but had not yet fully taken formal control.
The Berards, Philippe and his son Pierre-Alain, have now taken full ownership of Lip ­– and have reinvigorated it.  I am not here to criticize the previous owners.  I am, however, here to applaud the Berards, and the entire team at Lip.

How do you manage a legend?  Curious to relate, Lip stirs a lot of emotions in not only watch fans, but in the French consciousness.  But prior to the Berard’s, that emotional connection was more of a sense of nostalgia.  But have no doubts as to how serious they are taking their stewardship of Lip. 

The latest Lip release, for example, underscores their commitment with a reissue of the Rallye Chronograph.  Recently only available as a quartz piece, this new limited edition is much closer to the original with an automatic movement.

The new Lip Rallye Chronograph

The watch was announced recently as a pre-order item, and by all accounts it has been a pretty hot item.

The energy

In the years before the Berards, Lip was really not what it once was, or even what it could be.  Since the Berards? I hate hyperbole, but walking around the streets of Besançon, Paris, and the offices and workshop at Lip, I really felt a new sense of energy and the passion.  I really felt why Lip  connects on the level that it does with fans and the public at large.

It would be easy to do a Blancpain and “start from year zero,” but the team at Lip live in the real world, one where you don’t manufacture history. To that end, they have a rather unusual (in today’s watch world) department that handles vintage Lip questions, assessments, and if I understood correctly, possible restoration.

Inside the Lip Workshop.

And while it would be easy for the Berards to simply have bought the name and turn to a white label company for everything, it was very clear to me that Lip clearly represents something special to them, and I got that same feeling touring around the new facilities that they have installed for the watchmakers working on more complicated and vintage pieces.

Vintage Lip.

It is not enormous, but it is not insignificant either.  And I think what is encouraging about it to me is that it represents the first step forward.

While it would be easy for Lip recreate itself as a reborn pricey brand, which is something it is not and never was, Lip has held the line on pricing. In a world where brands both big and small jack-up their prices only to jettison their unwanted stock to the grey market where it is discounted down to the bare bones, Lip offers something novel – a great watch at a fair price.

Now I realize that everyone wants to go to Switzerland to visit the historic Maisons, and that’s fair enough. But if you are really a fan of watches, history and culture I urge you to get yourself to Besançon and soak up all of the history and charm that this wonderful city has to offer.

James Henderson pens the Tempus Fugit website, where this article first appeared. 

 

At the end of every issue of International Watch, we present a one-page item about a watch with a particularly handsome rear view. It’s a popular feature we’ve published for many years­– in print only and within our online full-on digital editions. 

If you’re not subscriber to our quarterly print publication, perhaps you haven’t seen this feature. If you haven’t, below we remedy that sad state of affairs with just a few of our more recent BackStory items.

Enjoy the view.

 

BackStory: Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance

Even from the back of this unusual 59mm x 43.4mm oval titanium case, Armin Strom’s Masterpiece Dual Time Resonance looks like no other wristwatch. While on the front you’d see a dual-time display, a 24-hour dial and two oscillators, from the back the view underscores that four barrels power these movements. As they delightfully unwind simultaneously, they become synchronized.

As a result of this resonance, a physical phenomenon, the watch creates a highly stable timekeeping rate that heightens overall precision. Resonance, a technically difficult (and hard to regulate) technique used by only a few other watchmakers, also means the watch is more efficient and is less prone to shock-inflicted error.

Indeed, Armin Strom say that its own laboratory testing has revealed gains in precision of 15-20% for two COSC chronometer-level regulated movements placed in resonance.

Armin Strom says that its Resonant Clutch Spring (which was initially developed for an earlier watch called the Armin Strom Mirrored Force Resonance) can take up to ten minutes to synchronize the two systems. To further back its claims regarding the technology, the CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique) has officially certified Armin Strom’s resonance system based on the clutch spring as being a true system in resonance.

As is evident in this back view, Armin Strom has underscored its technical proficiency with and equally impressive high level of finish on the Caliber 17 ARF bridges and plates.

The back of the Armin Strom ARF17 caliber.


The Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance, pictured here with a titanium case, is also available with a rose gold and white gold case.  Armin Strom has also introduced the watch cased in a clear sapphire case.

The Essentials

Movement: Armin Strom manufacture calibre ARF17 with manual-winding, frequency of 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph), patented resonance clutch spring, dual off-center time indications, 4 mainspring barrels, two independent regulation systems connected by a resonance clutch spring 419 total components, power reserves: 110 hours for each movement, 

Case: 59mm x 43.4mm x 15.9mm grade 5 titanium, sapphire crystal and case back with antireflective treatment, water resistance of 50 meters
Price: $169,000 (titanium case) to $268,000 (sapphire case)

 

BackStory: Greubel Forsey QP à Équation

Not long ago, Greubel Forsey debuted a red gold version of its QP à Équation, an exquisite ultra-complicated timepiece with complete perpetual calendar, tourbillon and equation of time function.

The watch, which was awarded the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award for the best Calendar in 2017, utilizes a type of ‘mechanical computer’ to manage all the changes in the displays.

This ‘computer,’ which is Greubel Forsey’s seventh ‘invention,’ is an entirely integrated twenty-five-part component composed of a stack of cams with movable fingers that shift the indications on the dial and caseback. The month’s cam changes the month (seen on the front of the dial).

The back of the Greubel Forsey QP à Équation

But at the same time, different cams within that stack moves the Equation of Time disc, the year indicator and the seasons indication disc on the back, which is the focus of this issue’s Backstory page.

With it color-coded indicators, the Equation of Time display is the most visible of the back displays. . Essentially, the Equation of Time is the conversion factor between solar and mean time. This still rarely made complication seeks to distinguish the difference between solar time and mean time, which can vary from a few seconds to as much as sixteen minutes during the year

Greubel Forsey’s QP à Équation makes these calculations internally. The watchmaker-led construction team created an easy-to-read, color-coded display of the results on the caseback. The red portion shows when the sun is ahead of the solar mean time while the blue means the sun is behind solar mean time.

On the number scale, you see how many minutes the time is behind or ahead. The other colors show the seasons, the months are indicated using letters and two semi-circles show the equinoxes. An also-rare four-digit indicator displays the year.

And finally, if you’re wondering how all these calculations are made, feel free to watch the ‘mechanical computer’ itself, which is visible directly below a sapphire disc.

The Essentials 

Case: 43.5mm by 16mm 5N ‘Rose’ Gold

Movement: 36.4 mm by 9.6mm, 624 parts total w/86 tourbillon cage parts, flat black-polished steel tourbillon bridges, 75 olive-domed jewels in gold chatons, two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours), 21’600 vibrations/hour, with a power reserve of 72 hours, Phillips terminal curve, Geneva-style stud, nickel silver main plates, frosted and spotted with polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, nickel-palladium treatment, 4 engraved gold plates, 
one with the individual number, synthetic sapphire mechanical computer bridge.

Price: $695,000.

 

Bulova recently dug deep into its vast design vault and – with the assistance of collectors – emerged last week with the Accutron Legacy collection, twelve limited edition automatic watches that re-imagine eye-catching 1960s and 1970s Accutron designs.

The collection, available now online and in select stores with each design limited to 600 watches, all feature sapphire crystals, a Sellita-based automatic movement and are water resistant to 30 meters. All are priced at less than $1,500.

Most retain what are now unisex sizes, from 34mm to 38.5mm in diameter, and almost all are sold in both silver-tone steel and gold-tone steel cases. While several offer steel or gold-tone bracelets, most echo the era and come with croco-embossed or retro-style leather straps.

Rather than display all the new Accutron Legacy models, here is an edited selection of our favorites.

This new Accutron 505, based a 1965 original by the same name, features a 33mm case and is offered in gold-tone ($1,450) and silver-tone steel ($1,390).

 

This new 38mm Legacy model echoes the 21343-9W from 1971 and features a silver-tone octagonal-like dial design with applied faceted hour markers.

 

With an asymmetrical case and crown placement at 4 o’clock, this Accutron Legacy collection luxury watch is based on 1960s “521” model. $1,450 in gold-tone.

 

This new 34mm model references the “203” from the 1960s. $1,450.

 

Based on the “412” from the original 1960’s collection, this new model is 34mm in diameter. $1,450.

 

Side view of the new 412 Accutron Legacy model, measuring 12.5mm thick.

 

The “R.R.-O”, first launched in 1970, has been reimagined as part of the Legacy collection. $1,290.

 

The new 34mm Accutron 565, based on the 1965 original. A unique cross-hatching detail was added to the already visually distinctive asymmetrical case. $1,390.

 

The backof the new 565, showing the Sellita-based automatic movement inside.
This Accutron limited edition Legacy collection timepiece reimagines a watch from 1960, the Date and Day Q. $1,390.

 

This Legacy Accutron takes the original “261” first launched in 1971, and updates it with an automatic movement and a 38.5mm case. $1,390.

 

On September 17 the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds will present the Gaïa Award to individuals who have advanced  watchmaking through their work and achievements in three categories. 

For 2020, the awards will be presented to:

Antoine Preziuso (winner in the 
Craftsmanship, Creation category) for his “systematic approach to mechanical watchmaking in his exceptional creations and his perseverance in developing his brand and his dedication to sharing his passion.”

Antoine Preziuso

— Denis Savoye (winner in the
 History, Research category) “for his exceptional career as a theorist, historian and builder of sundials.”

Denis Savoie

— Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei (winners in the Entrepreneurship category) for “the pioneering role their company (Urwerk) has played in defining watchmaking in the 21st century watchmaking.

Martin Frei (left) and Felix Baumgartner

The public ceremony (entry only with prior registration due to the health measures) will take place September 17 at the Musée international d’horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The MIH created the Gaïa Prize in 1993 to honor those who have contributed — and who continue to contribute — to the reputation of watchmaking – through its history, its technology and its industry.

New talent

In addition to the three award categories, the MIH also presents the Horizon Gaïa, an incentive grant for ongoing work made possible by the Watch Academy Foundation to encourage new talent.

The Museum of Horology in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

The 2020 Horizon Gaïa incentive grant has been awarded to Zoé Snijders, who is taking her Master’s in Conservation-Restoration for technical, scientific and watchmaking instruments at the Haute École Arc in Neuchâtel. Her knowledge means she will be able to understand a mechanism as complex as the Delvart astronomical clock, an object that combines science with belief, history and watchmaking expertise, and which entered the MIH collections in 2015. Snijders will study the origin, symbolism and operation of the clock, with the aim of raising its profile among the museum’s visitors.

 

 

Ulysse Nardin this week launches Blast, the latest of the Le Locle-based watchmaker’s Executive Skeleton X series of open-worked watches that feature distinctive rectangular and X-shaped bridges within a broad, round bezel. The four new 45mm Blast watches accentuate the collection’s see-through X design with a new silicon tourbillon placed within its own X-shaped cage.

The White Blast features white ceramic, metallic grey and dark blue accents.

With these shape-within-a-shape bridges, the new Blast retains the geometrical focus we’ve seen in recent Ulysse Nardin X models, including the three-horned strap link, a smooth, often colored bezel and the barrel at 12 o’clock.

The new Ulysse Nardin Blue Blast has a titanium middle case, blue titanium bezel, blue brass rectangular bridge, blue tourbillon cage, blue and grey double “X” pattern, metallic grey sculpted hands and indexes.

Micro-rotor

But the new Blast offers much that differs from previous Skeleton X offerings, especially with its new case architecture and a new tourbillon movement employing Ulysse Nardin’s first-ever micro-rotor. 

The new skeletonized UN-172 movement (an evolution of the UN-171), with its silicon escape wheel, anchor and balance spring, powers each of the four Ulysse Nardin Blast watches.

The new skeletonized UN-172 movement in the Blast features a tourbillon with silicon escape wheel, anchor and balance spring.

As the first automatic tourbillon within Ulysse Nardin’s Skeleton collection, you’ll find a platinum micro-rotor (visible only from the front of the watch) winding the mainspring, supplying a three-day reserve when fully wound.

The Rose Gold Blast features a black DLC middle case and solid gold horns, black ceramic bezel, a bicolor tourbillon cage (rose gold colored and black PVD), sculpted rose gold indexes and hands.

New Lugs

Ulysse Nardin has also restyled the lugs, making them more angular and finishing each triangular surface differently. The lug surfaces, polished by laser using a new technique devised by Ulysse Nardin, alternate between polished, satin-finish and sand blasted. The idea, according to Ulysse Nardin, is to mimic “sharp rocks that jut out of a volcano.”

The Blast’s lug surfaces are polished by laser using a new technique devised by Ulysse Nardin.

Also new here is a self-deploying, three-blade buckle that releases with a single click. When closing, the system simultaneously pulls both ends of the strap toward the clasp. 

Blast features a new self-deploying buckle that releases with a single click.

Ulysse Nardin is making four distinct Blast models: White, Blue, Black and Rose Gold. Each offers its own set of color or design accents ­– even within the tourbillon itself. The Black Blast, for example, comes with a ceramic upper middle case and bezel, black rectangular bridge, red and black double “X” pattern and a stunning new red balance wheel – the first time Ulysse Nardin has ever colorized its balance wheel.

The Black Blast comes with a ceramic upper middle case and bezel, black rectangular bridge, red and black double “X” pattern and a stunning new red balance wheel – the first time that Ulysse Nardin has ever developed a colored balance wheel.

Several strap options are available for each model, including structured rubber, leather and velvet.

 

The back view of the Ulysse Nardin Black Blast.

 

Prices:

Blue (T-1723-400/03) $44,000

Black (T-1723-400/BLACK) $46,000

White (T-1723-400/00)  $46,000  

Rose Gold (T-1725-400/02) $54,000  

 

Specifications: Ulysse Nardin Blast

Movement: Caliber UN-172, skeletonized automatic tourbillon with micro-rotor. Functions: Tourbillon, hours, minutes, raised rectangular bridge, escapement wheel, anchor, and balance spring in silicon, platinum micro-rotor at 12 o’clock, 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz). Power reserve is 72 hours.

Case: 45mm x 13mm titanium or titanium/ceramic multi-part with PVD/DLC coating; rose gold and ceramic for rose gold model, sapphire case back, sapphire crystal, water resistance to 50 meters.

Strap:  Structured or plain rubber, alligator or calfskin, velvet or denim.