Boom! Ulysse Nardin’s Latest Blast is a Sporty Tourbillon in Blue & Gold (Plus: A Closer Look at the Moonstruck Blast)

Proving the versatility of the Blast collection’s design DNA, this bold yet elegant, tourbillon-equipped timepiece takes its inventive movement and puts it all out front.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

The design intent of the Blast collection from Ulysse Nardin has always focused on a kind of reinterpretation of haute horological codes into a more signature modern framework. And make no mistake, the recently released Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold propels that journey into the future in spades.

This timepiece brings the maker’s signature rose gold and seaworthy blue tones to a tourbillon-equipped wristwatch that wears more like a modern sports watch, bereft of any high-complication fussiness.

Let’s take a look at it!

X Factor

With the brand’s signature “X” formation overlay and clean, sharp lines, the viewable watch works of the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold create an artful, modernist expression of a tourbillon.

Naturally, there is ample space above and below the dial’s “X” bridge motif to show off the 2.5Hz flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock (presented in its own “X” design cage) and the gorgeous platinum micro-rotor at 12 o’clock.

But in a sense, the clean, modern dial approach, with the extra oomph of the bold, blue PVD titanium structure, offers as much movement visibility as, in a more traditional design, an exhibition caseback would. Moreover, the blue PVD is echoed in the watch’s bezel and picked up in the deep blue rubber strap, which receives an elegant, velvety finish to amp up the air of sophistication.

Of course, the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold does have an exhibition caseback. But, oh, that front view!

Rose Gold Rush

The rest of the 45mm presentation features 5N rose gold that is both polished and satin-finished. Although on the larger side, this case size provides some extra acreage for the gleaming metal with a unique three-point attachment assembly for the integrated strap, as well as the smooth crown, beefy crown protectors, and minimalist hands and box indices that, in another modern nod, are filled with Super-LumiNova. In a related touch, the timepiece is also water resistant to 50 meters.

While the structure of the “framed” movement is not quite what I would classify as a traditional skeletonized approach, it is certainly no mistake.

The sheer symmetry and exacting production of the manufacture UN-172 automatic movement deserve this special spotlight; it is a delight to the eyes. Not to mention it also offers a 72-hour power reserve for both overall longevity and for the tourbillon itself.

Blast to the Moon

To sure up our argument about the flexibility of the Blast collection’s canvas, we took another exclusive look at Ulysse Nardin’s dark and dashing Blast Moonstruck from last year (in this case, the black ceramic and black DLC titanium version on a black rubber and leather strap). And while there are some shared design cues between this timepiece and the Blast Tourbillon discussed above – i.e., the 45mm case size, three-point lug connection, and crown protectors – the materials, overall appearance, and more to the point, the intent of the Blast Moonstruck are completely different.

By placing astronomical functions like the moon’s rotation, the apparent movement of the sun as observed from Earth and associated tidal fluctuations in an easy-to-understand, artful manner (BTW, it is also a world timer), Ulysse Nardin has created a Blast iteration that is more like a sculptural observatory you wear on your wrist.

Keying off the work of celestial watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin four decades ago, it’s a bit hard to come up with anything involving space and time that the Ulysse Nardin Blast Moonstruck doesn’t bring to your wrist.

Pricing & Availability

The recently announced Blast Tourbillon Blue & Gold is listed for $67,000, while the Blast Moonstruck described above costs $86,500. Both are available at the brand’s boutiques and partner retailers worldwide. For more information, visit the Ulysse Nardin website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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