An Exclusive Peek Inside Ulysse Nardin’s New Private Showroom

An Exclusive Peek Inside Ulysse Nardin’s New Private Showroom

Ulysse Nardin ends its 175th anniversary year on a high note by launching a new exhibition space showcasing its historical and current creations, in addition to unveiling a unique copper-colored UFO table clock.

By Steven Rogers

Throughout 2021, Ulysse Nardin celebrated its 175th anniversary with many of its releases and events linked to this milestone achievement.

So, to close out its anniversary year, the brand has chosen to inaugurate a new private showroom at its Le Locle, Switzerland headquarters. On top of that, Ulysse Nardin also created a one-of-a-kind copper-colored edition of its avant-garde UFO table clock, which will be permanently housed in the exhibition space.

Unique Timeline

Annexed to Ulysse Nardin’s historical premises in Le Locle, the new showroom allows visitors to trace the unique timeline of the company since its founding by the esteemed horologist Ulysse Nardin at the age of 23 in 1846.

Thanks to the display of classic marine chronometers and pocket watches, key stages of the brand’s existence are brought to life for visitors. Alongside these acclaimed creations – released in the era of charismatic leader Rolf Schnyder and watchmaking maestro Ludwig Oechslin – is the exciting current collection cultivated under the ownership of Kering.

There are also sections detailing the brand’s craftsmanship, including a focus on enameling and engraving. Peppering the bright, airy 175m2 museum setting are a number of symbols associated with the maison: anchor insignias, Xs, and sharks.

Convivial and Contemporary

While it is not open to the general public, the showroom will serve as a place for the brand to hold events and welcome visitors to its manufacture. But to celebrate its opening, last month, a “winter garden party” was held there, and around a hundred guests were welcomed by Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux and given a guided tour of the displays by Head of Brand Heritage, Massimo Bonfigli.

In a press release about the showroom, Ulysse Nardin Chief Marketing Officer Françoise Bezzola said: “This luminous space is a platform of expression of the brand, which will showcase the achievements of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It was important for us to have a setting that matches the message we wish to get across to brand aficionados, one that accurately reflects the brand identity. It reflects who we are: convivial, contemporary, and agile.”

An Anniversary Treat

Finally, as a 175th anniversary present to itself, the brand has created a unique UFO table clock. This version of the UFO features copper-colored accents and will take pride of place in the showroom.

Standing for “Unidentified Floating Object,” the UFO was launched at Watches & Wonders earlier this year as a 75-piece limited edition with blue accents. Not only did all those pieces sell out within three weeks, but the one-off, orange-tinged version that the brand made for last month’s Only Watch charity auction sold for a staggering CHF 380,000.

Copper Hue

The 77th UFO ever made is for the new showroom and has a spherical, aluminum base in anthracite coloring, containing a tungsten mass that lets the clock sway from a vertical position without overturning.

Atop the base and under the domed glass bell, the movement is assembled in a tower-like structure, powering deadbeat seconds and three independent hour-minute displays painted a matte copper hue. Other select elements of the movement have been anodized to create a shiny copper tone.

For more information, visit Ulysse Nardin’s website.

(Photography by Pierre Vogel)

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