Geneva Watch Days: A Journey To The World’s Most Extreme Places With The New Ulysse Nardin Blast
From glaciers to boiling magma, Ulysse Nardin awakens our inner adventurer and takes us to polarizing extremes with the new Ulysse Nardin Blast collection.
From diving with sharks (HERE) to swimming with mermaids (HERE), or perhaps on a mission with the Navy Seals (HERE, HERE), there isn't a dull day in the world of Ulysse Nardin. For the first edition of Geneva Watch Days, Ulysse Nardin makes sure we won't forget to associate the word adventure with the brand. Through a new partnership that draws inspiration from the planet's extremes, the Blast collection is set to shake the watchmaking world's seismic plates.
The X Factor
The word "blast" can mean many things, running the gamut from having fun with your friends to a massive explosion. In this case, Ulysse Nardin is referring to both a fresh blast of magma erupting out of a volcano and the sound of the ice shelves breaking away from a glacier. With such a strong collection name, Ulysse Nardin sets the tone on what to expect. And, boy, is the wow-factor supercharged.
At first glance, the Blast collection will remind you of the most recent FREAK X, Skeleton X, and Diver X releases. Like them, the new Ulysse Nardin Blast continues the same shape-within-shape-within-shape theme with an “X,” framed in a rectangle, in pride of place across the dial. Fully integrated into the new UN-172 movement, the X shaped cage holds the new automatic silicium tourbillon. For the first time in a Ulysse Nardin Skeleton model, the Blast collection is wound by a platinum micro-rotor visible at 12 o'clock.
For the Blast collection, Ulysse Nardin re-imagines the case. If you look closely, the watches’ case lines are inspired by stealth aircraft, which are aerodynamically designed to stay off the radar.
Now, I'm sure you're asking, “How can you translate an airplane design into a watch design?”
Ingeniously, the Blast collection's lugs are aerodynamic like airplane wings, smooth yet powerful and imposing. For an even more dominant look, the triangles that shape the lugs are either satin-finish or sand-blasted, giving the watch a three-dimensional out of this world look. It’s a sporty and daring expression that would catch the eye of any adventurer.
The Ulysse Nardin codes are also still present, like the three-horned lugs that hold the strap, the colored bezel, and the symmetrical harmony of the movement. With a diameter of 45mm, the four timepieces are water-resistant to 50m and have a three-day power reserve, so it’s ready for adventure.
To celebrate the launch of this new collection, Ulysse Nardin is partnering with extreme adventurer, photographer, and National Geographic contributor Carsten Peter. Peter is known for his never seen before images from the most extreme and dangerous places on the planet like tornados or active volcanos. His passion and talent bring us the imagery of the world's most unwelcoming places, inciting wonder and adventure. It is a perfect partnership, as Carsten Peter is as fearless as the new Blast collection.
Ulysse Nardin takes us to different extremes with its Blast collection, launching four new timepieces to symbolize this explosive natural force, each dedicated to an extreme environment. To start, the Ice White Blast is straight out of the northern-most pole. With its white ceramic, blue accents, and titanium bezel, the Ice White Blast is reminiscent of a thousand-year-old glacier.
The second ice-inspired timepiece, the Blue Blast, transports you directly inside an iceberg with its titanium case and blue titanium bezel. Just the thought of it gives me the chills!
Now, let's head to the top of the Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii, one of the world's most active volcano. Hot magma solidifying and cooling is the inspiration behind the Ulysse Nardin Fire Black Blast. In a black ceramic case, accents, and bezel with a red crystal joint, the watch is magma hot. For the first time, Ulysse Nardin developed a red-colored balance wheel to encapsulate the volcanic look of the timepiece.
Last but not least, the Fire Rose Gold Blast that is made out of the world's most precious metal: Gold. The bezel has been made of black ceramic for its tenacity, and the bicolor tourbillon cage is rose gold and black PVD.
The Ulysse Nardin Blast collection is available in a variety of strap options, and prices range from $44,000 for the Blue Blast to $54,000 for the Rose Gold Blast version.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)