Ulysse Nardin Is Making Waves With Their New Diver X Skeleton And UFO Marine Clock
The brand continues its “vertical odyssey” with its attention-grabbing Diver X Skeleton watch and futuristic marine clock, the UFO.
At Watches & Wonders 2021, Ulysse Nardin has chosen to package its three new releases in the form of a vertical odyssey, taking in the ocean depths, the surface of the sea, and the Earth’s stratosphere.
We have already taken a look at the stratospheric component of that odyssey with the “sound barrier-breaking” Blast Hour Striker repeater with in-house automatic striking movement and stealth airplane-inspired case.
Now it is time to discover the sub-sea and sea-surface elements of that vertical voyage.
Introducing the Diver X Skeleton
The three-part journey begins underwater with the new Diver X Skeleton, which fuses the dive-grade tool-watch credentials of the Diver X series with the openworked stylings of the Skeleton X line.
It is a bold-looking piece, not least because of its 44mm steel case – water resistant to 200m and treated with blue PVD – and concave, unidirectional bezel featuring an inlay of blue Carbonium.
Moreover, the visible fibers of this cutting-edge carbon composite bezel make for a visually arresting background to its orange and white markings. Also in orange are protective rubber inserts flanking the crown.
Stealing the show on the dial side is the openworked dial showing off UN-371 movement. It is essentially the same movement that is in other Skeleton X models but with a few upgrades.
Here the Ulysse Nardin construction team has reworked the UN-371 to include automatic winding and an oscillating weight in the shape of the prominent X-shaped bridge. This new architecture leaves plenty of space to observe the gears, the blue Carbonium barrel cover, and the silicon balance and escape wheel.
But it is through the back of the watch that you can see the large X-shaped oscillating weight motion, which also resembles a pair of marine anchors, echoing the brand’s logo.
According to Ulysse Nardin, brand ambassador and Belgian freediving photographer Fred Buyle has already given his professional thumbs-up to the Dive X Skeleton and will be wearing it on his next daring descents.
Available with either a sporty orange or blue rubber strap, the Diver X Skeleton is priced at $22,200 and is a limited edition of 175 pieces, a nod to the brand’s 175th anniversary, which it celebrates this year.
Introducing the UFO Clock
To commemorate the brand’s 175th anniversary and its rich heritage as a maker of marine chronometers, Ulysse Nardin has also unveiled the avant-garde UFO clock, which constitutes the sea-surface part of the vertical odyssey.
Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux explained the thought process behind the celebratory creation, saying: “Reissuing a watch from the past by reusing vintage codes was not part of our creative intentions for this anniversary object. Rather than a leap backward, we wanted to make a leap forward of 175 years and wondered what a marine chronometer designed in 2196 would be like.”
True to Its Name
Short for Unidentified Floating Object, the UFO clock is true to its name, as it not only looks like a buoy that floats on the sea, but it even behaves like one. Its half-spherical, blue aluminum base is packed with a tungsten mass that lets the 7.2kg clock sway back and forth on a desk- or tabletop without toppling over.
Under the 3mm-thick, hand-blown glass bell is a mind-blowing movement supplied by high-end clock specialists L’Epée 1839, which powers a triple time zone display and deadbeat seconds.
At the top of the mechanical tower, the huge 49mm balance beats super slowly, taking two seconds to make one oscillation.
The movement isn’t just a joy to behold; the low 0.5Hz frequency plus six – yes, six – large mainspring barrels gives the movement a whole year’s worth of power reserve.
The UFO is limited to just 75 pieces. Each one is presented with its winding key, user manual, and warranty card in a treasure-chest case. Price upon request.
For more information, please visit Ulysse Nardin’s website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)