Many of the top Swiss watchmaking houses produce elaborate large-format limited edition timekeepers to flex their horological muscle and design elan. But in the case of Ulysse Nardin’s fascinating UFO objet d’art, created to celebrate the brand’s 175th anniversary, the practice is particularly apt and fitting. In the 19th century – the golden age of maritime trade and military – on-board marine chronometers were essential for accurate navigation.
From its inception, Ulysse Nardin has been crafting impeccable award-winning marine chronometers that have kept more than 50 admiralties afloat as well as an untold number of merchant vessels, global-mapping explorations and scientific expeditions. These timepieces constitute the beating heart of the brand itself and their latest timepiece, the UFO, consummates all of the watchmaker’s expertise, heritage and artistic capabilities into one single object.
Housing 675 intricate components, 365 days of power reserve and a representation of the spot-on time in three time zones, it forms a vision of what the artisans and craftsmen at the watchmaker predict a mechanical marine chronometer will be in another 175 years; all while being a hyper-accurate timekeeper with extraordinary visual appeal you can use on your own yacht, today. “This unidentified floating object is truly a UFO in the watch world,” says Francois-Xavier Hotier, President of Ulysse Nardin Americas. “As we are celebrating the 175-year anniversary of our manufacture, the UFO pays tribute to Ulysse Nardin’s historical marine chronometers with a futuristic reinterpretation of our heritage. It is a rare and extraordinary timepiece for those who love the sea and have a passion for navigation.”
Each UFO is wrought in lightweight aluminum (along with some cutting-edge tungsten and classic brass materials) and encased in a buoy-shaped bubble of hand-blown 3mm-thick artisan glass. While the wooden-boxed marine chronometers of the past had to compensate for the rocking motion of a sea vessel, the UFO is actually designed to rock gently back and forth, putting the power of the ocean waves to work. Your time-telling on board will not only be accurate, it will be a kinetic-art event.
Limited to only 75 pieces, ulysse-nardin.com
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