The X factor

The X factor

Ulysse Nardin tourbillon timepieces continue to shake things up

The X factor
Rose Gold Blast.

'We were born to shake up things and challenge ourselves," Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux once said. "The Freak X and the Skeleton X aren't just inspired by adventure. They are the call."

In answering its call, the Swiss brand had a blast in redesigning Skeleton Tourbillon. It actually took 18 months, from conception to creation, in materialising the new Blast collection.

Its designers drew inspiration from aircraft and Earth's extremes, from the Antartica to the Pacific Ring of Fire, in the making of four versions, housed in a reworked 45mm X-shaped cage.

The X is an underlying theme of Ulysse Nardin collections, such as Freak X, Skeleton X and Diver X.

The X-factor in the design is its shape-within-shape-within-shape geometry, as an X is framed in a rectangle, both inside a circle.

The Skeleton X represents the brand's X-ray vision of a timepiece that brings out the inner beauty of its architecture and mechanism.

Black Blast.

Blast features the Skeleton Tourbillon's hallmarks, such as the smooth coloured bezel and the movement's verticality with the barrel at 12 o'clock and the flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock

The new look recalls the same lines as a stealth aircraft, designed with aligned edges and serrated triangular patterns, in order to deflect radio waves and make the military planes invisible to radar.

Ulysse Nardin designers have restyled the watch horns, making them strong and geometric like the aircraft's sharp wings. The surface of the aerodynamic horns appealingly alternates between polished, satin finish and sand-blasted veneer.

Other features include the triple-toothed round bezel, the double X that clamps the movements together, and a self-deploying buckle, which releases effortlessly in just one click thanks to a patented three-blade system.

Powered by the UN-172 movement, the model also boasts a new automatic silicium tourbillon and platinum micro-rotor, visible only from the front of the watch at 12 o'clock.

Defining itself as the "Manufacture of Freedom", Ulysse Nardin was the first to use silicium in haute horlogerie, and "Silicium Technology" is inscribed on the barrel.

Its watchmaking facilities are located in La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle, the latter where Ulysse Nardin established a workshop in 1846.

The brand's innovative and imaginative spirit is embodied in Blast, whose four models evoke fire and ice.

The titanium Black Blast features a ceramic upper middle case and bezel; black rectangular bridge; a red and black double X pattern; and a red balance wheel. The crystal joint, jewels and lacquered inscription on the barrel are also in fiery red.

Rose Gold Blast exudes fire through the gleaming precious metal and black elements, such as DLC middle case, ceramic bezel, the X and the rectangle.

In contrast, the titanium White Blast recalls Antarctica's glaciers through its white ceramic parts and a palette of metallic grey and blue as well as its transparency.

Blue Blast is also housed in a titanium case, with the bezel, brass rectangular bridge and tourbillon cage in a blue that represents the cool colour inside an iceberg.

The X-factor is an underlying theme throughout Ulysse Nardin watches including Blast powered by the UN-172 movement .

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