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Ulysse Nardin Complication Watches Review: Freak, GMT, Perpetual,

Updated on January 7, 2015

Ulysse Nardin Complications

Ulysse Nardin muster their complicated timepiece into one dedicated collection – similarly to what Patek Philippe do. Unlike the latter brand, however, UN designers and associates do everything in their power to create unorthodox, conceptually unprecedented mechanisms and industry innovations. Freak, Trilogy of Time, Genghis Khan, and a range of other, often minute or hour repeating complications, fall under this category.

But the brand also manufactures traditionally complicated watches. Various models from existing collections, such as Michealngelo and Dual Time Quadrato, encase a perpetual calendar with a GMT enhancement; Sonata Cathedral Dual Time adds on an alarm instead of a perpetual calendar. These pieces present more or less familiar designs: some exotic touches, but nothing too shocking overall.

Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral
Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral


Ludwig Oechslin – a scientist, anthropologist and watchmaker – designed the Freak line. One can't help but think, when looking at this man's resume, that expertise in extra-industry fields inspires fresh approaches in making watches. Freak watches completely abandon any tuning mechanisms, incorporating instead a Dual Ulysse Excapement (made of silicium) that doesn't require any oiling. The bizarre appearance compliments the engineering.

Sonata Cathedral

Is a small line of alarm watches that feature a semi openworked dial. Two analog subdials at eleven and one o'clock display the alarm setting and the countdown; an additional hour subdial rests at six o'clock in dual time versions (can be adjusted in both forward and backward direction.). A small hand at nine o'clock show whether the alarm is on or off.

GMT Perpetual

Watches combine a perpetual calendar with a GMT indicator (central hand), and encase the almost standard certified chronometer movement. In terms od dial design, the faces exhibit either a wave guilloche, or a clear silverized surface.

Interestingly, these timers are notable mostly for their willingness to conform to the norm: being round, nd traditionally assembled, they appear almost conventional when compared to the recent “freakish” additions. As such, they become important elements in Ulysse Nardin oeuvre, embodying the brand's original watch making principles.


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