Ulysse Nardin Specialities Watches Review: Minute Repeater, Enamel,
To counterbalance the unprecedented engineering complications of the Freak and of the Trilogy of Time (Astrolabium, Planetarium, and Tellirium) collection, Ulysse Nardin offer artistic watches that exhibit the brand's penchant for miniature painterly compositions.
These pieces may incorporate one complication, which becomes the central theme around which the dial pirouettes, or none at all – whereby the image on the face becomes the central attraction, and the reason for he watch's existence. Common materials include enamel, platinum, and white gold.
Many of the specialities are no longer available from official retailers: the company upholds a policy of limited production, continuously introducing fresh motifs. The Genghis Khan collection, for instance, would be produced for a period of six years.
Within the specialities, Ulysse Nardin specialize in minute repeaters. Lines include Genghis Khan, Circus, Triple Jack, Forgerons, and Jungle – some of which are no longer in production. The watches feature a manual winding mechanism with 48 hours of power reserve, and the repeater complication – a gong chime that has been carefully tuned by a master watchmaker.
The dial theme consists of hand crafted golden figurines that become animated – appear to move, strike bells or various instruments – when the repeater is activated. Black onyx face supports the scenery (except the enamel jungle model).
Ulysse Nardin boast their mastery of enamel cloisonne (nearly forgotten) craft by creating San Marco and Kremlin. Platinum watches contain an automatic self-winding movement, and present a detailed, hand painted architectural reproduction of the Red Square Kremlin, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, and other iconic buildings.
Other San Marco pieces (Lady, Gigante, Alarm, Big Date) offer simpler, single tone enamelled dials – and appropriate Classico inspired designs – that cover officially certified chronometer movements. Ulysse Nardin have stopped manufacturing the majority of this collection, effectively making the watches collectors' artefacts.