Ulysse Nardin has introduced a new line of openworked tourbillon wristwatches to sit alongside the Executive Skeleton range it launched in 2017. The new collection is called Blast and features an automatic movement with a silicium tourbillon and an imposing angular multi-part case.
The striking 45 mm-wide case has sharp angles, which the brand claims is inspired by the design of stealth aircraft (like the F-117 Nighthawk). While you may need a particularly active imagination to see the resemblance between a watch case and a sophisticated fighter plane, the case does has a sculpted heft thanks to some sharp angles, especially around the lugs which appears to have a triangular chunk carved out of its shape.
The surfaces of the lugs have a brushed finish while the triangle bit has a polished finish. There are four different variations of the case and each version has a different combination of material for the middle case and case ranging from titanium to ceramic and rose gold.
For example, “Ice: White Blast” uses a white ceramic lugs that extend to the upper middle case and a metallic grey titanium middle case and bezel. The second model “Fire: Rose Gold Blast” has a black DLC middle case and rose gold lugs and a black ceramic bezel.
The third “Fire: Black Blast has a ceramic upper middle case and bezel and a new red balance wheel – the first time that Ulysse Nardin has ever used a colored balance wheel. The fourth model “Ice: Blue Blast” has a titanium middle case and a blue titanium bezel. These edges and differences in finishes play off the light very well and the case is water-resistant to 50 meters.
The open-worked dial has the familiar rectangular frame seen on the Executive Skeleton range. The dial is anchored by a silicium flying tourbillon at 6 o’ clock ensconced within a redesigned X-shaped cage. The platinum micro-rotor that powers the new automatic UN-172 movement is visible dial-side near the 12 o’ clock position.
Ulysse Nardin pioneered the use of silicon in watchmaking, and on this movement the Escapement wheel, anchor, and balance spring are made from this material. The escapement oscillates at 2.5 Hz (18,000 vph) and the movement has a power reserve of 72 hours.
The movement is held together by “double X” bridges that are visible on both sides of the movement, a construction that Ulysse Nardin refers to as a “secret-agent style” sandwich. The watch is paired with an integrated strap with a self-deploying buckle which releases in just one click. There are three options as far as the strap goes – structured rubber, leather, and velvet.
As far as the prices are concerned: Blue Blast (Ref: T-1723-400/03) is priced at €44,000m, Black Blast (Ref: T-1723-400/BLACK) is priced at €46,000, White Blast (Ref. T-1723-400/00) is at €46,000 and Rose Gold Blast (Ref: T-1725-400/02) is €54,000.