Best Of The Best 2006: Royal Treatment
The Ulysse Nardin Royal Blue Tourbillon indicates that company president and owner Rolf Schnyder, one of Christophe Claret’s earliest patrons, still elicits some of the complication specialist’s best work. Plates and bridges made of transparent and blue-tinted sapphire glass lend an ethereal appearance to the Royal Blue. A flying tourbillon and a circular winding ring in the bezel provide a clear view for admiring the movement’s primary components.
Although Schnyder conceived the Royal Blue, the challenge of constructing a functioning model fell to Claret. Hundreds of man-hours and countless pieces of broken synthetic sapphire later, Ulysse Nardin began producing the Royal Blue at its headquarters in Le Locle, Switzerland. The tinted plates, genuine blue sapphire accents, and, of course, blue steel screws make Royal Blue one of the year’s most intriguing watches. Schnyder and Claret’s timepiece also serves as a reminder that intercompany collaboration remains a potent force in watch design.