Hot on the heels of Ulysse Nardin’s latest introduction, the Blast, an automatic winding tourbillon wristwatch with a bold skeletonized design, comes its showstopping sister model, the Sparkling Blast.
Set with 211 diamonds cut into 85 different geometric shards, totaling 13 carats, the high jewelry wristwatch is designed to evoke a shattered mirror. The effect is nothing short of spectacular. Each diamond is invisibly set, meaning there are no visible prongs or bezels. The notoriously difficult technique, which requires the diamonds to be fastened in place from below, maximizes the return of light, resulting in a stunning display of fireworks. The gems appear to float inside the bezel and on the lugs as well as on Ulysse Nardin’s trademark X, which appears on the dial.
But the Sparkling Blast isn’t just another pretty face. The redesigned UN-172 in-house movement is equipped with a micro-rotor in platinum located at 12 o’clock, marking the first time the brand has opted out of using a traditional half-moon rotor (with the smaller rotor, the view of the movement is unmarred). The model also features a three-day power reserve and a 2.5 Hz silicium flying automatic tourbillon, the first in Ulysse Nardin’s Skeleton collection. The watchmaker’s biggest achievement, however, might be how much complication it packs into a relatively spare design.
“What is really impressive to me is that it’s such a complicated piece, yet it’s only made of 137 components,” says Kris Endress, after-sales service manager at Ulysse Nardin. “In this case, simplicity is the complexity.”
Available in two versions—an 18k white gold model on a white rubber strap and an 18k white gold model on a deep blue alligator strap, each limited to three watches — the Sparkling Blast retails for $410,000.