Quantcast

Ulysse Nardin Updates the Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel with Crazy New Dials

These new limited editions do anything but dial things down.

Ulysse Nardin Executive Free Wheel Courtesy of Ulysses Nardin

In an industry besotted with vintage timepieces, Ulysse Nardin stands out as something of a contrarian. The brand has nurtured a reputation for producing forward-thinking wristwatches since 2001, when it debuted the Freak, whose ground-breaking lack of a crown, hands and dial was in step with the watch’s pioneering construction; the piece marked the first time silicon appeared in a watch movement.

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel in White Gold

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel in White Gold  Courtesy of Ulysses Nardin

In 2018, the brand took that reputation to the next level with the Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel, a far-out looking timepiece distinguished by components that seem to free-float across the dial. Presented in rose gold and white gold versions, the model has been revived this month with four offbeat new dial iterations, manufactured in a limited edition of 18 for each design.

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel in Rose Gold with Aventurine Dial  Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin

“The concept of flying components from the Free Wheel allows Ulysse Nardin to play with the background,” says a brand representative. “This ‘out of space’ timepiece needed to be magnified with special executions, to highlight the flying wheels. We wanted to use special materials for a special timepiece.”

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel in Carbonium Gold  Courtesy of Ulysses Nardin

Each of the four faces is radical in its own distinct way. One piece bears a dial made of osmium, a heavy, rare and dense platinum group metal found in trace quantities, mostly in ore ($102,000). Deep blue aventurine, a translucent form of quartz characterized by inclusions that lend it a shimmery appearance, graces the dial of a second edition ($99,000). A third piece features a dial decorated with shiny, black-dyed straw applied using a 17th century technique known as straw marquetry ($99,000). And a fourth piece is fronted by a dial composed of a space-age material called Carbonium Gold, a combination of aeronautical carbon fibers, a pre-pregnated resin composite and gold particles ($99,000).

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel

Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel in Rose Gold with Black Dyed Straw Dial  Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin

Equipped with UN-176, an in-house, manual-winding movement featuring silicium technology—in a nod to the brand’s experimental roots—and approximately seven days of power reserve, the models come in 44 mm 18-karat white gold and rose gold cases on black or blue alligator straps.

More Watch Collector