Ulysse Nardin is kicking off Geneva Watch Days with a bang. The Swiss watchmaker was among the first to debut a new timepiece for the new watchmaking trade show in Geneva, which officially begins tomorrow and runs through August 29th. The new Ulysse Nardin Blast is an automatic winding skeleton watch, in four iterations, with a silicium flying tourbillon that makes one revolution every 60 seconds. Its structure features the brand’s now pervasive X symbol, which was also incorporated into the design of its Diver X and Skeleton X watches, released last year.
“The X is, of course, an important letter of the alphabet. It’s a chromosome. X marks the treasure. X is a movie classification and it is used for multiplication,” quipped Ulysse Nardin North American brand president, François-Xavier Hotier. “It is the unknown and it defines what is different and exciting and audacious.”
The Blast features a few bold new moves. The UN-172 caliber, which was completely designed and produced in-house according to the company, comes mounted with a platinum micro-rotor located at 12 o’clock—a first for Ulysse Nardin—that allows for a better view of the skeleton’s architectural “bones” versus a half-moon rotor which obscures the movement. It is also the first automatic tourbillon in Ulysse Nardin’s Skeleton collection. Secondly, the trident-shaped case, which was a year in development, comes with striking high-polished triangular facets. The finishing is done via a laser to create its sharp polished edges.
Thirdly, a new kind of deployment buckle was developed for the watch, that will be used going forward in other models, which features a patented three-blade system allowing the wearer to close and open both sides of the strap simultaneously for easier use.
Four variations are on offer including the 5N rose gold model ($54,000), pictured above, with a black DLC middle case and a black ceramic bezel, the Black Blast ($46,000) in a ceramic upper-middle case and bezel with a red balance wheel, a White Blast ($46,000) in white ceramic with a titanium bezel and a Blue Blast ($44,000) in a gray titanium case with a blue titanium bezel. Each piece is 45 mm, with 72 hours of power reserve (requiring just 12 turns of the crown to power it for 24 hours), and is available on alligator, calfskin, velvet, denim and structured or plain rubber straps.
With only 137 components and 25 jewels, Ulysse Nardin has managed to pack plenty of complex-looking showmanship into a rather easy-to-use piece for a collector looking for some wrist flair without the requirement of an instruction manual.