Recently, Ulysse Nardin has demonstrated its boldness by designing ultra-modern watches with architectural openworked movements or complex displays. The brand is also about complications and, ironically, the simplification of these complications. One should keep in mind the work undertaken by the brand with Dr Ludwig Oechslin to simplify its perpetual calendar. In the same vein, one of the most emblematic displays by UN is the dual time and today this watch gets a complete overhaul. Meet the fully reshaped Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 42mm.
Making complex things simple was Oechslin’s philosophy regarding watchmaking during his days at Ulysse Nardin. He was the creative genius behind the Freak, the Trilogy of Time collection (a trio of watches named Astrolabium Galileo Galilei, Planetarium Copernicus and Tellurium Johannes Kepler), and of course, the Perpetual Calendar he created for the brand in 1996 to celebrate its 150th anniversary. But prior to that, in 1994, another watch made some noise, the Dual Time, with its patented instant time zone adjustment – one of the most practical of its kind on the market.
Now, in 2020, the brand has reshaped its strategy and remodelled most of its collections, with a far more daring design language and modern shapes. As such, the new Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 42mm isn’t the watch you’ve known in the past. Forget about the classic, round Dual Time of the early 2000s, the new models are sporty and contemporary. However, what hasn’t changed is the super-practical way of setting the time when travelling.
The Dual Time models have a case inspired by the brand’s recent creations, such as the Skeleton X with the iconic three-horn lugs and contrasting colours for the case and its bezel. Measuring 42mm in diameter, it is available in three versions: two of them are made from brushed stainless steel with a contrasting bezel in blue or in black; the third model is the top-of-the-range, with an 18k rose gold case and a blue bezel. The strap is perfectly integrated with the rest of the watch and is available either in alligator or in structured rubber.
The dial also recalls some of the boldest creations of Ulysse Nardin with its large Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and the central applied rectangle in the middle – a design element found in some openworked movements, here integrated into the display. The dial is sunray brushed and is available either in black or in blue. The applied indexes, hands and rectangle match the case material.
What really matters is the display, with central hours and minutes for the local time, a patented big date at 2 o’clock, a small seconds at 6 o’clock and, important, a circular window at 9 o’clock with a magnifier. This is your permanent home time indicator. Regarding settings, the Ulysse Nardin Dual Time is among the simplest to set. The central hour hand adjusts forwards or backward with the simple touch of the “+” and “-” pushers located opposite the crown. Changing the time zone when landing after a flight is a matter of seconds.
Powering this new Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 42mm is the calibre UN-24, an automatic movement fitted with the brand’s patented dual time module on top. Running at 4Hz, it stores 42 hours of power reserve. The movement, visible under a sapphire caseback, features a new oscillating weight with a prominent, encircled UN logo.