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Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Moonphase 42mm

Ulysse Nardin has a long and storied history when it comes to nautical navigation and marine chronometry. For decades, if not centuries, marine navigation relied on the position of celestial bodies. The introduction of precision instruments such as marine chronometers revolutionized navigation at sea. Founded in 1846, meaning the brand celebrates 175 years of watchmaking this year, Ulysse Nardin quickly gained fame for producing precise marine deck chronometers. In what is a celebratory year, UN honours its past with seven new Marine Torpilleur models, one of which we’ll be taking a closer look at today, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase 42mm.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase collection, introduced as a sub-collection in Ulysse Nardin’s emblematic Marine range, was launched in 2017. While inspiration still clearly stems from the early days of marine chronometers, the updated style of the Marine Torpilleur made it a simpler, lighter version around the classic nautical theme. As Rebecca already explained in the introductory article of the entire 2021 collection earlier this week, the name comes from small and manoeuvrable torpedo boats introduced in the 19th century.
The new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is a first within the portfolio, as there have been moon phase watches before, but not in this collection. It is a perfectly fitting complication, considering the Moon played a significant part in astral navigation in the early days and is responsible for ocean tides.
The recipe for the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is still very much what you would expect from Ulysse Nardin. A large dial with elongated Roman numerals, double-register layout (12 and 6 o’clock), and classical spade and whip hands. Two versions are introduced: a blue PVD dial with a sunray brushed finish and, like the model in our photographs, a second version with a white varnished dial. The markings are white or black, depending on the dial colour, and the hands are rhodium-plated or blued steel. As said, new to the Marine Torpilleur is the moon phase indication. Integrated into the slightly recessed small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, it features a deep-blue PVD disc with stars and a textured moon. And not only does the complication feel appropriate, but it also looks great within this signature Marine design.
For both models, the stainless case is 42mm wide and 11.13mm thick and features the classic fluted bezel. The movement inside is the UN-119 manufacture movement, which uses a silicon hairspring and a Diamonsil escapement and anchor. Running at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations/hour (or 4Hz), it delivers 60 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the winding rotor, decorated with two UN anchors, and elegant decoration with circular Geneva stripes and bevelled edges. And, of course, the movement is a certified COSC chronometer.
Four references of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase are launched as both the blue and white dials are available on either a blue or brown alligator leather strap.