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Ulysse Nardin Watch

When it comes to Ulysse Nardin, it’s hard not also to think about innovative, avant-garde design. With a steady focus on the use of uncommon materials, novel mechanics, and artistic thinking, the brand in its modern history has made a name for itself with collections like the Freak, and so many individual watches like the Marine Mega Yacht and suggestive Classic Voyeur Minute Repeater, among so many others. This is not to say the brand doesn’t also tread in classic watch design from time to time, which they certainly do. In fact, much of the Marine, Diver, and even aptly named Classico collections do work in-step with very traditional styles and materials. But for these classic looks, it is undoubtedly Ulysse Nardin’s experimental work that catches the eyes of most luxury-inclined consumers.

Now, the brand is unveiling its latest experimental work in the industry, with three new timepieces that hold inventive thinking centrally from design to execution. Of these, we have the new table clock UFO, which started with a question posed by Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin, “What [would] a marine chronometer designed in 2196 be like?” After this, we come to the brand’s two wristwatch novelties, the first being the Blast Hourstriker which follows up on the original Blast unveiled by the brand last summer, and brings the brand’s signature sonorous complication to the unorthodox construction. And lastly, the brand is unveiling the new Diver X Skeleton, a new hybrid watch of the Diver X and Skeleton X design first unveiled in 2019, and in effect, bringing an uncommon skeletonized look to a 200-meter water resistant timepiece.
Turning first to the very uncommon Ulysse Nardin UFO, we come to an incredibly complex table clock displaying three independent time-zones and carrying a full year’s worth of power reserve via six manually wound barrels. The skeletonized aluminum creation is encapsulated via a 3mm-thick ovoid blown glass bell created by Romain Montero, a 26-year-old, Swiss-based artisan glassblower. Its total size from aluminum base to rounded glass top measures 263mm tall (or about 10 in.) and 159mm in diameter (6.25 in.). If the watch looks like something produced by MB&F rather than Ulysse Nardin, that’s because the creation was developed in close collaboration with renowned clockmaker Maison L’Epée, a brand which has been manufacturing traditional clocks since 1839 and is best known for their work with MB&F and bringing CEO Max Busser’s ideas to mechanical life. While dubbed the “UFO,” the piece of horological art takes its inspiration from rethinking marine chronometers rather than something interstellar. “Whereas [traditional] marine chronometers were housed in wooden boxes and set on gimbles to counteract the effect of the ship’s constant sway, [the UFO] reverses this … [making] waves when it is nudged gently.” In technical terms, the almost-16 lb. (7.2kg) creation rests upon a rounded bottom, swinging up to 60° from its axis without losing balance, with the tungsten weighted center of mass such that the clock avoids swinging too fast or tipping, and by extension, damaging the clock or affecting its timekeeping abilities.
Now turning to the first of the brand’s creations for the wrist, we find the Blast Hourstriker, which as mentioned follows up on the original 2020 Blast, a time-only avant-garde design. The obvious update for the model is in its use of Ulysse Nardin’s signature “Hourstriker” complication which we last saw in 2019 with the Hourstriker Phantom. The complication notably differs from a traditional minute repeater in that it only chimes hours and half hours, rather than smaller increments of time. Like the original Blast, the Hourstriker uses a large rose-gold 5N and black DLC titanium case, measuring 45mm by 16mm, complete with sharp faceting, meticulously brushed finished edges, and an overall very sporty appeal for a 30m water resistant watch. On its dial, the skeletonized look of the alternating rose gold, DLC, and metal components provide a particularly mechanical aesthetic, the style integrated with a six o’clock flying tourbillon and small on/off indicator for the Hourstiker complication. Speaking more to the chiming mechanism, Ulysse Nardin developed the UN-621 caliber specifically for the timepiece, with it serving as the brand’s first in-house automatic striking manufacture movement to be powered by a flying tourbillon. Like previous Hourstrikers, the Ulysse Nardin Blast features a Devialet amplification system developed by a team of engineers from Ulysse Nardin and the namesake French audio technology company Devialet. The system is essentially a super-thin metal membrane which amplifies the acoustic waves from the watch gong of the Hourstriker which, when combined with a torsion lever, “acts as the membrane of an electromagnetic enclosure, or more precisely, as the membrane of a phonograph head, the ancestor of the vinyl record deck.” In practical terms, it allows the sound to be louder, clearer, and more pleasant to the ear while using less overall power from the mechanical reserve.
The final release as part of Ulysse Nardin’s experimental group of 2021 novelties is the new Diver X Skeleton, an innovative hybrid watch celebrating the brand’s 175th birthday, being first founded in 1846, and limited to 175 editions.

At its core, the Diver X Skeleton is, as its name indicates, a skeletonized dive watch, living within a supremely uncommon category of watch both for the technical difficulty of producing a highly water resistant and durable sapphire-heavy timepiece, but also for the practical viability and consumer interest in a watch that reduces visibility on a category of watch renowned for just that. Practical and technical concerns aside, the model is a unique sporty wearer, experimenting with the very centerpiece of what it means for a watch to be a diver.

The large timepiece measures 44mm by 15.5mm, cased with large sapphire windows on its front and back, as well as blue PVD Carbonium, a super durable and lightweight carbon-based material which the brand originally used on its FREAK X. As a nod towards the growing awareness of the carbon impact watches and the larger fashion world are having, Ulysse Nardin mentioned Carbonium’s 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon-based materials, a historically energy-intensive material to create and shape.
On the dial of the watch, transparency reins with the redesigned UN-371 movement on display and the model’s namesake blue “X” serving as a center point for the watch’s large lume-filled hands, each pointing to matching indices on the outer edge of the plane. Like previous X-series watches by the brand, the Diver X Skeleton features a large barrel towards the 12 o’clock position, which in combination with the movement’s slowed 21,600 vph frequency helps provide the model with a higher 96-hour or 4-day power reserve.

Altogether, the Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton presents a seamless hybrid of design schemes produced by Ulysse Nardin in recent years, bringing various elements from across the brand’s collection into a well-executed timepiece. In this regard, and with a grain of salt for its viability as a practical dive watch, the watch effectively meets its purpose as a hardy commemorative timepiece to the innovative, marine-focused legacy of the Ulysse Nardin brand.

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Replica Ulysse Nardin VS Rolex watch

Once in a while we are asked questions like: “What’s better, a Ulysse Nardin or a Rolex watch?”. How can you compare two incomparable brands?

In this side-by-side comparison and review of Replica Ulysse Nardin and Replica Rolex we will try to answer the most common contexts in which this question is asked.

Ulysse Nardin VS Rolex
In-Depth Comparison
Let’s begin by listing a few of the many contexts in which “Which is best?” can easily be meant:

For your convenience, we’ll also list the general question categories. Click on any of the links below to jump to the section with questions discussing:

Which is a more valuable and more popular brand Rolex or Ulysse Nardin?
According to a report by Interbrand, Rolex has a brand value estimated at 7,387 million CHF (Swiss Francs) and is the 3rd most popular Swiss brand in the world. Nescafe and Nestle are the only two that surpass them. (Almost everyone consumes coffee and chocolate but not everyone has a Rolex.)

The above report covered the 50 most popular Swiss brands which included watch brands but wasn’t a report exclusively about Swiss watchmakers per se. A report from the year before Interbrand’s report was published covered just the top 20 Swiss watch brands. This Swiss watch brand report was published by BV4, a firm of brand valuation experts.

In this report, Rolex is once again the most popular and valuable brand and Ulysse Nardin is not found in the top 20. Mind you, that doesn’t change the fact that Ulysse Nardin is a master-watchmaker and manufactures incredibly well-made watches. They just fell short in a brand popularity contest of sorts and lots of that has to do with their marketing & advertising.

This is one of those cases where the younger brand (Rolex) has the upper hand. While typically in watchmaking, the most respected watchmakers are usually very old very established brands such as Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet, for example. Ulysse Nardin is over 50 years older than Rolex yet, Rolex has built an incredibly valuable brand as a watchmaker.

Which is more durable Ulysse Nardin or Rolex watches?
Ulysse Nardin has fine watches and they are built well but how would they stand up against Rolex’s patented Paraflex shock absorbers which are found in many of their watches? Or how the bezels stand against Rolex’s proprietary Cerachrom bezel inserts which are highly scratch resistant and impervious the discoloration associated with prolonged UV ray exposure?

Rolex has invested tremendous resources into improving their watches for day to day use and design many watches made for people with active lifestyles.  Many luxury watch collectors who own many fine watches including those from Ulysse Nardin also own a Rolex which they will use as their go-to every day “Beater” watch.

Ulysse Nardin, on the other hand, has beautifully finished movements and they put a lot of work in the craftsmanship and aesthetics of their movements and in terms of appearance, they are often more pleasing to the eye. In most cases,  several different finishing techniques are used on their calibers and the various plates within to allow them to really shine. 

Which has better water resistance Rolex or Ulysse Nardin?
Both Ulysse Nardin and Rolex have excellent diver watches equipped with enough water resistance for diving enthusiasts (enthusiasts being the operative word here) The Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver, for example, has a water resistance rating of up to 300m/1000ft which is adequate for impact sports such as board diving, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming.

What about diving professionals? What about some deep-sea diving? What if I want to touch the ocean bed at its deepest point known to man? Between Rolex and Ulysse Nardin, who has the best water-resistant watch (period)? Rolex has. While Ulysse Nardin does have one watch that is particularly better than their standard diving watches, this is, of course, the Ulysse Nardin Deep Dive 46mm which has 1000m/3300ft of water resistance the Rolex Deepsea and has 3900m/12800ft of water resistance. That’s nearly 4 times the water resistance compared to the most water resistant Ulysse Nardin watch.

Which is more accurate, a Rolex or Ulysse Nardin watch?
Let’s start with a primer on how accuracy is graded in the watch industry. At the moment the highest 3rd party designation for accuracy is the Chronometer designation which is issued by COSC. This designation means that your mechanical movement is precise within -4/+6 seconds per day.

Ulysse Nardin is famous for their Marine Chronometers which throughout history allowed ship captains navigate the great waters of this earth using charts that required very precise maneuvers which needed to be timed to perfection.

So, in terms of a question like “Are all Ulysse Nardin watches COSC certified Chronometers?” Most of their collections of men’s watches are such as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer, GMT Perpetual Calendars, even many of the watches in the Maxi Marine Diver collection. There are few exceptions though it’s always good to check that it comes with a COSC certificate if accuracy is a concern for you.

Rolex, on the other hand, has taken their precision testing a step beyond the standard COSC certificate. After receiving their movement back from COSC, they place the now COSC certified Rolex calibers in a case and put them through another series of tests which regulates them to even higher accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day at which point they give their own designation of Superlative Chronometer. All Rolex watches made these days (except for the Cellini collection) have this higher level of accuracy.

Who has more complicated watches, Ulysse Nardin or Rolex?
Ulysse Nardin and Rolex are both very skilled watchmakers. However, when it comes to what the industry calls ‘Haute Horlogerie’ or high horology …simply put: watches with high complications, Rolex falls short.

Ulysse Nardin, on the other hand, has plenty of watches with high complications such as a Tourbillon, Perpetual Calendar watch or even a mechanical Alarm complication. They can be found in the following collections:

What’s more affordable, a Ulysse Nardin watch or a Rolex?
In terms of their most affordable watches and considering the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the cheapest Rolex is the Oyster Perpetual 39mm which starts at $200 according to the Rolex price list and comes on a stainless-steel bracelet.

The most affordable Ulysse Nardin watch is the Lady Classico at a list price of $200 and for the men, there is the Marine Chronometer Torpilleur both with a list price of $200. Both watches come on a leather strap. A Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Torpilleur on a steel bracelet would run you about another $200.

What’s more expensive, a Rolex or a Ulysse Nardin watch?
On the higher end of each brand, you’ll find some expensive watches such as diamond-encrusted Ulysse Nardin tourbillon watches for over $1,000,000 and for Rolex fans you’ll find Platinum Rolexes with Diamond Bezels with 6-figure price tags.

Which holds its value more, a Ulysse Nardin or a Rolex?
Typically, a Rolex has a higher average resale value, more than any other brand in the business for that matter. There is more demand for a Rolex since it is a more widely known brand and they produce a very large quantity of watches each year. Their estimated output is estimated at about 2,000 watches per day.

Of course, there are always many variables that get considered with the valuation of a pre-owned watch. The things that are considered include and are not limited to the following:

  • the model itself (think limited edition, rare production flaws etc.)
  • the demand for a specific model (such as Rolex submersibles)
  • if it includes original papers and boxes, warranty cards etc.
  • if it is still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty
  • the condition the watch is in
  • if it was ever serviced and by whom it was serviced
  • the wear and tear on the straps

Many people say they want to “invest” in a luxury watch. It is not recommended to ever look at a fine watch as an investment. Watches are not the kinds of assets that usually appreciate. They do maintain a certain amount of their tangible value but should not be compared to any type of tradition security or investment.

They are like a vehicle in the sense that as soon as you use it, you can already expect it to lose a percentage of its purchase value. Yes, there are watches that have appreciated in value and have sometimes even more than doubled in value. However, these are few and far between and you should never count on this happening.