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A timepiece that honors oil-industryBASELWORLD 2015: Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Oil Pump shines in Gold

The latest edition to the Exceptional Collection, the Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Oil Pump is a timepiece that honors industry. Adorned and delicately hand-engraved in gold, and enameled in black, the dial is one of significance, depicting the magnitude of oil fields and the harmonic rhythm of their oil pumps at work, unearthing fuel to power the world.

A limited edition of 18 pieces in rose gold and 18 pieces in platinum, the Hourstriker Oil Pump is a force all its own. The realism of the dial imagery and its influence give it a potent allure, its detail so precise that you feel as if you could step inside and be engulfed by the scene.

The timekeepers appear even more lifelike, for the arms of the oil pumps are Jaquemarts. These animated figures move up and down in concert with the sound of a gong striking the hours – on the hour and on request. The oil pumps move in sync with the hammer hitting the gong. Although a very complex mechanism, the Hourstriker is simple for its wearers to function. The striking mechanism can be activated or deactivated by simply pressing pusher one. When the striking indicator is pointing towards the hour glass (on the left), the striking is deactivated; if aimed towards the point, the striking mechanism is activated. One of the earliest manufacturers to lead the rebirth of the striking mechanism, Ulysse Nardin also remains among the rare watchmakers to use Jaquemarts.

Equally exclusive is Ulysse Nardin’s masterful hand in the art of enameling, a discipline deeply valued by the manufacturer and its collectors. For this piece, Ulysse Nardin went even further, adding the challenging technique of hand engraving. As a first step, the highly specialized engraver handcrafts the form of the gold plate, defining the thickness of the cells and shaping the lifelike pictures. Then, the master enameler fulfills the enameling process using genuine black enamel. In this method, cavities in a thick metal surface are formed, filled with moist powdered enamel and fired until it melts. When the surface cools, it is sanded by hand to remove excess enamel and polished to allow its true brilliance to break through. The plate is then returned to the engraver for their expert finishing touch. At the end of this laborious practice, oil pumps, pipes, buildings and landscapes appear to come to life.

The Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Oil Pump represents high horology at its finest, fusing age-old traditions in watchmaking with state-of-the-art technology to create a timepiece that pays tribute to the world stage of commerce.