The interplay of light and innovationBASELWORLD 2013: The Skeleton Manufacture by Ulysse Nardin
An independent watchmaker specializing in innovative techniques, Ulysse Nardin unveils the Skeleton Manufacture, its first timepiece featuring a skeleton caliber that has been fully developed and manufactured in-house.
With this watch, the Le Locle-based Manufacture combines cutting-edge technology with an aesthetic exploration of the themes of transparency and simplicity. The Skeleton Manufacture is an impressive and unique contemporary timepiece that pays tribute to the brand’s prestigious past.
Purity and transparency
Skeletonizing is a subtle art that requires both watchmaking know-how and an artistic sensibility. The aim is to reveal the inner workings of the movement by reducing the structure of components to a bare minimum, allowing light to penetrate freely through. Ulysse Nardin’s Skeleton Manufacture is a brilliant example of this endeavor.
The watchmaker’s new movement has been specially developed for this occasion, and instantly seduces with its refined architecture and perfectly balanced proportions. The barrel at 12 o’clock mirrors the escapement placed at 6 o’clock. Above the latter is a ratchet wheel engraved with the brand name, insignia and the power reserve. Surfaces are decorated with an eye-catching contrast of bead-blasted and polished finishes. Color variations enhance the visual interest of metallic components. Crimson rubies sparkle among the hand-beveled bridges embellished with a satin-finish “sunray" decoration.
On the version with a red gold case, each train wheel is rhodium-plated, while those of the platinum version are finished in glowing straw-colored 18-carat yellow gold. The blue of the steel screws echoes the azure tone of the silicon components. The specially designed hands are inspired by a gently curved leaf shape and are skeletonized at their tips. Recalling a Ulysse Nardin caliber from 1922, the back bears a screwed-in plate engraved with the serial number, making each timepiece unique.
Since it was founded in 1846, Ulysse Nardin has distinguished itself with its pioneering approach. The accuracy and quality of its timepieces have forged an unrivalled reputation for the brand in the rarefied world of fine watchmaking. Perpetuating this spirit, Ulysse Nardin has been a forerunner in the use of silicon, which it featured in a watch for the first time in 2001.
The Skeleton Manufacture is an elegant showcase for this exceptional know-how: nestled within the hand-wound mechanical movement is a flying tourbillon that comprises a balance spring, anchor and escapement wheel made from silicon. The power reserve offers an impressive duration of 170 hours.