Tag Archives: Ulysee Nardin

Ulysse Nardin Upgrades its Dual Time Collection

Sometimes during Baselworld, the luxury watch industry’s annual fair, manufacturers show brand new designs and sometimes they will upgrade an already successful collection. This is what Ulysse Nardin did during the 2009 Baselworld.

Ceramic is one of the hottest new materials to work with for producing luxury watches. It is strong, sleek and requires the same type of craftsmanship that installing precious gems and stones does.

Ulysse Nardin took its popular Dual Time collection and upgraded it with ceramic, giving it a new, and more modern and exclusive look. Ceramic is now the main focus of the large 43mm Executive Dual Time watch. Both the dial and the bezel are made from black ceramic which looks great against either the stainless steel or 18K rose gold oversized Roman numeral hands, crown and case. Ceramic also comes into play on the two push pieces on the side of the case that can adjust the hour hand to a different time zone while the 24 hour indicator continues rotating in a window at the 9 o’clock position.

This watch also features an oversized 60-seconds counter at 6 o’clock and the two-window date display at 2 o’clock, plus the U.N. name and logo (an anchor) both available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold. Both watches come with either leather or rubber straps.

The Executive Dual Time is a perfect example of how to take a good thing and make it better. It’s also a smart move for watch companies because by upgrading an already popular watch, they invest less time and money into developing new designs and technologies.

The Half a Million Dollar Watch You Have Never Heard Of

There are so many high-end luxury watch brands that it’s impossible to know them all, but one would think that if a watch cost half a million dollars, you would have heard of the brand before, but (most likely) not in this case. It’s not a Cartier, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Ulysee Nardin, Hublot, etc.

It’s a Christophe Claret Dual Tow watch. You may not recognize his name but he’s been in the luxury watchmaking business for a long time, usually producing watches for others. The Swiss watch maker has been referred to as a genius and is the mastermind behind pieces like Harry Winston’s Opus 4 and Jean Dunand Tourbillon Orbital.

This is the first time in 40 years of watchmaking that a watch bears his own name: the Christophe Claret Dual Tow.

In an interview with Elite Traveler, Claret was asked about the technology and thought process behind his collection. This is what he answered:

“We are using very, very sophisticated computers for the design. In fact the software programs we are using are the same that movie studios use. It enables us to take the design of watches to a level that just would not have been possible before, but we still use the imagination and skill of the human being to create an innovation.”

He also uses a “super fast camera”, which “enables the watchmaker to see the watch operating in intervals of two-tenths of a second or a little bit less. We are one of only two or three companies in Switzerland that has an Ultrasonic Linear machine.” Claret has also invested in environmentally friendly machines and this costs money too.

He goes on to explain that millions of dollars are spent on the development of a watch and that really the only way to make a profit is to make about 50- 60 pieces at the prices that he charges.

The Dual Tow was released in a limited edition of 63 pieces. Each watch can be customized by the buyer through the designer’s website. Starting at $300,000, the price goes up depending on which options you choose. The entire case of the watch is available in either white or rose gold, platinum or PVD coated titanium. The watch itself is large; 42.75mm wide by 48.2mm tall. The lugs move to wrap around your wrist, while large sapphire crystals cover both the front and back of the watch, while smaller crystals allow for side view into the movement. The movement is an ultra complex tourbillon with mono-pusher chronograph consisting of 582 parts alone, and 73 jewels.