Muted palettes and subdued design dominated in 2020, informing much of 2021, which was to be expected after the year that was — but some things appear to be back to “normal”. And by “normal” we mean the bold brilliance that we’ve come to expect from Ulysse Nardin, now seen in its new shimmering diamond-studded Skeleton X. The sparkling arms, and accompanying Roman numerals are like a deconstructed Maltese cross, capturing through design an expression of rigour and courage much needed this year, and all yours on a tray if the bank balance permits.
The good news is that your investment also supports Ulysse Nardin’s environmental commitment to the guidelines of the UN and sustainable development goals (SDG). Because of its natural interest in the marine world, the manufacturer has chosen to prioritise SDG 14: reducing marine pollution and increasing oceanographic knowledge.
Ulysse Nardin unveiled its 42mm Skeleton X in 2019, which showcased the manufacture’s watchmaking prowess. Drawing attention to the matter, the company has added two models to the collection this year, embellished with diamonds “for enthusiasts of exclusive and sparkling timepieces”. The white titanium version has a mother-of-pearl decoration on the barrel and a white alligator strap, and the black 4N pink gold version has a black PVD brass barrel cover and a black alligator strap.
The new pieces are decorated with 80 diamonds on their bezels and 69 on the dials. The marvel of these meticulously open structures is that all secrets are revealed and we can see what makes these magnificent timepieces tick. Ulysse Nardin pioneered the use of silicium in its movement components with the launch of Freak in 2001. Clearly visible inside is one of the Freak Vision’s greatest innovations: an extra-wide, super-light balance wheel in silicon, with nickel flyweights and stabilising micro-blades. The UN-371 calibre manual-winding movement is based on the UN-171 movement, but completely redesigned with a frequency of 3Hz (21,600vph). The 96-hour power reserve is displayed through the apertures on the barrel visible through the caseback.