Ulysse Nardin mightn’t be well known in Australia, but found fame with buffs as the first manufacture to incorporate silicon parts in a watch movement, which is no mean feat.
That was two decades back in a model called The Freak and aside from that and a range of marine-themed and colourful GMT watches – popular especially in enthusiast hubs like Singapore – there’s been little reason to take special note of the maker.
Two things though have happened: Avstev (think Girard Perregaux, Raymond Weil and until recently Frederique Constant) now represents the brand in Australia, bringing new energy to bear on things, and Ulysse Nardin itself has lifted its game.
Three new watches from UN illustrate the point. Our favourite is the Diver Le Locle (above), a nicely sized 42.2mm piece that pays homage to Ulysse Nardin’s past.
While inspired by a 1964 model, the technology is pure 2017 down to a self-winding in-house movement with, fittingly, silicium technology. With 100 metre water-resistance, it comes on a sailcloth band and will be priced at $14,700.
A second retro piece is the Classico Paul David Nardin (above), a watch modeled after a 1945 timepiece.
What’s so good about this model? Its elegant and timeless good looks. There’s a vintage-inspired silver-toned dial with small seconds indicator, round date window and Arabic indexes, and the case is a restrained 39mm presented on a calf brown leather strap.
A self-winding in-house movement powers things, and again you’re looking at around $13,000.
The third watch that caught our eye – in a raft of UN newcomers – is an elegant Perpetual Ludwig (above and below), a $29,000 proposition that looks almost Lange & Söhne-like.
There’s the silver dial and blued hands, a big date in a double window with month, day and year displays – as well small seconds. The case is 41 mm, water resistant to 30 meters.
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