INTRODUCING: Ulysse Nardin UFO Table Clock Final Editions
The futuristic marine chronometer bows out with a bang. Well, three, to be exact.
Although better known these days for its avant-garde timepieces such as the Freak and the Blast Tourbillon, Ulysse Nardin first established its reputation as a maker of highly accurate marine chronometers in the late 19th century, supplying over 50 of the world’s navies and international shipping companies. As a call-back to its rich heritage, the Manufacture unveiled the UFO (Unidentified Floating Object) table clock in 2021 to celebrate its 175th anniversary. Rendered in dark blue, all 75 pieces of the original were snapped up, and the one-off orange version went under the hammer for the Only Watch charity auction that same year, fetching CHF380,000, which was well above its CHF60,000 to CHF80,000 estimate.
Despite this success, Ulysse Nardin made the surprise announcement that it has just released the final editions of the UFO. The only consolation here is perhaps that there are more pieces up for grabs than before in three distinct colourways, each with a limited run of 30 pieces and designed exclusively for a specific retail partner – ice blue for Bucherer, green for Yoshida, and closer to home, champagne for The Hour Glass. We may be biased, but we think the latter looks the most distinguished of the lot.
Besides the updated hues, the new UFOs are identical to their predecessors. The result of two years of research and prototyping in collaboration with clockmaking specialist L’Épée in Delémont, it is a modern interpretation of a marine chronometer with a playful twist. Instead of being mounted on a gimbal to defy the effects of gravity, the 159mm by 263mm clock takes the form of a nautical buoy, with an aluminium base loaded with a tungsten mass, so the timepiece can rock like a roly-poly toy with up to 120 degrees of motion but still return to the upright position on its own. Therefore, the UFO is quite weighty, tipping the scales at 7.2kg.
However, the airiness of its exposed movement belies the clock’s heft. Comprising 675 components, the Calibre UN-902 table clock movement displays three time zones via three skeletonised trapezoidal dials placed at different positions surrounding the open-worked calibre, which imbues the clock with a cutting-edge look. Most notably, the manual-winding movement has a whopping 365-day power reserve, thanks to its six mainspring barrels as well as an extra-large 49mm balance wheel beating at a leisurely frequency of 0.5Hz (3,600vph), which sits atop the mechanics and under the emblematic Ulysse Nardin anchor.
Encasing this horological masterpiece is a 3mm-thick glass dome measuring 150mm by 250mm. Handblown in VQT’s atelier in Neuchâtel, the making of this clear domicile alone is a feat of dexterity and mastery, as even the slightest imperfection in its shape, material or thickness would distort the 360-degree unfettered view of the clock’s intricate inner workings. And reportedly, only one in three domes produced can achieve the required quality to be mounted on the UFOs.
Individually numbered and priced at S$96,500, the champagne edition of the Ulysse Nardin UFO table clock is available in Singapore exclusively at The Hour Glass.
End of content
No more pages to load