Ulysse Nardin Watches: An Introduction

Sep 04, 2019
Ulysse Nardin Watches: An Introduction

by Chanel Lim


As a new collector, you may or may not have heard of Ulysse Nardin watches.


Ulysse Nardin is an innovation-devoted brand whose inventions have changed the course of maritime navigations in the 1870s. Despite its technological breakthroughs in the watchmaking industry, it is, unfortunately, less well-known than newer brands. It is mainly due to the brand’s more taciturn marketing style.

Innovating Since 1846

Nonetheless, Ulysse Nardin’s contributions to both the trade and watchmaking industries cannot be undermined. In 1846, the young Ulysse Nardin had set out to create the pocket and marine chronometers. These watches were precise enough to be used in sailing, opening a new world for traders to navigate accurately and efficiently across continents.


Innovations such as the 24″ split-second pocket chronograph and tourbillon escapements marked the brand’s achievements. For the next 170 years, Ulysse Nardin has broken world records in the watch industry for precision and technology.


With a brand that has such a long-established heritage, it does get a little difficult to choose from its wide array of collections, most especially if you are a new collector. To make things simpler for you, we have collated a list of Ulysse Nardin’s finest collections and highlighted their best features below.

Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Collection

First up on our list is Ulysse Nardin’s Marine collection. The watches in this collection are perfect embodiments of modernity with a tinge of vintage nostalgia. The dial is reminiscent of a compass and the numerals are in Roman to recreate the novelty of the nautical spirit.


Different from other time-only watches, Ulysse Nardin brings it to the next level by including the date and chronograph functions. Although they look like mere embellishments for design purposes, they add so much character to the watches that many collectors are swooned over by their addition.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer

front view of Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Ref. 1186-126-3/43 watch

One particularly eye-catching timepiece in this collection is the Marine Chronometer in 18K rose gold case and blue dial. With striking colours and a large watch face of 43mm, it is a bold and impressionable piece. It is water-resistant up to 100 metres and has a screw-down security crown. Like most of Ulysse Nardin’s newest crafts, a silicium and diamondsil technology seal this watch.

Ulysse Nardin Classico

front view of Ulysse Nardin Classico Automatic Ref. 8156-111-2/91 watch

If you are into sleek and simple designs, this collection suits you well. Every timepiece in the Classico collection carries a tranquil and sophisticated aura with it, whether you match it with a vibrant or a basic outfit.


One of the more prominent timepieces in this collection is the Classico 40mm Automatic in 18K rose gold and ivory dial.


Don’t let the seemingly plain and empty case design fool you; it takes extra effort to create such a non-complicated yet elegant look on a watch. Ulysse Nardin had purposefully removed the location of the company to provide more space between the name and the anchor. Upon closer inspection, you would notice that the dial changes tones and patterns when the light hits differently due to a special galvanic process adopted during the creation. This gives rise to the term ‘eggshell dial’.


One distinctive feature that sets this self-automated watch apart from the rest is the hacking movement it executes to stop the seconds hand instantaneously when adjusting the time.

Ulysse Nardin Freak

front view of Ulysse Nardin Freak X Rose Gold Automatic Ref. 2305-270/02 watch

When one mentions Ulysse Nardin, the evolutionary ‘Freak’ collection immediately comes to mind.


With multiple awards under its belt since its launch in 2001, the Freak watches feature the brand’s most prominent experimentation: the use of silicon components.


One of the more popular choices in this series is the Freak X Rose Gold Automatic with a black dial. It features the aforementioned tourbillon, which rotates the balance wheel to create a never-ending movement. This movement is visible on the watch face and adds an overall enthralling attractiveness to its design.


That’s not all there is to this timepiece. It also comes with a self-spinning carrousel movement that circles its own axis and a large personal central oscillator.


If you love complicated and elaborate designs, this watch should be number one on your list. Its indexes and bridges come with Superluminova to ensure visibility both day and night. Despite all these highly technological improvements, it would come as a surprise to you that its price is scaled down to be more affordable than other collections and its previous models (almost 1/5 the price of the Freak Vision).

Ulysse Nardin Diver

front view of Ulysse Nardin Diver Black Sea Chronograph Ref. 353-90-3C watch

True to its name, this collection produces a selection of sports watches that are suitable for advanced diving. Most watches have a water resistance of 100 metres at most, but the Nardin Diver exceeds that by three times. It certainly lives up to the brand’s culture of pushing limits.


Boasting a diameter of 45.8mm, the Black Sea Chronograph is one of the most eye-catching timepieces in this collection. Powered by an automatic calibre UN 816, it displays the power reserve clearly for your convenience. The Diver also has a unidirectional rotating bezel equipped with silicon technology — evidence that Ulysse Nardin includes its signature feature in each of their craft.


The Diver completes the look you’re going for — whether you’re in your swimming trunks or dressed to the nines.

Insider’s Info

There isn’t a brand quite like Ulysse Nardin. Their constant aim towards smaller movements and higher technological installations creates endless boundaries for future innovations. They are one of the last few to continue productions of their hairsprings and escapements traditionally in-house.


Their insistence on preserving their roots and representing their heritage in their timepieces is admirable. If you are considering a Ulysse Nardin watch, you would certainly be satisfied by this assemblage of functionality and beauty.


Interested in other luxury watch brands? Check out our feature on Audemars Piguet Watches.

Leave A Reply
To Top