Since 1846, Ulysse Nardin has continued to introduce iconic timepieces full of wonderful ingenuity and extraordinary technical achievement. Part of this achievement comes from the company’s determination to master every aspect of the craft in-house. For this ongoing video series about the Swiss watch brand, WatchTime sat down with Massimo Bonfigli, the brand’s heritage director, to talk about Ulysse Nardin’s history, and the latest watch dedicated to the partnership with the US Navy:
Ulysse Nardin and the US Navy: A Story of Time
The pioneering partnership between Ulysse Nardin the United States Navy began in 1905, when the Washington Naval Observatory organized a competition for ‘Precision Torpedo Boat Timepieces.’ The goal of the competition was to supply the US Navy with the best available on-board chronometers. These precision timepieces, given to superior naval officers, were meant to provide the torpedo boats with an hour of reference as accurate and reliable as those on the largest naval vessels. Ulysse Nardin won the competition several years in a row and became the official supplier of the American Navy.
“Semper fortis,” “always strong” – the US Navy motto, equally describes the philosophy of Ulysse Nardin and its engineering team, which carries within its proud traditions a stalwart drive for reliability and an unwavering determination to master the measure of time.
The Marine Torpilleur Military US Navy is the new US Navy Torpedo Boat watch. A limited edition of 173 pieces – for the 173 years since Ulysse Nardin founded the company – pays tribute to the brand’s unmatched marine heritage. The 44 mm wrist chronometer carries the DNA of its ancestors, the historic US Navy timepieces of the past. Guaranteed water-resistant to 50 meters, its sapphire-protected dial is faithfully based on the first on-board timepieces to equip navy vessels. The blue hands, too, are identical to those on the earliest pieces. Precision is guaranteed by the certified UN-118 automatic-winding movement, which uses Ulysse Nardin’s cutting-edge silicon technology and has a 60-hour power reserve. One of the more striking elements of the design is the number “24” written in red on the power reserve indicator, a direct reference to the warning system on the original marine chronometers, which let sailors know that only 24 hours of power reserve remained and that the watch needed to be rewound immediately. The open case back is laser engraved with “US Limited Edition” and the “Semper Fortis” motto. Four oversized stitches adorn the blue sailcloth strap, another reminder of its storied past.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Military US Navy is a magnificent representative of the brand’s origins and continued prowess – a guardian of marine history and a modern archetype turned decisively towards the future.
Movement: Caliber UN-118 in-house designed movement, silicium technology, COSC certified, power reserve approx. 60 hours
Case: 44 mm, stainless steel polished & satin-finish case, fluted bezel
Water-resistance: 50 m
Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Strap: Sailcloth blue strap with four oversized white stitches