Surprise in Silicon: Ulysse Nardin Wows with Blast Free Wheel Marquetry at GWD 2023

Ulysse Nardin’s surprises once again with technological innovations and daring designs by introducing the new Blast Free Wheel Marquetry, presenting silicon as a material that is not only ultra-technical but also highly artistic. As a tribute to the movement of the iconic Freak, the first incorporating silicon in 2001, the UN-176 Manufacture caliber also reveals on the face of the watch its wheels, flying tourbillon with Ulysse Anchor Constant Escapement, which was awarded with the Tourbillon Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2015, barrel and 7-day power reserve display, which all seem to fly over this impressive mosaic masterpiece with no visible attachment. 

While Ulysse Nardin has presented several limited editions of the Freak X adorned with a multi-colored silicon marquetry disc since 2019, it is the first time this craftsmanship comes to life in the Blast collection. 103 radiant blue marquetry slivers adorn the dial of this masterpiece, turning it into a captivating artwork.

Because the variation of micron-precise matt and mirror-polished surfaces and the use of two different thicknesses (0.30 and 0.35 mm), their changing reflections and contrasts accentuate the three-dimensionality in a mesmerizing way.

It goes without saying that assembling the small silicon plates to decorate a single dial represents multiple hours of work for the artisans, who must demonstrate incredible dexterity to avoid breaking or marking these extremely fragile jewels. Furthermore, the case back of the Blast Free Wheel Marquetry is embellished for the first time of a blue silicon plate, proving that the use of this high-end material has been taken to a new level.

Meeting another achievement, the beauty of this unconventional timepiece is expressed in a white gold 45mm Blast case with its negative angle facets designed using a complex laser method. Renowned for its disruptive aesthetic and ergonomic properties, this case proves once again the cutting-edge know-how of the independent Manufacture. Perfectly echoing the marquetry motif, its geometric lines feature an ultra-glass box that offers a wide-open view of the mysterious movement, which is also visible through the sides. 

Pricing of the Blast Free Wheel Marquetry is marked at $137,200 USD (tax excl.).

To learn more, visit Ulysse Nardin, here.

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