The Keeper of the Pearl: Meet Ulysse Nardin’s Blast Tourbillon Dragon

Introduced in 2020, the Blast Tourbillon stands as a symbol for Ulysse Nardin’s technical excellence and stunning design approach. Featuring an angular and disruptive style, its genuine movement and the bold X structure of the dial beautifully exemplifies the avant-garde spirit of this independent Swiss manufactory. In celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Ulysse Nardin presents a captivating rendition of this horological masterpiece, weaving a narrative of ancient Chinese folklore into it, the Blast Tourbillon Dragon.

Here, the majestic dragon is the keeper of the enchanting Pearl, akin to the mythical creature, a symbol of purity, wisdom, and wealth. The unlimited edition is presented in a pink gold case with a diameter of 45mm.

Tiny yet powerful in appearance thanks to its details, the sculpture— hand-chiseled in 5N rose gold— coils its way around and through the skeletonized X structure, as though slithering out from within the movement itself. With its five-clawed paws, it guards the pearl that sits atop the cage of the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The choice of five claws is not incidental; associated with Imperial dynasties, five-clawed dragons are traditionally seen as to signify the highest prestige.

The dragon sculpture testifies to the manufacture’s special artistry and skill, demanding four days of craftsmanship–three days for the engraving, and one for the painstaking application of host of shades of red, orange and yellow. Every 3D aspect is modeled and rendered with utmost precision, from the scales of its rippling tail to its gleaming whiskers and the details of its claws. 

The rose gold case, with its angular facets and its opulent variations in satin-brushed and polished finishes, is paired with a bezel and case middle in DLC-blackened titanium and equipped with a see-through case back. It brings to life Ulysse Nardin’s self-winding manufacture caliber 172, which is equipped with the brand’s innovative silicon balance spring, escapement wheel, and pallet fork. Thanks to its skeletonized nature, the 3-day movement allows deep insights into the beautifully finished mechanical inner workings.

The Blast Tourbillon Dragon is not the first special edition honoring the dragon. In 2012, during the last Year of the Dragon, Ulysse Nardin presented the 88-piece limited edition, the Classico Enamel Champlevé Dragon, featuring a beautiful dragon artwork in enamel, another rare craftsmanship perpetuated by Ulysse Nardin. 

Pricing is marked at $100,600 (tax excluded).

To learn more, visit Ulysse Nardin, here.

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  1. Gerry Dimatos

    A once revered brand that made marine chronometers are now making watches that are irrelevant with almost no brand recognition left…

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