Watch Review: Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual

Ulysse Nardin GMT PerpetualThe latest in our end-of-year series on calendar watches, excerpted from a feature in WatchTime’s December 2010 issue, is our review of the Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual, which combines a perpetual calendar with a second time zone. Click here to read the article and see original photos by Nik Schölzel.

The Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual, emphasizes ease of operation. It is the only perpetual calendar in which you can set the date forward or back via the crown. First you pull the crown out to the second position and set the minute and hour hands forward or back until the correct day is shown. Then you push the crown back to the first position (which requires a bit of fine motor skill) to set the large date display forward or back. If you pass the 31st day of the month going in either direction, you will also change the month. If you go from December to January or vice versa, the year will change as well.

It takes about 45 minutes for the day and date to change completely. When advancing from February 28 to March 1 (when the date must change four times) this process takes about three hours. Shortly after 12 o’clock the GMT Perpetual shows all the correct calendar information.

The calendar displays appear to be distributed somewhat randomly on the dial. The large date display (which is very easy to read) is located near the top of the dial and the day is placed within the seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, the month on the opposite side of the dial and the last two digits of the year at the bottom at 6 o’clock. There is a triangle-tipped GMT hand that points to the 24-hour track on the inner flange that is divided into two colored sections for day and night.

Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual - front

Pushers marked with “+” and “-” on the left and right sides of the case are used to advance the hour hand by one hour forward or back. The GMT hand continues to show the home time — a practical feature when traveling into a different time zone.

This caliber is derived from the movement developed in 1994 by Nouvelle Lemania for the Ebel chronographs and the perpetual calendar for Ulysse Nardin. The calendar mechanism was designed by Ludwig Oechslin for Ulysse Nardin. The beautiful rotor bears the brand logo, an anchor on a blue background.

Like the movement, the case, dial and hand-sewn strap are nicely finished. However, the strap is quite stiff when new and detracts from the watch’s overall wearing comfort. Nonetheless, for $64,900*,  the customer gets a remarkable perpetual calendar that is easy to set.

Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual - back

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds;    second time zone; perpetual calendar with large date, day, month, year
Movement: Cal. UN 32, automatic; 28,800 vph; Triovis fine regulating system; COSC-certified chronometer; power reserve = 48 hours
Case: White gold, nonreflective sapphire crystal, six screws fastening the caseback, water-resistant to 30 meters
Price: $64,900*

(Prices are circa December 2010 and are subject to change.)

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  1. Debashish

    Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual looks like a fabulous watch, though quite expensive!

    Thank you for the nice report, only wish it was a bit more detailed with some more pictures!

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