Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin turns 175 years old this year, and the brand has used the milestone to great effect, launching numerous new timepieces in commemoration, including the Diver X Skeleton, Lemon Shark, and Blast Hourstriker, among many others. This week, at Geneva Watch Days, Ulysse Nardin marks its founding year with its largest set of commemorative editions yet: a seven-model expansion of its historically inspired Marine Torpilleur collection. The launch includes new movements, complications, and enameled dials, all produced in limited quantities and bearing the signature “Chronometry since 1846” at 6 o’clock on the dial. The models also feature a lightened minutes circle to further distinguish them from the core collection.
The Marine Torpilleur collection debuted in 2017, described by Ulysse Nardin as an “avatar” of the brand’s history, which is firmly rooted in its 19th-century origins as a producer of marine chronometers. The collection takes its name from a type of boat called a torpilleur, which is a small, swift-moving vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle against larger, more heavily armed battleships. The name is a double-entendre of sorts, speaking to both the historical inspirations for the models’ design, and to Ulysse Nardin’s dedication to punching above its weight in the competitive market of luxury watchmaking.
Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel
Leading the commemorative editions is the new Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel. The model, as its name indicates, features a grand feu blue enamel dial, developed in a collaboration between Ulysse Nardin and Donzé Cadrans, the independent enameling workshop based in Le Locle, Switzerland that was acquired by the manufacture in 2011.
The watch recalls classic marine chronometers in its overall design, with notable elements like a pair of cathedral hands, Roman numerals, and two subdials for the power reserve and running seconds. The latter subdial, at the 6 o’clock position, incorporates an integrated date window. A lightly fluted outer bezel provides additional retro style for the 42-mm x 11.73-mm steel case, while the self-winding Caliber UN-118, made in-house, provides chronometer-level timekeeping and holds a 60-hour power reserve.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel will be limited to 175 editions, each marked at $11,500.
Marine Torpilleur Panda
Capitalizing upon rising trends for bicolor contrast on watch dials, Ulysse Nardin has also included among its 175th-anniversary commemorative collection the Marine Torpilleur Panda. The watch itself is notably similar to the Blue Enamel model, yet starkly distinguished from it by its white varnished dial with blue subdials — a style nicknamed “panda” for its resemblance to a panda bear’s face, though traditional “panda” dials usually opt for black-on-white rather than blue-on-white. Regardless, the style is a novel take on the Marine Torpilleur design, applying a modern industry trend to a historically-informed base design.
The 42-mm Marine Torpilleur Panda is also powered by the manufacture Caliber UN-118, and it is limited to 300 total pieces, with a price of $8,200.
Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph
As its name suggests, the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph is a watch that combines a chronograph with an annual calendar function, available in either matte-blue or varnished-white dial options.
The pair is inspired by pocketwatches produced by Ulysse Nardin from 1936 to 1980, which the brand says were particularly accurate timekeepers, able to measure time to 1/10th of second. The 2021 editions take influence from both these historic models as well as from the Marine Torpilleur’s predecessors from the 19th century, in essence adding a 30-minute chronograph counter to a classic marine chronometer dial. The watch also features an annual calendar display on its 9 o’clock subdial, which also integrates a running seconds counter.
Beating inside the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph is another manufacture movement, Caliber UN-153, a modified variation of the base UN-150. Both color options are limited to 300 pieces, priced at $12,100.
Marine Torpilleur Moonphase
In addition to an annual calendar, Ulysse Nardin has also introduced a new moon-phase complication to the Marine Torpilleur series as part of the commemorative launch. The Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is available in either varnished white or sunray blue dial editions.
The watch’s now-familiar marine chronometer-inspired look is differentiated here foremost by its small 12 o’clock power reserve and larger 6 o’clock moon-phase indicator. The UN-119 movement that drives the Marine Torpilleur Moonphase stores 60-hours of power reserve. Both references are limited to 300 pieces and priced at $9,900.
Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Enamel
The haute horlogerie headliner of Ulysse Nardin’s 175th anniversary launch is the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Enamel. Featuring a grand feu enamel dial similar to that of the Blue Enamel described above, this timepiece stands apart with its rose-gold case, black dial, and its open, flying tourbillon movement, the highly visual Caliber UN-128. Offering a 60-hour power reserve like its siblings, the automatic movement contains Ulysse Nardin’s patented, GPHG-award-winning constant-force escapement.
The Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Enamel is limited to 175 pieces, priced at the top of the range at $48,400.
To learn more about the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur commemorative editions, visit the brand, here.