Ulysse Nardin at Geneva Watch Days 2021 – Marine Torpilleur

At the heart of Ulysse Nardin lies the Marine Chronometer, and its pursuit of chronometry and precision since 1846. Historically, these instruments formed a crucial part of the ship, sometimes being one-third of the cost of the entire ship. Rightly so, as precise timing was required for navigation with the stars – 1 second of inaccuracy could lead to around a 460m deviation of the ship’s position.

With this exacting precision, Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Chronometers met the demanding standards of the US and Russian Navies, just to name a few. With 175 years of chronometric precision behind it, the modern Ulysse Nardin honours its history with 7 new Marine Torpilleur models – Dial animations of the existing Marine Torpilleur, an all new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase, the new Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph, and the ultra-luxe Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon.

Marine Torpilleur Dial Animations

The “Montre-Torpilleur” that the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur watches are based on. In particular, take note of the marine chronometer in the box, as well as the top left reference.

Based on the traditional “torpilleur” Marine Chronometer – a smaller, pocket watch sized version of a Marine Chronometer, the modern Marine Torpilleur echoes this historical sentiment with a dial that is reminiscent of the original models issued to the US Navy. Power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, and subsidiary seconds display give the watch a very balanced look, with the date hidden at 6 o’clock. Housed within a 42mm stainless steel case that is 50m water resistant, the watch exudes classic aesthetics with its Roman numerals and cathedral hands.

Marine Torpilleur Panda – new for 2021

For 2021, Ulysse Nardin brings the Marine Torpilleur Panda – a silver dial with deep blue coloured subdials, limited to 300 pieces worldwide. In addition to this, an exquisite blue enamel version is part of this release, as the Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel, with enamelling executed by Donze Cadrans (Ulysse Nardin’s specialist dial house). Limited to 175 pieces, the enamel dial is sure to please enthusiasts looking for a watch steeped in history. 

Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel – with special blue enamel dial from Donze Cadrans for the 175th anniversary of Ulysse Nardin

The multi-layered, multi-part dial of the Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel, highlighting the work that Donze Cadrans does with Grand Feu enamel

Both watches are equipped with the calibre UN-118, manufactured in-house by Ulysse Nardin, with a 60 hour power-reserve, and incorporates DIAMonSIL technology in their escapements (anchor and escape wheel for greater reliability over time. The watches come on either a brown or blue alligator strap with a steel deployant buckle, but the watch is also compatible with the Ulysse Nardin rubber strap, metal bracelet or the R-Strap, made of recycled fishing nets.

Marine Torpilleur Moonphase

The white varnished dial version of the new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase, pictured with a historical calendar pocket watch from Ulysse Nardin

Marine Chronometers would be used with the stars for astral navigation, ensuring that a ship’s course would remain true even at night. Continuing the classic aesthetic of the torpilleur Marine Chronometers, the Marine Torpilleur Moonphase conjures the poetic nature of the night sky, and evokes the environment that a Marine Chronometer would have been used in. Also using a 42mm stainless steel case that is 50m water resistant, the watch brings a further complication with its moonphase indicator, neatly nestled inside of the subsidiary seconds dial. 

A close up of the sun-brushed blue PVD dial version of the Marine Torpilleur Moonphase

Two watches are in this new release – one with a sun-brushed dial with a blue PVD finish, and a white varnished dial. The blue dial model includes polished cathedral hands, whilst the white dial model has blued hands. Both watches are limited to 300 pieces each.

Housed within the steel case is the in-house Calibre UN-119 that is an evolution on the UN-118, adding a moonphase indicator, as well as incorporating the DIAMonSIL technology for the escape wheel and anchor for reduced friction between these crucial components. The movement also features a 60 hour power reserve, and comes on either blue or brown alligator leather straps on a stainless steel deployant clasp. Ulysse Nardin’s stainless steel bracelets, rubber strap and R-Strap are also compatible with these references.

Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph

The Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph with a sun-brushed blue PVD finish, pictured alongside a heritage chronograph pocket watch

Combining the precision of the Marine Chronometer, with modern watchmaking seems like a no-brainer for Ulysse Nardin, and for the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph, this could not be further from the truth. Historically, Ulysse Nardin called on Dr Ludwig Oechslin, formerly the curator of the Musee International d’Horlogerie to create an efficient annual calendar mechanism that is adjustable forward and backwards. This gives the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph a user-friendly interface that is not seen in many other watches.

The Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph with a white varnished dial, on blue alligator – a handsome and user-friendly annual calendar chronograph

The watch features a 44mm stainless steel case, with chronograph and calendar subregisters at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock respectively. Housed within the month indicator at 9 o’clock is the running seconds indicator, giving the watch a very clean appearance. The date makes an appearance in a round aperture at 6 o’clock, and the watch is offered in two versions – sun-brushed with blue PVD finishing, and a white varnished dial. Both watches are limited to 300 pieces each.

Housed within the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph is the in-house Calibre UN-153, which is an upgraded version of the UN-150 that came before it. Once again, this utilises Ulysse Nardin’s DIAMonSIL silicon technology, and features a 52 hour power reserve. These watches come with either a blue or brown alligator leather strap on a stainless steel deployant buckle, and is compatible with the brand’s environmentally friendly R-Strap.

Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu

The Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu – High tech materials meets tradition and heritage.

Arguably the most impressive of the new Marine Torpilleur releases, the notion of chronometry is further reinforced with the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu. Equipped with the UN Constant Escapement Tourbillon, this twist on the tourbillon utilises compliant mechanisms made from silicon to ensure a constant delivery of power to the balance wheel to ensure regular timekeeping and isochronism, whilst making the movement slimmer, with no bridge required for the pallet lever.

A close-up of the compliant mechanism crafted in silicon housed within the UN Constant Escapement Tourbillon. The escape wheel is also made of silicon

Housed within a 42mm rose gold case, the watch again exhibits great classic Marine Chronometer traits with its large Roman numerals, as well as the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. The dial is crafted from black Grand Feu enamel, from the famed Donze Cadrans, Ulysse Nardin’s enamel specialist, and the watch is mounted on a black alligator strap with rose gold deployant buckle. The watch is also compatible with a Ulysse Nardin rubber strap, or the brand’s eco-friendly R-Strap.

The remarkable movement housed within the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu is the Calibre UN-128 Constant Manufacture, with automatic winding and 60 hours of power reserve.

Ulysse Nardin has paid tribute to its roots in Chronometry with these new Marine Torpilleur models, and rounds out a year that shows off the brand’s forward thinking designs, as well as the provenance of its maritime history. The new Marine Torpilleur releases from 2021 commemorate the 175th anniversary of this heritage, combining this with modern manufacturing and materials in Haute Horlogerie.