Ulysse Nardin Blast [Tourbillon Dragon]
The independent and integrated manufacture Ulysse Nardin embarks on an electrifying journey into the Year of the Dragon with a blast of creative energy, thrilling craftsmanship and horological prowess.
Since its debut in 2020, the Blast Tourbillon has established itself as the symbol of Ulysse Nardin’s unconventional know-how and design. With its angular, disruptive style, high-tech movement and iconic X structure, it emblemises Ulysse Nardin’s visionary spirit. To mark the Lunar New Year, this innovative edgy creation has been entwined with the ancient magic of Chinese folklore, where the majestic Dragon meets the alluring Pearl.
According to the traditional Chinese culture, 2024 heralds the Year of the Dragon. These revered creatures symbolise strength, power and good fortune. They are frequently associated with pearls, which represent purity, wisdom and wealth. When these two symbols come together, as in countless tales, they signify a harmonious blend of power, providence and prosperity.
These traditional representations show a dragon symbolically guarding a magical pearl. So it is with the new Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Dragon:
the dazzling mythical creature, hand-sculpted in 5N rose gold, coils its way around and through the skeletonised X structure, as though slithering out from within the movement itself. Before it, protected between its five-clawed hands, the mythical pearl sits in prime position atop the cage of the flying tourbillon. 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 inner dragon
In 2012, during the last Year of the Dragon, Ulysse Nardin presented the immaculate 88-piece limited edition, the Classico Enamel Champlevé Dragon, featuring a beautiful dragon artwork in enamel, a decorative art mastered by a handful of craftsmen and perpetuated by Ulysse Nardin. Fast forward to 2024, and this creature has exploded dramatically into life in three-dimensional form.
The creation of a 3D dragon appearing to slide its way beneath the watch’s hands and in between the plains of the gear train and the X structure presented significant challenges. Over a two-year development process, this has included designing this unique dial and making bespoke adjustments to the design of the Blast Tourbillon case, bezel, and glass-box crystal to accommodate this unique creation.
The rose gold dragon, engraved and micro-painted entirely by hand, is a testament to elite artistry and skill, demanding four days of craftsmanship – three days for the engraving, and one for the painstaking application of gradated shades of red, orange and yellow. Every 3D aspect is modelled and rendered with utmost precision, from the scales of its rippling tail to its gleaming whiskers and the individual details of its claws.
Worlds collide as this fantastical creature wraps itself around a masterpiece of high-tech, avant-garde horology: the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon. Audaciously structured behind the dragon and the skeletonized dial, the Blast Tourbillon’s manufacture movement, Calibre UN-172, is as unorthodox as it is ingenious. Ulysse Nardin’s first skeleton tourbillon calibre with automatic winding launched in 2020, it features a platinum micro-rotor visible at 12 o’clock, a tiny but miraculous device that delivers up to three days of power reserve.
As ever with Ulysse Nardin’s most advanced timepieces, the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock benefits from the Maison’s pioneering expertise in silicon fabrication. Introduced for the first time in 2001 with the revolutionary Freak, this material used for the escapement wheel, pallet fork, and balance spring adds further performance and resistance benefits.
With the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon, the movement and case are unified in both concept and construction – strikingly architectural, relentlessly modernistic, and emblematic of the independent Manufacture’s enduring mission to rethink and reinvent haute horlogerie.
The rose gold upper 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, all mounted on an integrated black alligator strap with a 5N rose gold and black PVD titanium folding clasp.
For those who seek the extraordinary and the daring, the Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Dragon is an embodiment of in-house innovations, métiers d’art and the magic of the Year of the Dragon. Fusing ancient mythology and cutting-edge horology, it invites you to celebrate the power and prosperity that this iconic symbol represents.
Ulysse Nardin is the independent Manufacture producing advanced timepieces for explorers in pursuit of freedom.
Founded by Mr. Ulysse Nardin in 1846, the company owes its reputation to its links with the sea: its onboard marine chronometers are among the most award-winning and reliable ever designed.
A pioneer in innovative technologies and the use of high-tech materials such as silicium, Ulysse Nardin is one of the few integrated manufactures with the in-house expertise to produce its own high-precision components and movements. In 2001, the Maison changed the face of contemporary watchmaking by launching the first Freak.
Today, in the Swiss towns of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds, Ulysse Nardin remains devoted to its quest for watchmaking perfection in four collections: Freak, Blast, Diver and Marine.
As of 2022, Ulysse Nardin and sister Maison Girard-Perregaux have formed an independent collective of high horology Manufactures.