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It’s a Blast: Icebergs and volcanic eruptions inspire Ulysse Nardin’s new watches

Inspired by the Earth’s extremes, the new Ulysse Nardin Blast collection features several firsts for the brand, including a new movement, micro-rotor and self-deploying buckle.

It’s a Blast: Icebergs and volcanic eruptions inspire Ulysse Nardin’s new watches

The new Ulysse Nardin Blast timepiece. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

Last year, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin shook up the watch world with the introduction of a new timepiece to its X Collection. The Freak X was a reinterpretation of the unconventional, non-conformist 2001 Freak model that eschewed the conventional case, crown, dial and hands.

This year, the X family is getting a new member. Ulysse Nardin has announced a new collection, inspired by the Earth’s extremes. Appropriately named "Blast", the watch draws inspiration from Earth's most daunting natural activities, such as violent volcanic eruptions, cascading ice shelves, and ancient glaciers.

The watch sports a distinctive look, with angular, geometric lines and tessellated horns modelled after a stealth aircraft. Each triangle has a different finish, the surface of the horns alternating between polished, satin-finish and sand-blasted veneer.

This distinctive look of the timepiece is modelled on the same lines as a stealth aircraft. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

The effect is meant to be otherworldly, reminiscent of the “lunar landscapes of black, cold magma that surround a volcano and glisten under the light of the moon”, Ulysse Nardin said in a press release.

The watch boasts a new, powerful automatic silicium tourbillon nested in a bold, redesigned, X-shaped cage. Some Ulysse Nardin emblematic codes have been included – the rectangular frame, the three-horned signature fixing the strap, the smooth, coloured bezel, the verticality of the movement with the barrel at 12 o’clock and the flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

It's also powered by the recently fashioned UN-172 movement (an evolution of the UN-171 movement) with a three-day power reserve. Notably, the movement is skeletonised – allowing the wearer to marvel at this technological wonder.

Visible only from the front of the watch at 12 o’clock is a new micro-rotor, another first for Ulysse Nardin. Also making its debut is a new, patented self-deploying buckle, which lets the wearer release the strap with just one click.

All in all, the timepiece took 18 months to develop from concept to creation, Ulysse Nardin said. 

The Blast collection features four models, each measuring 45mm. All models feature the new manufacture UN-172 movement with an automatic tourbillon and the new self-deploying buckle. Three bracelets options are available – structured rubber, leather and velvet. 


White Blast. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

Boasting a colour palette of white ceramic, metallic grey and dark blue, this model is inspired by the Antarctica landscape. It features a smooth titanium bezel, while dark blue is used for the inscriptions on the barrel mentioning “Silicium Technology”, the Ulysse Nardin logo on the rectangular frame, and the watch’s sculpted indexes and hands, completed by Superluminova.


Rose Gold Blast. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

Forged from one of the most precious metals on Earth, this model features a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) middle case with solid gold horn, black ceramic bezel and bicoloured tourbillon cage. The sculpted rose gold indexes and hands are set with Superluminova.


Black Blast. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

Black Blast is the iconic model of this line. The model features a ceramic upper middle case and bezel, black rectangular bridge, red and black double “X” pattern and a stunning new red balance wheel – the first time that Ulysse Nardin has ever developed a coloured balance wheel.


Blue Blast. (Photo: Ulysse Nardin)

Designed to resemble the inside of an iceberg, the Blue Blast has a titanium middle case, blue titanium bezel, blue brass rectangular bridge, blue tourbillon cage, blue and grey double “X” pattern, metallic grey sculpted hands and indexes with Superluminova.

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Source: CNA/st(ds)