Ulysse Nardin is a brand that gives you an idea of its expertise upon seeing its logo—the block letters of the words ULYSSE and NARDIN has an anchor sandwiched between them. You already know it—whoever created the brand must love the ocean and everything nautical. Not only that, he also truly has great passion for meeting the need for marine chronometers.
It started with a vision
You wouldn’t fully understand the value of the timepieces from this brand if you don’t know the timeline of its leadership starting from the founder, Ulysse Nardin. He was a visionary man who banked on his belief of growing market for navigational timepieces. With that belief, he aimed to strike out on making his own precision marine chronometers. That decision catapulted the brand out into the watchmaking industry.
After his early death at age 53, his son Paul-David Nardin immediately rose to leadership. After only two years, he already bagged a gold medal for his pocket and marine chronometers. Chasing the goal for innovation allowed Paul-David to get more rewards for the company, reaching up to 18 international medals (gold), 4,300 awards for watchmaking, and patents for their new technology.
Despite the great achievements of the label for the first four decades of existence, Ulysse Nardin eventually faced the threat of the sudden rise of quartz watches. The right solution to the threat came when Rolf W. Schnyder bought the company in 1983.
Under a different leadership
Ulysse Nardin set on a smooth sail to its progress, after the turning point of Schnyder meeting Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, a watchmaking genius. The label then continued on to create new wave of designs and innovation, including the incorporation of new materials, such as silicium.
The goal to always produce iconic and high-quality timepieces became part of the succeeding years of Ulysse Nardin, until more positive changes came to the company. The label found a new partner and ally in Kering‘s Luxury Watches and Jewellery division. The partnership pushed the brand forward into reaching new heights with its innovation.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Grand Deck.
These five collections are at the front of Ulysse Nardin’s pieces today. All of these prove the creativity that goes into each of the brand’s timepieces, ensuring that each design is unique.
‘Marine’ and ‘Diver’ both reflects the love of the brand for anything nautical, stemming right from the very beginning. Technical performance such as high water resistance, unidirectional rotating bezel, and many others are important for these collections, as the user will depend a lot on their sports watch.
‘Executive’ answers the need for modern and bold designs for the modern business people. On the other hand, ‘Classic’ brings out the tradition of watchmaking, somehow a throwback to the mesmerizing beauty of timeless pieces that will remained fashionable forever.
And lastly, Freak gives opportunity for the creative people to express themselves even through watches. This collection features avant-garde designs, not-your-usual timepieces with hands, crown and dial. Are you intrigued? Good, because that’s what the effect of ‘Freak’ really is.
Ulysse Nardin big watch clock display in Amsterdam, Holland. Nieuwland Photography
Awards & recognition
As already stated above, Ulysse Nardin have more than 4,000 recognitions and awards given to the label, and counting still doesn’t stop. Today, the brand still has a lot of edge over other timepiece labels, making it a true contender for more awards in the future. Let’s just have a quick review of the most recent awards the label received.
2015 was a good year of Ulysse Nardin, with it getting recognition as the Best Technical Innovation Watch of the Year 2015 in Dubai. The Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon was also awarded during the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2015, with the Tourbillon Watch Prize. It was a well-deserved prize for the total of 8 years of research put into it. Later on that year, it also got the Watch of the Year Prize and Prix Orologio Orologio dell’Anno.
In 2016, Ulysse Anchor Escapement enabled Ulysse Nardin to win the Technical Achievement Award for the ‘pioneering spirit’ behind the model. And just last year, 2017, the Sport Watch Prize was given to the label in Geneva during the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie.
More appreciation came in that same year, as the label got the Best Holidays Man’s Watch and the Watch of the Year during the Temporis Gala Awards 2017 in Bucharest. Three more award for the same year came in—from Vogue Joyas in Spain: Best Complicated Watch; from Dubai’s 12th Middle East “Watch of the Year” Awards: Best Technical Innovation Watch; and from Span: “Premio del Publico” prize.
The sail continues
The sail through Ulysse Nardin’s journey isn’t exactly an easy one. It may seem fine when told as a story, but employees, watchmakers and leaders of the label toiled hard to reach where they are now. It was a span of 170 years of impeccable design, committed workforce, innovative craftsmanship and continued vision to meet the ever-changing demands for timepiece for anyone. As it continues to traverse through the path of success, we’ll surely be seeing more of the label, not only in the best watch awards, but more importantly, on the wrists of its many patrons.
Shop for Ulysse Nardin Timepieces Online
Ulysse Nardin Boutique in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Sorbis