The Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon is a Racing Yacht for Your Wrist
Introduced at the 2016 Baselworld, the Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon looks like a classic racing yacht in miniature form. With a wood deck, winches, and an impressive minutes hand that represents the mainsail boom, everything about this watch is designed to put you in the mood for sailing. Even the dial, made of inlaid wood with just the right color scheme and curvature, mimics the look of a yacht.
The most striking feature of the Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon is bar far the minutes hand, a blue aluminum “boom” that hangs down from 12 o’clock. This feature swings across a minute scale that is stretched from three to nine o’clock, and is pulled across this scale by rigging screws and pinions that resemble the winches on the yacht deck. The fibers pulled by these mechanisms are made of Dyneema, a fiber that is also used in ship rigging.
This minute scale does not obscure the appearance of the deck itself, as it is displayed in translucent blue crystal. The hour is displayed in a window above the minutes, and the Ulysse Nardin logo is on the upper dial between a pair of maritime symbols. The UlysseNardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon will only be made in extremely limited supply – 18 timepieces in rose gold, and 18 timepieces in white gold. Each will be priced at $280,000.
The alligator strap with matching gold buckle adds to the overall feel of high class luxury, but this watch isn’t just for show. The entire piece is water resistant up to 100 meters, so the lucky owners can wear their yacht watch on their yacht without fear. The watch features other functional features, such as a regulator that maintains minute accuracy, despite the four-second delay as the boom swings back to zero after reaching sixty. This mechanism has a 48-hour power reserve, and was designed by Christophe Claret, a well-known name in Swiss watch design.
As far as exotic watches go, the Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon is clearly designed for a specific type of owner. However, manual-wind Caliber UN-630, with 469 components, is complicated enough to please any lover of high-end timepieces. The unique blend of style and smart function takes this watch well out of the realm of kitsch and into the land of true collector’s item.