The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta watch hands-on
Ulysse Nardin has made its official come-back to the PalExpo, where it confirmed, for a second time, as it already did at the 2016 edition of Baselworld, that it is among the brands, who are able to release the highest amount of new timepieces, both quantity-wise and quality-wise. Not everybody knows that but Ulysse Nardin was the first manufacturer to make use of silicon and, for a brand, which is revamping its image, attending the Geneva event was the first strategic move to make. With the 2017 introduction of the new Marine models, it looks like the company headquartered at Le Locle aimed at making its sports products even more recognizable and at reinforcing its image as a brand that is historically linked to the world of chronometry.
In about 100 days, the 35th America’s Cup will kick off and the partnership agreement between Artemis Racing, the Swedish opponent, and the Swiss brand is appearing more and more obvious even to those, who didn’t know anything about this partnership at all; a 1:1 Artemis Racing boat was installed at the brand’s booth and an even more interesting fact is that this was the perfect setting to take some wonderful pics of the sports model of the Marine collection, among which is the Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta 2017 that is really standing out from the crowd. The Regatta timepieces have multiplied this year and so have the partnerships between the America’s Cup consortia and watch brands (Panerai joined the club also). Truth is that Ulysse Nardin managed to beat everybody time-wise (the historic partner Louis Vuitton excluded) and it also managed to release a Regatta timepiece with unique technical features.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta is the very image of the colours sported by the Swedish flag; a blue dial with a yellow minutes scale in the middle. Ten minutes are featured on the dial; the same ten minutes of the countdown that every skipper will now be able to check directly on their watch thanks to the peculiarity of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta’s caliber. The caliber allows the user to time both the seconds and the minutes anti-clockwise and clockwise, so that one can instantly move from the countdown mode to the time-keeping mode. The button located at 10 o’clock allows the user to move the skeletonized hand with a yellow tip forward by single one-minute-increments up to a maximum increment of ten minutes. Once the chronograph located at 2 o’clock has been activated, the seconds hand will move anti-clockwise and it will start measuring the departure countdown.
The seconds and minutes located on the secondary scale will start the countdown until the ten-minute-limit has been reached. The central chrono hand will then reach the zero position and will instantly start moving backward, thus allowing the user to measure the duration of an event the same way a standard chronograph would do. From that moment onward, the two counters located within the register positioned at 12 o’clock will start measuring the time up to a limit of 60 minutes and 12 hours.
On its Marine Regatta, Ulysse Nardin also edited the distance between the notches on the bezel that are interspersed everywhere with blue rubber inserts; the three buttons used for the countdown and the chrono function are also coated with matted blue rubber and so is the winding crown. The blue colour that appears on the dial is quite bright and it creates a perfect contrast with the big and yellow Arabic numbers of the countdown function also creating a direct reference with the tones of the Swedish flag. Quite a successful overall result, to which Ulysse Nardin’s designers also managed to apply the Roman numbers; a reference to the classicism of the brand’s famous navy chronometers that the manufacturer keeps on bringing back on its more sporty models too.
The case is quite generous in size, it measures 44mm in diameter and the UN-155 caliber makes the Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta a necessary tool for the crew of the Artemis team; the timepiece also features a movement inversion function that is entirely mechanic that, as far as I can remember, no other Regatta timepiece has ever been graced with. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta retails at 16,000 Swiss Francs approximate and it sports a complication that is both useful to a skipper and fascinating for those who love mechanics, it also highlights Ulysse Nardin’s technical skills. If the manufacturer from Le Locle aimed at showing off once again its roots and what it is actually able to do, I can well say that the Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta is bang on.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®