Ulysse Nardin Introduces the Marine Mega Yacht

New Watch! • 06 Mar 2019

Ulysse Nardin Introduces the Marine Mega Yacht

by Nick Kenyon

Timed conveniently with the annual International Miami Boat Show, the 2019 edition of Watches & Wonders saw the release of a very special timepiece from none other than Ulysse Nardin. A brand that has some of the most claim to the world’s oceans, Ulysse Nardin launched the Marine Mega Yacht on the decks of a $28m super yacht floating in the cool waters of Virginia Key. Featuring a number of nautically focused complications, this 44mm watch is cased in solid platinum with a dial of white gold and grand feu enamel, and is limited to 30 pieces worldwide.

 The Marine Mega Yacht continues Ulysse Nardin’s significant history of producing instruments for the world’s Captain’s. Before satellite and computer assisted navigation, ships would calculate their positions based on longitude and latitude, coordinates that weren’t always easy to determine. To assess latitude, a simple calculation of the angle of the sun was all that was needed, however, a calculation of longitude required accurate timekeeping to precisely know the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The requirement for ships to have highly accurate portable clocks that could maintain a standard time, saw the development of the marine chronometer. This invention was the basis on which Ulysse Nardin built its reputation as manufacturers of precision nautical instruments, since it’s founding in 1846.

While progress in technology reduced the importance of such timekeeping tools, Ulysse Nardin refocused attention on their sea-faring history in the last few decades. Once again they began to manufacture timepieces for men and women who spent their time on the seas. The Marine Mega Yacht is a wristwatch that focuses on the luxury yachting lifestyle, and has all of the sophisticated complications you would anticipate for a watch unfamiliar with dry land.

The dial features the white gold bow of a yacht ploughing through the visually stunning royal-blue waves of grand feu enamel. In an innovation that could only come from Ulysse Nardin, the power reserve is indicated via an anchor on a chain, which raises and lowers with the tension of the mainspring. Not satisfied with an isolated anchor and chain on the dial, the watch also features a windlass at 12 o’clock that can be seen winding the chain as the anchor ascends to full power. The watch boasts a power reserve of 80 hours, an impressive amount when also considering the 60-second flying tourbillon that regulates the movement. Once again looking to boat design for inspiration, the tourbillon is cleverly disguised by a spinning ships rotor at the 6 o’clock position – the perfect touch for a yachting watch.

In an expression of Ulysse Nardin not wanting to stray too far from function in the pursuit of form, the Marine Mega Yacht also includes a tide-chart complication with moonphase. The spherical moonphase is realistically textured with ultra-precise engraving, and is half coated with a blue PVD treatment, with the other half rhodiumized to communicate the different phases of the moon cycle.

When rotated, the Marine Mega Yacht is seen to have a sapphire crystal caseback, showing off the new UN-631 caliber, produced in collaboration with Christophe Claret who is known for highly complex movements manufacturing. The “engine room” of the watch is designed to look like just that – the engine room of a yacht, featuring plates finished in matte-black, and exposed sections to view the winding chain of the power reserve anchor. The hand-wound movement is constructed of a mind-boggling 504 parts (in context, the movement of a Patek Philippe 5204P has 496 parts, and features a split-second chronograph, perpetual calendar and moonphase), and ticks along at 21,600 vibrations per hour.

The rarified lifestyle that the Marine Mega Yacht celebrates is thoughtfully communicated through both its design and functional capacity. There aren’t going to be too many times that you need to consult a tide-chart on your wrist if you spend most of your life locked on land. However, for those who prefer to spend their time on the oceans, the complications are practical, and are executed with the contemporary styling that Ulysse Nardin is known for. Leaning on their wealth of experience in manufacturing for marine contexts, Ulysse Nardin have produced a watch that is well suited for the contemporary connoisseur who has a love for the high seas.

Tags: enamel grand feu greenwich mean time international miami boat show marine chronometer platinum ulysse nardin ulysse nardin mega yacht watches & wonders

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