The new Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel by Ulysse Nardin is HANDS DOWN!! one of the most innovative ways of looking at time. Look closely… Now look again… See where we’re coming from? Free-floating components under a startlingly innovative box-domed sapphire that took months to research and develop. This spectacular innovation by Ulysse Nardin has literally turned watchmaking upside down.
The most astonishing features are the dial’s tourbillon bridges and the 7-day power reserve indicator at four o’clock, which are shaped like boomerangs and look like they are miraculously floating in the air. So do the other ‘skeletonized’ components, the hour and minute indicators and the gorgeous gear trains.
The sapphire glass box housing these ‘flying’ elements is another standout achievement. The structure’s complexity and finish—especially the polishing of the box angles—were extremely difficult to achieve, requiring lengthy and painstaking experimentation. The caseback too, is in sapphire, except there’s nothing to see inside, as, in a complete reversal of watchmaking convention, all the exquisite components are visible on the dial side.
Ulysse Nardin has released two versions of the Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel, one in 44mm 18ct rose gold in dark stone, carved from a slab of slate and an18ct white gold version built on a sleek black honeycomb grid.
The mechanical movement powering all this beauty is the brand-new UN-176, entirely developed in-house in La Chaux-de Fonds. Its flying tourbillon is the “Ulysse Anchor Escapement”, a pioneering technology that replaces the traditional Swiss lever escapement system and uses Ulysse Nardin’s signature low-friction silicium instead of metal or synthetic rubies.
The strap is “carbon leather“ in matte alligator, exceptionally soft and silky to the touch.
Unlike other Ulysse Nardin tourbillons, the Executive Tourbillon “Free Wheel” is not a limited edition, but a full run production launch. Visually stunning, it is a true technological marvel, destined for those who take delight in the leading edge of engineering and aesthetics.