The UN-118 was a significant milestone for Ulysse Nardin as it had been developed in-house with a unique material for the escapement – DIAMonSIL. A combination of silicon and man-made diamond, the use of DIAMonSIL removed the need for lubrication of the escapement. In theory, this ought to help keep rate keeping stable for a much longer period. The logic is that over time, the viscosity of a traditional lubricant increases and the amount of friction with it – with DIAMonSIL that is no longer a problem. The primary motivation behind the evolution of the UN-118 was supposed to reduce reliance on ETA ébauches, but the technical loopholes which Ulysse Nardin made accessible at this price point were definitely a welcome bonus as well.In addition, the UN-118 features a silicon hairspring and offers 60 hours of power reserve. Given the ‘Chronometer’ in the name, the watch comes with COSC certification and also the brand’s own Ulysse Nardin Performance Certificate. We’re told that the motion is decorated and visible through a sapphire crystal case back, but sadly, no images were supplied, so it’s difficult to comment on what finishing will look like.As I said before, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is housed in a 42mm situation which is available in stainless steel or 18k rose gold and, unlike its larger sibling, has more traditional lugs and no crown guard. The lugs are short and curve downwards quite significantly, which should assist the watch sit comfortably on most wrists. An interesting design feature of the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is the bezel’s coin-like edge that is reminiscent of rotating bezels with stripes for better grip. However this really is a thin, fixed bezel, so the finish is just to add visual interest and is not functional. Given the capacities of modern watchmaking techniques, the marine association of the watch and the existence of a screw-down crown, the watch offers a disappointing 50m of water resistance. This can look like a small detail, but I feel as though they should have offered 100m.
Was it worth it for Grieb & Benzinger to sacrifice an A. Lange & Sohne Tourbillon for the one-of-a-kind Blue Merit watch? We talk about new watches from Ulysse Nardin as well as the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 5 – which is pretty cool.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 158 here.
Direct download or play .mp3 here.