It might surprise you to learn that the Ulysse Nardin Watch Serial Number Replica Classico Manufacture will be the first watch in the brand’s Classico range to feature its own in-house movement. The Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture is a simply styled watch, with a pleasingly restrained dial that features central hour and minute hands, a going seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, and a small, round date window within the seconds sub-dial. Let’s take a quick closer look at this new release.
As expected on a restrained “Classico” watch, the hours are marked by applied thin gold lines, while 12, 3, and 9 o’clock are indicated by slender Roman numerals. All of the markers are applied, in contrast to the sub-dial surround, which is sunk into the dial. This multi-levelled approach creates a bit more interest in a dial that could otherwise appear plain. In addition to the gold markers, the dial of the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture is marked with small luminous dots. On the cream dial, these white dots are almost invisible in daylight, but come alive after dark, making this piece usable no matter the time.
There’s a fine line between plainness and successfully executed classicism, and I think the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture strikes a good balance. The dial is finished in a slightly iridescent frosting, which is continued by the edge of the sub-dial, before giving way to a concentric circular ridge pattern. There may not be much going on, but the subtle shifts in patterning or depth give just enough visual engagement to make this watch face desirable. Getting this right, or even bothering to use the different patterns in a creative but tasteful way is essential to any good design.
The established Ulysse Nardin Watch Dual Time Big Date 42mm Replica anchor logo is also applied in the same material and fashion as the hour markers, creating a satisfying link between all the necessary dial elements. The gold hands themselves are of a simple, traditional shape with bold luminous inserts. They are excellently weighted and look very elegant against the reserved backdrop and within the slick case that is designed to catch eyes, not cuffs.
The 40mm case is made of 18ct rose gold and stands just 9.6mm from the wrist. The classically styled housing is polished with no sharp edges – perfect for being worn under a shirt cuff. The front and back crystals are both sapphire, with the dial-side crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating for enhanced clarity. The watch is held on your wrist by a leather strap, brown for the cream dial variant, and colour-coded blue for the blue dial model. The strap is fastened by a tang buckle, which I think is a good choice for a watch this classical in style.
So when you turn the watch over in your hands, what do you see? Through the sapphire case back, the new in-house UN-320 movement is visible. The rotor weight dominates the aperture and is rendered from matching rose gold and sports a black Ulysse Nardin logo against a nicely patterned background. The UN-320 features a silicium hairspring and an anchor escapement. It has automatic winding and has a power reserve of 48 hours. The case is water resistant to 30 meters, but it’s not a watch that is designed for active wear.
The bi-colour movement has rhodium plated bridges, finished with a circular Geneva wave. The proliferation of blued screws (with three visible screw heads attaching the rotor bearing to the automatic device framework) and the meatiness of the red jewels (of which there are 39 in total), gives this in-house calibre a real sense of colour. In addition to the chunky jewels, the pivots that can be seen poking through appear refreshingly robust.
Over the years, Ulysse Nardin has, with the support of Ludwig Oechslin, developed a reputation for making movements that provide rare or complex complications but with surprisingly few additional elements. While Ludwig Oechslin takes this idea of minimalism and simplification to an extreme with his very own brand Ochs Und Junior, his fingerprints are all on the mechanisms of this watch as well.The grade UN-113 automatic motion has only 7 extra parts over its time and date just motion cousin. An ordinary annual calendar motion usually requires an extra 30+ components. This is quite a mechanical achievement when you think about those numbers. The primary motivation behind making complications and moves easier would be to make them more accessible to more collectors (fewer components equals lower costs and lower costs) and to ensure durability and reliability because the fewer parts present, the less a thing can go wrong.The caliber UN-113 supplies 60 hours of electricity reserve while beating at 28,800bph. Each movement is COSC-certified and contains a silicon escapement for improved timekeeping. The movement is, of course, visible through a screen back. Another helpful characteristic of the motion is that the date can be corrected both forward and backwards. Annual calendars and endless calendars that can’t adjust the date backwards using the crown alone could be quite annoying in use if you typically fly (or sail) round the world a whole lot.
It doesn’t seem that Ulysse Nardin have attempted to do anything too flashy with the design of this movement, and they should be applauded for their restraint. Its one unusual complication is the ability to set the date both forwards and backwards, which is something that has become almost a trademark feature of Ulysse Nardin by now. It will probably save you a handful of seconds a year, unless you wear this watch as an occasional piece, in which case, this extra function becomes quite useful. For a brand that makes its hay by launching crazy, mind-blowing machines, the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture is a very welcome addition to a range that was in need of some mechanical modernisation. It will carry a price tag of $14,500. With a versatile in-house calibre in their pocket, expect Ulysse Nardin to roll out the UN-320 and its derivatives across a range that should become more desirable for its presence. ulysse-nardin.com