Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands-On

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands-On

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands On   hands on

In 2013 Ulysse Nardin has begun producing their own in-house made chronograph movements with the caliber UN-150, adding to their roster of in-house movements and serving as a base for the Marine Chronograph Manufacture watch collection. With a limited edition model featuring an in-house made enamel, as well as a broad range of standard models, the caliber UN-150 sees a full deployment in the Marine watch collection for this year.

Just one year ago, Ulysse Nardin officially unveiled its first “large volume” in-house made movement with the caliber UN-118 (hands on here in the Marine Chronometer Manufacture watches). The UN-118 was the subject of many years of development pretty much starting back when Swiss ETA announced that it was going to make its movements unavailable to most watch brands outside of the Swatch Group. The Group which owns ETA, after a series of legal battles with the Swiss government, decided it wanted to dramatically decrease supply of ETA movements to outside brands, and keep most of them for Swatch Group brands. Their message to many of the Swiss brands that once relied upon ETA movements (even as base movements) was “make your own movements.”

. Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands On   hands on

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands On   hands on

So Ulysse Nardin worked on doing just that, though in-house movements aren’t new to them. All of the top-end Ulysse Nardin pieces already contained in-house movements. Having said that, the industrial needs to make a select amount of very complicated movements is very different (and arguably much more doable) than producing more basic mechanisms in larger quantities. Both designing and producing movements in-house is a rather expensive and tricky feat.

The basic Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer watch never simply relied on an ETA movement, but rather used ETA movements (mostly the 2892 automatic) as a base. They would then install their own modules over them. In comparison to many other independent brands, Ulysse Nardin was actually in a pretty good position to try and fully produce in-house made movements. The UN-118 automatic contained a technology Ulysse Nardin acquired known as DIAMonSIL. A contraction for “diamond and silicon,” it is a diamond-coated silicon which has the benefits of silicon without the fragility and brittleness.

DIAMonSIL was very exciting but it does not appear to be in the UN-150 movement. There are a few potential reasons for this, but I am not going to guess as I don’t know the exact answer. Having said that, the UN-150 does employ silicon in the form of the hairspring as part of the oscillator assembly. Overall, the movement not only has a great look but should also perform as most modern chronographs do. It is a 4Hz (28,800 bph) movement with a power reserve of 48 hours. Functions are pretty standard; it displays the time, date, and has a 12 hour chronograph. While the movement is produced in-house by Ulysse Nardin, it actually came to them serendipitously as an acquisition.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Manufacture Watch Hands On   hands on

8 comments
Paulrus
Paulrus

It's nice that this is an in-house movement and all, but I'm somewhat disappointed the author did not actually discuss the actual merits of the construction and design of the movement. Compared to modern automatic chronograph movements such as those from Rolex, Jaeger, Breitling and even the latest TAG Heuer movement, the UN Cal 150 seems to use a much less sophisticated design, namely incorporating a cam-lever actuation system instead of the more refined column wheel.

Zeitblom
Zeitblom

You buy ebauches from somebody else and you are a phoney company. But if you buy up that somebody else, why, now you manufacture in-house, haute heritage blah blah blah, everyone is happy. Better yet: really do things in-house, and produce watches that keep far worse time than anything that ETA would tolerate, and charge 5 times as much. Haute! Heritage! Bouffonnerie ignominieuse!

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

I would have preferred the roman numerals V, VI, VII, and VIII to be right side up. Picky of me, I know

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I like the decoration on the rotor but other than that, there are just so many oddities in the design that look cheap, I can't like this watch.  While i'm sure plenty of love and attention was applied to its creation, it's really not very apparent.

WimadS
WimadS

That white dial, black roman numerals, rose gold case...

...damn so stunning!

I will be buying lottery tickets every day from now on... whish me luck!

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

I did not see an explicit statement either way in the post, but I'm guessing this is not a column wheel chronograph (only because I did spot one in the photos). If so, this is not exactly cheap for a cam action chronograph. But either way, I really like the Marine collection from UN a lot - especially with an enameled dial and a gold case on a black strap. So tasty looking.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Fraser Petrick And I can't tell for sure, but the III may be upside down as well. Seriously, I agree with you Fraser.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

@MarkCarson @Fraser Petrick As the proud owner of a $65 Timex Expedition (deadly accurate) I love nickel and diming a $65,000 watch, Makes me feel important. Thank you, Internet!