Moreover, the alarm can be set a full 24 hours in advance, and to the minute. Most traditional alarms can only be set 12 hours in advance and use only an hour hand, so they aren’t that precise. To set the alarm you have a dedicated crown and subsidiary dial with an hour and minute hand on the dial of the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata – offering very effective ergonomics without a learning curve. Further, there is a handy
“on/off” switch for the alarm complication. Most traditional alarm watches are basically “off” unless the alarm spring barrel is wound. So in addition to offering a very pleasant-sounding alarm system, the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata actually makes using and setting the alarm far more practical that its comparatively primitive competitors produced by other brands.

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All of this has been functionality that existed in the Ulysse Nardin collection for a while, but as I said, it was in a design that was simply not mainstream enough to do the movement justice. So, for 2017, Ulysse Nardin releases two versions of the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata (in steel and 18k rose gold) that finally give this fantastic timepiece the more refined visual design that it deserves.

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One of the issues that held the original Sonata watches back was the dial design that didn’t seem to decide as to whether it was a sport watch or a dress watch. This is decidedly a dress watch, and the updated dials are more simple, elegant, and actually make using the complications more visually effective.

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The gold version of the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata has a black dial and matching rose gold hands and appliqués. It’s the dressiest of the two, but I actually prefer the steel model with its silver dial and increased legibility thanks to better dial contrast. The case is more or less carried over from the original Sonata models which is a very wearable 44mm wide (with 30 meters of water resistance).


Comfortable on the wrist with its newly elegant design, there is little on the market that currently competes with the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata – especially at this price point. If you’ve known about the Sonata and dismissed it due to the design, perhaps now is the time to revisit this interesting collection. For the rest of you, now is the time to get to know the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata if a useful travel watch with a beautiful-sounding and practical chiming alarm sounds like a fun feature to have in your high-end timepiece. I even chose the Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata as one of the top watches of SIHH 2017 here. Price is $24,800 for the reference 637-05/90 in steel and $42,800 for the 672-05/92 in 18ct rose gold. ulysse-nardin.com

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