Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

Ulysse Nardin's history and identity is deeply intertwined with that of the marine chronometer, and in a year underpinned by a return to vintage pieces for design inspiration, the brand has tapped into this history and recently launched the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur, which it calls a chronometer for the modern era (though based on old pocket watch designs). While it may be inspired by vintage marine chronometers, the Marine Torpilleur is a more modern and less formal alternative to the brand's existing Marine Chronometer watches.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

Torpilleur is the French term for a destroyer, which is a small, agile warship. Its use is meant to be a sign that this is a lighter, thinner version, which strictly speaking, is accurate. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur comes in a 42mm case as opposed to the 43mm of the Marine Chronometer - which is really a "splitting-hairs" level of difference. The real distinction is in the movement and complications. Unlike the Marine Chronometer watches which are powered by the Calibre UN-113 with annual calendar complication, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is powered by the automatic Calibre UN-118 which offers time, date, and power reserve functions, but no annual calendar.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

The UN-118 was an important milestone for Ulysse Nardin as it was developed in-house with a unique material for the escapement - DIAMonSIL. A combination of silicon and man-made diamond, the use of DIAMonSIL eliminated the need for lubrication of the escapement. In theory, this should help keep rate keeping stable for a much longer duration. The logic is that over time, the viscosity of a traditional lubricant increases and the amount of friction with it - with DIAMonSIL this is no longer an issue. The primary motivation behind the development of the UN-118 was to reduce reliance on ETA ébauches, but the technical chops that Ulysse Nardin made available 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 the brand's own Ulysse Nardin Performance Certificate. We are told that the movement is decorated and visible through a sapphire crystal case back, but unfortunately, no images were supplied, so it's hard to comment on what finishing will look like.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

As I mentioned earlier, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is housed in a 42mm case which is available in stainless steel or 18k rose gold and, unlike its bigger sibling, has more conventional lugs and no crown guard. The lugs are short and curve downwards quite significantly, which should help 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 textures for better grip. However this is a thin, fixed bezel, so the finish is only to add visual interest and is not functional. Given the capabilities of modern watchmaking techniques, the marine association of the watch and the presence of a screw-down crown, the watch offers a disappointing 50m of water resistance. This may seem like a small detail, but I feel like they should've offered 100m.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

The dial is offered in two variants, a blue and a white. The rose gold version is only offered with a white dial, while the stainless steel is offered with both. The overall aesthetic of the dial is very similar to vintage marine chronometers, with Roman numerals painted very legibly and elegantly, a second sub-dial at 6 o'clock, and power reserve at 12 o'clock. The date window at 6 o'clock is a modern addition, of course, but well incorporated into a fairly busy dial. The "1846" painted in red is a reference to the brand's year of founding and nicely aids visual balance on the dial. The spade-shaped hands are in keeping with the vintage theme and are heat-blued for the white dial and polished for the blue.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Watch Watch Releases

For a vintage-inspired timepiece, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is refined, well-designed, and yet, contemporary enough to make for a daily wear piece. The highlight of the watch, in my opinion, is the movement which offers quite a bit of value in terms of horological pedigree. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is available at retailers and boutiques for 6,900 CHF in steel with the alligator strap, 7,600 CHF in steel with the steel bracelet, and 17,900 CHF in 18k rose gold with the alligator strap, with the same prices in euros. ulysse-nardin.ch

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (17)
  • I want it! (14)
  • Classy (12)
  • I love it! (7)
  • Interesting (7)
  • TrevorXM

    Beautiful watch. I’ll take mine in steel with the white dial. Here is the back. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ea4f46598ed2ef31227d5f109774a3aebe5f595b1365296471ae7b6a6a984551.jpg

  • Moonraker

    UN (or CZ?) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe6fe1753f3e7f004a3e67e4f4fbeabcf15b65af209d7af1648955326903047c.jpg is reaching Rolex-level when it comes to product updating. This looks just like the old one!

    • ???

      It’s not only like the old one. The worse thing is UN just announced another model which looks almost the same. https://monochrome-watches.com/ulysse-nardin-marine-1846-specs-price/

    • Gokart Mozart

      Well Rolex keep releasing the same watch year after your for over 60 years. They just make it slightly more ugly each time, and add a bit more text.

      Suppose it does allow them to make roughly a million watches a year.

      Judging my the yachtmaster from a couple of days ago they have no shame in what they will do to sell watches.

  • SuperStrapper

    Very handsome. This brand does little wrong in my book, despite having such a diverse catalogue.

    Being UN I don’t think we have to worry about the quality of movement finishing.

  • Marius

    In my opinion, this watch — as well as almost all of Ulysse Nardin`s latest releases — is a great offering, and shows that Ulysse Nardin is among the very few brands that actually take intelligent decisions to overcome the current market situation.

    Aesthetically, I find this to be a very attractive watch. The dial is very legible and elegant. The hands are, in my opinion, among the most beautiful in the industry. The case design is also quite good-looking and original. Overall, I like that UN has a very original & unique design language that sets its watches apart from the ubiquitous Rolex, Omega, Breitling, etc.

    From a technical perspective, this watch is quite good. The UN-118 in-house caliber is a very decent movement with a good fit & finish, as well as good technical specs. The 60-hour power reserve is above average, and the silicon components are a Ulysse Nardin trademark. Let’s not forget that UN was among the very first brands (if not THE first) to focus on such a technology, so we’re talking about a brand with a good expertise in this field.

    Lastly, from a value perspective, it’s very hard to criticize this watch. Granted, CHF 6,900 is not a small price, but considering that we are talking about a very original watch with a good in-house caliber, produced by a prestigious brand, the price is quite decent. To be honest, I’d much rather buy this UN than pay $9,000 for a Rolex Submariner, or $6,000 for an Omega Planet Ocean.

    • BNABOD

      hard to argue against the case you make here. it is a very pretty watch. not sure if applied markers would have been too much but either way it looks super nice. Dressy yet sporty, elegant and different….what is not to like here? I like the PR reserve at the top the movement is nicely finished and for once the price is not absurd.

    • Middle

      The ribbed outer band of the case makes it look like a quarter.

    • The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is powered by the automatic Calibre UN-118 which offers time, date, and power reserve functions, but no annual calendar.

  • benjameshodges

    I am constantly blown away by the prices of UN watches. I swear they used to be more expensive?

  • Simon_Hell

    I always thought this was an albanian pimp kind of brand. Still not sure it isn’t.

    • Marius

      Apparently, each and every Mercedes S-Class that has ever been produced ends up, in one way or another, in Albania. So, just as you never actually own a Patek Philippe, you also never actually own a Mercedes S-Class — you merely look after it for the next owner, who will inevitably be a fatsoe from Tirana.

  • Beautiful, balanced, elegant, technically advanced. Handsets make or break a watch for me, and those are sublime. Never understood a power reserve on an auto, but they incorporate it well. $7,233 USD is a helluva deal for everything you get.

  • DanW94

    Great looking watch. I particularly like the subtle coin edging on the bezel. Dressy with the Roman numerals and spade hands but in a sporty 42mm size. UN’s design language can be all over the map but when they get it right, they really stand out. My only complaint is the text flanking either side of the center pinion, it busies up the dial a bit.

    • Moonraker

      I thought you were anti-Romans.
      I thought you were a rabid anti-Romite. Next you’re gonna say that they should have their own numerals.

      • IanE

        Personally, I don’t mind the Roman Numerals (though I’d prefer applied indexes), but they are so big that the dial feels clunky to me. Shame as the rest is pretty good.

        • Yeah I take or leave the date. Perhaps useful but mars the look a bit.

          • Well if you look at the live pics I just posted that is not the case for the white dial. It is more visible on the blue dial, but had it been white over blue it would have been a mess.

            I don’t know, I just like these watches an awful lot, to the point of forgiving everything.

            Like the 50 metres now that I think about it. These should be 100 metres not because I am going to dive with it, but simply because the Seiko 5 is 100 metres and costs €150. 100 should be the standard, period.

          • I’m in the design and prototype phase of a new watch and during discussions with my case maker the issue of 50 m versus 100 m of water resistance came up. In the end I went with 50, not 100 meters and the reason was not cost. For 100 meters, the case size would have increased (to support a screw-in case back and thicker crystals top and bottom) and the crown would have become screw-in. For a dive watch these are acceptable changes, but for what is an everyday watch (in this case), I decided against it as I was trying to keep the case size down and screw-in crowns are less convenient.

          • Well, as I say: Seiko 5 (this one: https://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNZG15-Automatic-Stainless-Steel/dp/B006I22GT2/ref=sr_1_8?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1500488467&sr=1-8&nodeID=6358540011&psd=1&keywords=seiko+5) 100 metres, no screw in crown, glass on the back (I doubt it is sapphire). Taken to the sea, dived in -to the amazing depth of 2 metres or so-, and exact as a chronometre. So I don’t know Mark. Somebody please explain me.

          • The overall thickness for the Seiko is 11 mm (according to Amazon). My 50 mm case (which houses a 4.5 m thick movement) is roughly 10.25 mm. I’m not sure how thick the Seiko movement is. I was a bit surprised when my case maker insisted on a screw-in crown for 100 m of W/R as I too was aware that others have a conventional crown with that rating. Perhaps my case maker is more conservative. The other issue for my watch may be that with my crystal diameter (37 mm) that the thickness has to be more than on the Seiko which also uses a Hardlex crystal. But in the end, I don’t know either – just what I was told by my case maker. Cheers.

          • wow 50 mm! Now you got me intrigued! I do want to see that.

            Incidentally, the Seiko height is in fact 11.76 mm.

          • Thanks – 42 mm (just updated). I meant to write 50 meters (W/R) BTW.

          • Ah! For a moment there I thought you were going to start selling watches to Schwarzenegger :0)

            Cheers Mark.

          • Oddly, my friend and sometimes watch partner Richard Paige (Rpaige Watch Co) is having me scale up a watch case design I’ve already done for an ETA 2824 for his “12 size” American pocket watch movements and the case ends up having a 48 mm diameter. But it looks and wears more like a 44 due to the rounded shape.

            I wear the 3D printed SS prototype (43 mm) with an ETA 2824 as one of my daily wear watches. But being a prototype it has zero water resistance with an acrylic crystal just pop-ed into the back. My watchmaker went to his parts bin and just crammed in what he could find for a case back. But it’s sort of a cool look with something of an Ikepod shape along with prominent lugs.


          • If you make it in steel, wouldn’t it be quite hefty? There seems to be quite a lot of material there.

          • The watch pictured above is 94 grams as shown (rubber strap and deployment buckle. For reference, one of my Ka La watches with the same movement, dial and hands on an alligator strap and also with a deployment is 105 grams. My Crash of ’29 comes in at 115 grams while the Skyscraper is just less at 114. And finally, an Rpaige Duo is 112. So I would expect “12 size” version of the above watch to come at no more than 115 grams on a strap. The case is technically wide, but contour falls off quickly from the crystal, so there is less metal than the width would suggest. Oh yeah, my upcoming Octagon watch will probably be about 65 – 70 grams on a strap.

          • That is outstanding, Mark. You will show me next year at Baselworld!

          • Yes, my new knees are already in training for BW 2018.

          • That’s so good to hear!

      • DanW94

        No. Love the Romans. I’m Pro Roma all the way. I’m anti-Ramen. Hate those noodles….

        • Moonraker

          Well that was pro forma.

          • DanW94

            Done pro bono. (No, not for free, I actually work for U2)

          • Moonraker

            Can you prorate? Because that was not a full hour of pro Bono.

          • DanW94

            Check the program, but dispense with the profanities, it was strictly promotional. I know, it was a piss-pro proformance…

          • Moonraker

            Whoa, sorry to put you on The Edge.

            I’m just not a proponent of your prolonged pricing plan. I won’t subscribe to it and I would not prescribe it to others. In fact, if I could I would proscribe it.

          • DanW94

            This means War, you’ll hang from the Joshua Tree…It’ll be a Sunday Bloody Sunday in October, or maybe New Year’s Day when your time is due. Now I have to leave but In The Name of Love, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For…namely my car keys…

          • Moonraker

            I’ll give you to the count of catorce to get the hell out of here.

          • DanW94

            You win, I’ll swallow my Pride this One time. Now excuse me while I go catch a ride with Gary Numan.

          • Moonraker

            In cars? Are your friends’ cars electric?

          • DanW94

            Changed my mind, I’ll be running with Dexy at Midnight.

          • Moonraker

            Good call. It’ll be less humid then. But remember these words of wisdom during your midnight run: Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye aye.

            They’ve never steered me wrong in life.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Come On Eileen, let’s get the hell out of here.

          • Berndt Norten

            Oh come on Danny

          • Berndt Norten

            I am electric and you are electric too

          • Gokart Mozart

            We’ll always be together, together in electric dreeeams!

          • Moonraker

            I love that song!

          • OK Guys,
            Is it getting better
            Or do you feel the same?
            Will it make it easier on you, now
            You got someone to blame?

            But I ain’t carrying any of you, OK?
            You’ll have to carry each other, carry each other, OK?

  • Sheez Gagoo

    UN was always the brand for Russians. Interesting technology but a design from hell. Nice to see (after the Russian market crashed), that they are able to build interesting and beautiful watches. These are beauties. Like the second version of their very interesting alarm watch.

  • Sevenmack

    To call this a handsome watch would be an understatement. There is nothing wrong with it. NOt even the 50m of water resistance; after all, it is merely a glorified “dress watch”, not a diver meant (theoretically) to be worn while swimming. Besides, most folks aren’t swimming in any pool that goes beyond five feet.

    All in all, Ulysse Nardin did a great job.

  • sfbaydawg221

    Roman numerals should stay only on clocks.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    White / SS / Black. Just a stunning piece of machinery. This is on my really really want list. Can’t make up my mind about white or blue so i’ll have both.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Wouldn’t go quite that far but it is a very nice time piece.

      I have a soft spot for UN, but generally the watches are individual and easily recognisable.

  • Kuroji

    Why don’t we get a better shot of the bracelet?

  • Word Merchant

    Come on… seriously! This watch is beyond nasty…

  • …and just like that, UN is back on the map.

  • socrates35

    If the text, Roman numerals and the running seconds sub-dial were all shrunk by about 20%, and the price reduced by 1/3, this might actually be a semi-decent proposition for a casually elegant ( or elegantly casual) daily wearer. As it presently is, it’s miss for me

  • Mark1884

    As with most UN’s, I like this one.
    Make mine 18k red!!

  • Greg Dutton

    Really nicely done. I would prefer 38-40mm, but I’m nitpicking. I think that the price is actually not too bad considering the total package; 5 years ago I think the msrp for this watch would’ve been closer to $12K.

    • guitardude

      I agree on the size. But then again, the marine chronometer style is a large one and 42mm is not quite outsized yet.

      It’s almost, but not quite, like wanting an IWC Portuguese in 38mm.

  • Ranchracer

    Very very nice piece. And another one goes on the wishlist!

  • Richard Baptist

    I’m loving what UN has been doing lately. This is a great watch for the price – especially with their own movement with the silicon components added. I can’t think of much to complain about here. I also love their regatta timer. Definitely a brand on the up.

  • Ross Diljohn

    Aside from the overly enthusiastic name font on the dial( seems like it should have and exclamation point after Nardin), I like it…but…only in white SS.

  • Yanko

    Nice watch. But numerals are way too big for this dial.

  • JLG

    Wonderful as usual.
    UN is moving to become the best value proposition in the whole industry.
    think Frederique constant but with undeniable pedigree, history, class etc,,,
    clearly a winner

  • guitardude

    That stainless steel white dial is absolutely gorgeous!

  • Shinytoys

    UN all the way…

  • thecouchguy

    Very beautiful. Shame about the WR rating. As long as I can wear it in the rain and an accidental quick slip into the pool then I guess I’d be okay with me. A drool worthy dress watch for a great price. Think I’d like one for sure.

  • Very nice addition to the marine chrono line at a reasonable price.

  • WatchNeophyte

    Ulysse Nardin has done a good job with a couple of the pieces you have reviewed recently. I’ve never been a huge fan, but the Classico Grand Feu Blue Dial and this one are executed quite well and priced somewhat reasonably. I don’t think I would buy this one, but would definitely accept it as a gift.

  • Richard Baptist

    The movement specs remind me of this. 65 hours of power reserve and silicon escapement technology.


  • Yan Fin

    Never liked UN. However, this one is really attractive, even when I am trying to be critical.

  • Pete Pete

    I wish the 1846 print would be even bigger. that’s such a vital piece of information. when I look at my watch, I want to know what year the manufacturer was founded. if only they’d install an led illuminating the 1846, preferably flashing, that would be perfect.

  • Charmaine Ku

    No logo.

  • IG

    Should be hand-wound to match the dials.

  • Garrett Hu

    These I like! especially the SS with white dial.

    Always liked the UN Marine line but lower priced ones had ETA movements and their in house models were more than I wanted to pay.

    These coming in at around $6900USD makes them a lot more affordable (you can already get these sub $5000 if you’re willing to go grey market).