As Ulysse Nardin opens a new boutique in Dubai Mall, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons considers the merits of one of the most unconventional of Swiss watch companies
If these days we take for granted that Swiss watchmakers are arch-innovators, much of the credit for that reputation belongs to Ulysse Nardin. The Swiss watch company has previous here, stretching from the 19th century and into today.
Over the past 20 years in particular, Ulysse Nardin has proved itself a master of invention, paving the way for others. It was one of the pioneers of silicon technology in watchmaking 20 years ago; it was one of the earliest adopters of GMT watches with push pieces to adjust watches forwards and backwards; and its incomparable Freak, a watch with no crown, dial or hands, is one of the defining watches of this century.
The company was founded in 1846 and became one of the chief providers of marine chronometers (accurate ship’s clocks used in navigation) to the world’s navies. In the years since, it’s won thousands of awards, medals and prizes for accuracy and innovation, including many for its more recent complications.
Today’s line-up is still heavily influenced by those maritime and military design codes. And it’s worth noting that Ulysse Nardin is one of only a handful of Swiss watchmakers offering a five-year warranty on its watches. Peace of mind and a sign of the company’s confidence in its engineering.
Here are five watches from the current collection that put more meat on the bone of the Ulysse Nardin story. All are available from the new Ulysse Nardin boutique in the Dubai Mall.