After showing the new Marine Chronograph several requests reached me that I should also show the Marine Chronometer Manufacture presented in 2012. There you go…
This is my summary for you to remember:
With the Marine Chronometer Manufacture Ulysse Nardin presented at the Baselworld 2012 its new automatic in-house movement. The Ulysse Nardin-Caliber 118 was produced in collaboration between Ulysse Nardin and Sigatec in Sion, Switzerland. DIAMonSIL is a revolutionary alliance of silicium and man-made diamond. It is an extremely light but hard material that eliminates friction and removes the need for lubrication of the escapement. Sigatec is the only company in the world capable of producing high-precision components both in Silicium and DIAMonSIL. DIAMonSIL is a nanotechnology that has taken many years to develop. Caliber 118 was the first member of a family of movements with an in-house-produced and patented DIAMonSIL escapement together with the in-house-produced oscillator adjustable with four screws and fitted with a silicium 1.1.1 hairspring. This oscillator, patented in 2007, was first put on the market in the Sonata Silicium in March 2008. The Caliber 118 also features a 60-hour power reserve and a stellar 60-hour power reserve indicator and its own date-corrector, allowing forward and backward settings in seconds.
You all know that Rolf W. Schnyder, the former president and mastermind of Ulysse Nardin, died shortly after Baselworld 2012. I just found this personal statement. This is what Rolf told me when we met and talked about his new movement. “Our policy to develop movement technology in-house enables us to master our own quality. Ulysse Nardin is committed to innovations that move the industry forward and in the creation of mechanical timepieces that will become the heirlooms for future generations.” Rolf, we miss you!!!
The Caliber 118 was fitted in an expanded 45 mm diameter case with a new crown design with a rubber notch for comfortable winding. To celebrate the new caliber Ulysse Nardin “crowned” the watch with a beautifully handcrafted enamel dial produced by Donzé Cadrans. The world-recognized enamel-dial specialist was at that time the latest member of the Ulysse Nardin group of companies. For the Marine Chronometer dial the aesthetic is a bright, snow-white offset by black Roman numerals and bold accents of cherry red, presenting a style that is simultaneously straightforward and understated. Its 18-karat rose-gold-case enhances the timepiece’s sophistication.
The Marine Chronometer Manufacture was available in a limited edition of 350 pieces in 18-carat rose gold (I guess the watch is sold out meanwhile), and an unlimited edition of two-tone titanium case with gold bezel and gold crown, as well as an all stainless-steel/titanium case.
Ref. 1186-122: 18-carat rose gold with Grand Feu enameled dial, Limited Edition to 350 pieces
Ref. 1185-122: titanium with gold bezel
Ref. 1183-122: titanium, stainless steel
Movement: caliber UN-118, 11 1/2’’, in-house designed movement and escapement patented DIAMonSIL Oscillator, patented inertial balance wheel “I 10” with silicium hairspring, 50 jewels
Power-Reserve: 60 h
Functions: chronometer COSC with power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock; small direct seconds and round date window at 6 o’clock; forward and backward date corrector
Case: 18 carat gold or titanium with gold bezel or titanium-stainless steel
Crown: screw down security crown
Diameter: 45 mm
Water-resistance: 200 m
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Case-back: open case back with sapphire crystal
Bracelet: leather strap or rubber strap with 18 carat gold or titanium elements and folding buckle, 18 carat gold or titanium-gold or titanium-stainless steel bracelet.
I find this time only version a lot nicear, cleaner and less cluttered.
The only thing that I’m left guessing is the movement quality/refinement compared to competition.
I don’t like the placement of the date and the cutted VI. The Rest is okay. UN (and ohters too) should offer a version without date. Have a look at Dornblüth (Sachsen), they make it better at a very reasonable price, specially for the 18 carat version.
very interesting article. Rolf had a clear vision and a very good understanding of technology. His goal was always to do as much in house as one can do. The watch which I like the most though is his InnoVison a prototype, based on his Freak concept; which he did in 2007/2008. where he used for the first time Silicium hairspring and the Diamonsil technology for the anchor and escapement. People like him can hardly be replaced.
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