If there is one thing Ulysse Nardin is good at, it is creating groundbreaking innovations in haute horlogerie since 1846. Through the years, the unparalleled Swiss watchmaker has continuously released timepieces that marry tradition and innovation. This year is no exception. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its contemporary Marine collection, they have released the Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon — the limited edition $280,000 watch that had everyone talking at Baselworld. The Grand Deck may sure look like old compasses, but its breakthrough nautical design and hardware boasts of a never-before-seen mechanism. Ulysse Nardin calls it 'a luxury sailboat on your wrist'. Here's why:
1. The minute hand
Unlike other watches that move clockwise, the Grand Deck has an audacious blue aluminum minute hand that swings left and right, mimicking a ship's boom. The almost transparent wire that tugs the retrograde minute hand is thinner than human hair. It has a diameter of only 0.0357mm and can withstand a traction force of 1.41 kilograms. It is made with high-tech Polyethylene Dyneema, the same material in bulletproof vests. The hours with black Arabic numerals on white disks are flashed in a window at 12 o'clock.
2. The marquetry
Another equally fascinating focal point of this new piece is its marquetry. Resembling teak decks of luxury sailboats, each fine wood strip is intricately handcrafted by artisans. The wood is carefully sourced, cut, and polished to perfection.
3. Its cutting edge hardware
It features Caliber UN-630, a complex manual-winding manufacture movement with 60-second flying tourbillon that beats at a frequency of 3Hz. It also offers a power reserve of at least 48 hours.
4. It's water resistant
Exceptionally unusual for a tourbillon model, the Grand Deck can resist water for up to 100 metres.
5. It's pure luxury
Bathed in 18k white gold case, the magnificent 44mm watch will only be reproduced in 18 pieces.
See the watch in action in the video below: