Watches: Ulysse Nardin Classico Horse

By Thierry Ané on January 13, 2014

Ulysse Nardin is no stranger to the decorative arts in general and enamel in particular. The brand has used its Classico line to honour some of the most famous ships with magnificent enamel dials. The Frigate Shtandart, the HMS Achille, the HMS Caesar, the Pride of Baltimore or the Santa Maria are only a few examples of how the brand’s artisans are able to take advantage of the uncluttered dial of this three-hand classic watch and give free rein to their imagination and talent to create exceptional enamel masterpieces.

The ships are not the brand’s only source of inspiration though. Like many competitors, Ulysse Nardin reckons that the legend of the Chinese zodiac also provides an interesting theme for its stunning Champlevé or Cloisonné enamels. Following the zodiac cycle, we saw the Classico Dragon in 2012 and the Classico Snake in 2013. Without surprise, this year the brand thus introduces the Classico Horse in a limited run of 88 pieces.

Framed in the Classico 40 mm rose gold case, this model features a beautiful enamel dial with two horses, one black and the other white, galloping in the plains. The dial was created using the intricate champlevé method where cells are carved with a chisel directly on the dial and filled with enamel. The piece is then fired until the enamel melts and is polished when the surface cools. The watch is paired with a blue alligator strap that matches the main colour of the plains and mountains on the dial background.

Unlike last year’s Classico Snake, the Classico Horse is powered by the self-winding UN-815 calibre. This COSC-certified chronometer offers a power reserve of 42 hours and is visible through the sapphire exhibition case back.

If you are a jaded watch journalist or a seasoned watch aficionado, you may easily consider that this timepiece comes as no surprise. However, the fact that it is in the same vein as many other models before, takes nothing away from its beauty and the immense skills necessary to produce such refined enamel work.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: