Flash News: Ulysse Nardin Vivaldi Music Watch (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on March 11, 2015
During Baselworld 2013, Ulysse Nardin unveiled an extraordinary world’s first with the Stranger model. This astonishing timepiece featured a music box mechanism playing the melody “Strangers in the Night” hourly or on call. Thanks to a rotating disc in full display on the dial and striking 10 blades, this stunning watch delivered its famous melody while offering a magnificent show for the eyes.
The self-winding UN-690 calibre inside this unique model also offered an off-centred time display with a small seconds sub-dial and a date indication. This remarkable piece of engineering also boasted an extremely useful function selector (Time, Date, Winding) and an on-off selector for the melody function.
Limited to just 99 pieces, this 45 mm rose gold Stranger was an outstanding example of this Manufacture’s exceptional watchmaking know-how as well as a ticking proof of their innovative spirit.
After developing such an extraordinary mechanism, it would have been a shame to use it only for this limited run and, this year, the Le-Locle-based Manufacture comes back on this beautiful concept with the Vivaldi timekeeper that will be officially unveiled during Baselworld 2015.
The Watch Agora team discovered the second “music watch” opus during the Geneva Week last January and we are pleased to bring you some live pictures of this model before our full Basel coverage.
The “Stranger” watch released in 2013
Aesthetically, as you will notice, nothing has really changed: the Vivaldi model shares the same general design codes as the previously presented Stranger timepiece. Both have the same 45 mm rose gold case mounted on black alligator and the dial’s layout is identical.
Indeed, the hours and minutes dial encompassing the small seconds counter, the date window and the function and on-off selectors is placed on the same main plate decorated with beautiful “Côtes de Genève”. The same golden Roman numerals and leaf-shaped hands are used and the upper part of the dial is still dedicated to the music box mechanism with the rotating disc held by a beautiful satin-brushed bridge with bevelled and polished edges and the 10 blades.
To play the music, the disc rotates, causing the struts to strike the blades, each producing a different note
Also limited to 99 units, the Vivaldi is unarguably an exceptional timepiece. I would have appreciated, however, to be able to notice an aesthetic difference from the Stranger. Be it another finish for the main plate, a different colour (ruthenium instead or rhodium for instance) on the dial, or even a different material for the case (why not white gold instead of rose gold?). Anything actually that could have set both models apart and make a collector want to own them both in addition to the new melody.
For more information please visit the Ulysse Nardin web site.