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There are nautically inspired timepieces, and then there’s Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Mega Yacht. We take a look inside this spectacular piece of horological artistry
Every day we receive details of a new, or updated timepiece. Countless sports, dress and dive watches drop into the inbox, with many claiming to be inspired by the ocean.
Most play on the maritime theme while not having an awful lot to do with the ocean at all; having a rotating bezel, blue dial and a ‘shower proof’ case does not a marine chronometer make.
Then, every few years, a watch such as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht comes along, and blows us out of the water; a work of timekeeping art so richly inspired by the ocean that we expect it to leave salt marks on our wrists.
The Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht is an extension of the watchmaker’s exquisite Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon, which was released back in 2016. However, where the old model with its hand-crafted wood marquetry dial celebrated the world of sailboats and luxury liners, this new Mega Yacht creation is dedicated to the owners of motoryachts and superyachts.
Le grand feu
Crafted in platinum in a limited run of only 30 pieces, the Mega Yacht’s most immediate detail is the three dimensional ‘grand feu’ dial, which features a yacht’s bow cutting through the waves. The grand feu enameling process is itself an art form, whereby a master enameller mixes the soft glass, applies it to the dial, fires his secret concoction in a oven at up to 1,200 degrees and ends up with a hard-wearing, luxurious material that will never fade. In fact, the grand feu dials are designed to last for centuries.
Windlass and anchor
It’s the details within the dial that really set the Mega Yacht apart from virtually any of its peers though. At the top of the 44mm dial is a miniature windlass. Through the action of a set of wheels in contact with the winding mechanism, the windlass turns to simulate the raising of the anchor. The anchor is a part of the Ulysse Nardin logo, but its execution on the Mega Yacht is simply divine. Linked by a perfectly reproduced miniature anchor chain that emerges from the mooring chock, it appears to be visually linked to the windlass above.
Below this and visible through the case is the position indicator (S: Set position for setting the hands/ TM: Tide and Moon position/ W: position for winding the movement) which is styled like a ship’s EOT (engine order telegraph).
Located at 9 o’clock is the moon phase display, a feature designed for the modern superyacht owner.
This precise 3D reduced-size representation of Earth’s satellite has a surface reminiscent of the Moon’s, reproduced using ultra-precise engraving. It is made up of two half-spheres: one treated in blue PVD (for the period of the new moon) and the other rhodiumized (to simulate the illuminating effect of the sun).
The engine room
Inside the case, 504 components make up the beating heart of the hand-wound Mega Yacht. Innovative and completely visible through its transparent case-back, the movement is designed to resemble the engines found in a vessel’s engine room.
The timepiece guarantees a power reserve of 80 hours at a cruising speed of 21,600 vibrations per hour, with the tourbillon moving at 60 rotations per hour (or one rotation every 60 seconds). The flying tourbillon is equipped with a cage modeled on a ship’s propeller that also features the UN anchor logo.
To finish the Mega Yacht off, it is possible to engrave your superyacht’s name in the plaque position on the side of the watchband. Certainly one of its kind, the Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht is the ultimate nautically themed timepiece.
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