Presented by Ulysse Nardin - Before we wore time, we heard it. Clocks made by brilliant craftsmen who would, through miniaturization, create domestic clocks and handheld timepieces, capable of loudly striking the passing hours. Inspired by watchmaking’s past and the possibility of moving musical timekeeping into the future, Ulysse Nardin is proud to unveil the BLAST Hourstriker, an innovative new striking watch that breaks barriers in sound technology.
This art of marking the time with music has always been a part of Ulysse Nardin’s technical arsenal. It was revived in the 1980s, under the impetus of Rolf Schnyder and given a new lease of life in 2019 when the Swiss Manufacture collaborated with cutting-edge French watchmaking acoustics audio technology company Devialet, to launch the Classico Hourstriker Phantom.
For the BLAST Hourstriker, Ulysse Nardin’s engineers and watchmakers developed the UN-621 caliber, the brand’s first in-house automatic striking manufacture movement to be powered by a flying tourbillon. After several years in the making, Ulysse Nardin enhanced the sound by applying a proprietary acoustic system in collaboration again with Devialet. It consists of a membrane stretched over the movement that amplifies the vibrations of the strike.
When the striker is on, the mechanical ballet that makes the watch’s sound is visible on the hour and half hour markers. By pressing the button located at 10 o’clock, the mechanism, driven by a specially dedicated barrel, is triggered. The hour rack and the inertia regulator start to turn the hammers, visible in an opening made at 12 o’clock, hit the gong whose shape has been subtly worked to bypass the cage of the flying tourbillon.
An exceptional mechanism requires an exceptional case, so Ulysse Nardin decided to encase a movement inspired by the power of stealth airplane. To truly allow the sound of the Blast Hourstriker to resonate, the distinctive 45 mm Blast case was given a black DLC titanium middle, capped with 5 N 18 kt rose gold, for improved acoustics.
The $104,400 timepiece is available on a variety of straps including black alligator, rubber, and waterproof velvet.
Image Source: Ulysse Nardin