It has been a long journey, but we are honored that this year we have been granted the dealership for the haute horlogerie watch brand Ulysse Nardin from Le Locle for our boutique Ace & Spyer Jewelers in Amsterdam and our international eBoutique AceJewelers.com. I recently had the chance to go hands on with one of their signature models, the Classic Dual Time in stainless steel with black dial.
By Alon Ben Joseph
Ace Jewelers & Ulysse Nardin - A Match Meant To Happen
Our father, David, instilled the love for fine mechanical watches with my brother Amir and I from an early age. One of the brands that he always held in high esteem is the brand with a strong character: Ulysse Nardin. So, from a young age both Amir and I dreamed of one day becoming brand ambassadors of this unique manufacture.
The dialogue with the brand with the tag line #MarkOfACaptain has been going on for many years and we were overjoyed when we announced our long term partnership this summer, and the day of the announcement it hit me: Day-dreaming about what Ulysse Nardin watch I would purchase for my private collection was over. The metaphorical hunt ended and the day of actual watch hunting for 'my' Ulysse Nardin started. As the saying goes: The chase is better than the catch...
I liked so many models: the Ludwig, the Classico Paul David Nardin , the retro Diver Automatic, the Marine Chronometer on rubber strap or the all new Marine Torpilleur which was launched this summer... Oh my gosh, my thoughts went all over the place and I got decision fright... So many different and marvelous models. What to do?!
In this article I will not dive in to the amazing history, the brand DNA and what makes this make stand out so much. For that I refer you to a piece of content written by Dale for Ace Magazine named: "Ulysse Nardin - an introduction".
In a nut shell, what draws me to the Ulysse Nardin is their strong heritage, unique & characteristic designs and equally important the fact they are a true manufacture that designs & manufactures their own movements. Not just movements by copying the rest, but pushing the enveloppe on innovation & technology.
The Ulysse Nardin Classic Dual Time
As Ace Jewelers is a family-owned and run business, where all the team members are practically family members, we love to work with other independent companies, or at least companies that are very personable/personal. We truly believe any business is people's business, so we pride ourselves that we know all our partners we work with on a personal level. Same goes for Ulysse Nardin, we do not only know the Brand Ambassador that handles our partnership but also the International Sales Manager that operates in the headquarters in Le Locle, Switzerland. The relationship is very personal and professional. The word NO does not exist in their vocabulary and the assist us in all (difficult) requests we have. They are available by mobile phone and email 7 days a week. Hence they could fulfill my 'odd' request to have a watch on loan for an unspecified period of time to test drive. I could choose almost any timepiece from the collection... I answered: you choose what you think would suit me... In the end, the Ulysse Nardin team chose the Ulysse Nardin Classic Dual Time 3343-126/921.
The Ulysse Nardin Classic Dual Time - What I love
What I love about the Classic Dual Time:
- The movement. Not only the technology with silicium, but also the aesthetic finish of it;
- The dial: the subtle rope pattern is amazing;
- The design elements on the case and the high-quality of the finish;
- The GMT function, very unique and creates such tranquility in design. This unlike a second hour hand that runs around once a 24 hours (in stark contrast to the regular hour hand that runs twice per 24 hours);
- The leather strap that runs flush to the case (no gap between case and strap end); and
- The double folding clasp.
The Ulysse Nardin Classic Dual Time - What It'd Change
What would I have reconsidered if I was the designer:
- The plus and minus symbols on the pushers to set the second time zone;
- I would elimiate the silver circle on the subdial of the seconds hand; and
- The disk of the second time zone does not jump immediately when the full hour has been reached.
An amazing contemporary classic watch that is amazing for the globetrotters amongst us. The disadvantages are so minor compared to the amazing advantages of this watch, that I real think Ulysse Nardin hit a homerun on this watch for watch aficionados that want a high-end manufacture watch that is modest and functional.
So, I hear you asking: "Alon, are you going to buy this watch?" The answer is, no, I am not going to add this particular model to my private collection. The first and foremost reason is that I do not travel so much. The most international communication I do is with timezones: GMT +2, GMT -5 & GMT -8, while residing in GMT +1, so that is super easy to convert by heart. So, my chase continues, and really leaning towards a Torpilleur or Marine Chronometer... My biggest worry is that I am not a huge fan of Roman numerals on watches, but maybe I should ask my brother to lend me his personal Marine Chronometer and test drive that model a bit... To be continued!