For some watch aficionados it's all about complications, innovation, and all out uniqueness. A tourbillon is always seen as high craftsmanship, or the more rare chiming watches. But, today we’ll take a look at the “astronomical watch” category, which Ulysse Nardin is dominating ever since they hired engineer Ludwid Oechsin to craft some exquisite timepieces, like this new “Ulysse Nardin Blast Moonstruck”.The 45mm case is made of black ceramic and DLC titanium with a matte finish. They have excluded a bezel in order to provide more viewing space for all these stimulating functions. The push buttons at 8 and 10 o’clock allow the wearer to quickly move the time forward or backwards by one hour, with a single push. On the flip-side is a sapphire exhibition caseback that allows a view into the inner workings of this newly tweaked mechanical movement. It comes equipped with a silicon escapement and hairspring, while in full display is an openwork rose gold oscillating weight.It comes equipped with a setting-crown tucked away between a pair of crown guards. All topped by a sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatment that assists with water resistance reaching up to 30 meters (98 feet).Time is exhibited on a very unique dial made of a domed sapphire crystal representation of Earth. Despite all the moving parts the color scheme was left to a simply effective black and rose gold mix.On this watch the motion of the Sun and Moon have been made to depict the way we see them from the vantage point of Earth. A sapphire crystal was crafted with micro-engraved landmasses and an 18k rose gold engraved ring with the 31 days of the month.While the domed sapphire crystal allows us to spy from above over the: hour and minute hands, plus a night sky with sparkling stars, made out of aventurine glass. The triangular pointer for date, and central hour and minute hands, have all been treated with a luminescent filling, for an enhanced legibility.Two elliptical structures were deployed by Ulysse Nardin to recreate the movement of the Sun and Moon. For the Sun we follow the two-toned ring in black and rose gold for a 24-hour scale. A precious mineral known as bronzite was used to depict the Sun, which completes one revolution every 24 hours, while it passes over the 24 cities printed on the flange next to the 24-hour day/night indicator. So this watch has a dual time mechanism that allows us to change the main display.The sapphire disc portion is for the Moon, which is depicted in a round aperture with craters for a heightened sense of realism, while moved by a disc on the same ecliptic plane as Earth. The vision of Ludwid Oechsin led him to craft an elaborate gear train, so the moon phase indicator can make one complete rotation per day, as it follows the orbit of the Sun and bathes in its light. There is so much attention to detail we’d best let the creator himself further explain the why’s in the video below.
Ulysse Nardin Blast Moonstruck
The “Ulysse Nardin Blast Moonstruck” (Ref#: 1063-400-2A/1A) is powered by the in-house self-winding mechanical movement, caliber UN-106 with 42 jewels, and 28,800 vph. It comes equipped with silicium technology that was entirely designed and produced in-house. Power reserve can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.Mounted to the watch is a choice of either a: black alligator, velvet, or rubber strap, secured to the wrist by a folding clasp in black DLC titanium and 18k pink gold. For more up to date information visit the official Ulysse Nardin website here.